One council appeared to save hundreds of thousands of pounds on the Olympic Torch Relay by getting Olympic organisers LOCOG to pay their costs – but for six months they have denied having any records of how that happened. Carol Miers reports on the curious case of Somerset County Council.
Hartlepool Council have defended their decision to fund part of the Olympic Torch Relay with money intended for a maritime festival.
“The Maritime Festival had a budget of £35,000 and officers say around 10 per cent of that, plus external sports funding, covered the £10,000 cost of hosting the Olympic Torch.
[A council spokesman said] “The bulk of the Maritime Festival budget was spent on staging the Diamond Festival, a celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which took place on the weekend of June 2/3 – two weeks prior to the arrival of the torch.
“The subsequent decision to end the Maritime Festival was part of the council’s wide-ranging strategy to deal with Government budget cuts and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the money spent on hosting the Olympic Torch.”
Olympic news roundup for 11:21:
- Olympic torch cost £639 a minute through Northampton – Business News – Northampton Chronicle and Echo –
- ThisIs –
- Olympic Torch relay costs Waltham Forest second most in UK (From This Is Local London) –
- Sunderland’s Olympic Torch celebrations total £28,000 cost revealed – All News – Sunderland Echo – A Freedom of Information request by the Echo has revealed the authority spent £11,764 on preparing the torch’s route through the city, and another £16,199 on Herrington Country Park’s celebration event. Road closures along the route cost the council £4,425, while its preparation and eventual clean-up
- Bexley Council defends spending on Olympic Torch Relay (From News Shopper) – Defending the investment, a Bexley Council spokeswoman said: “The Torch Relay and evening celebration were once in a lifetime events and were a great success “Sixty per cent of the total budget, £166,000, was secured from external funds. “The remaining 40 per cent, £113,000, was met from existing bud