Useful Olympic links for March 8th through April 25th

Olympic news roundup for 17:51:

Torch relay bill update – 128 authorities, £5.5m

128 public authorities spent a combined £5.5m on staging the Olympic torch relay, according to the latest figures being compiled by Help Me Investigate users.

The figure – based on Freedom of Information requests to local councils and police bodies – adds a further £1m to the costs identified based on a survey of 100 authorities in February, and further supports the estimate of a national cost at over £13m. Continue reading

Correction: CCTV spending by Aberdeen City, not Aberdeenshire Council

We previously reported that Aberdeenshire had spent part of their torch relay funds on CCTV. This should have said Aberdeen City Council.

We apologise for the error. The original post, and the database, have been corrected.

Aberdeen City Council’s torch relay expenditure can be found here.

Aberdeenshire Council’s funding of torch relay costs can be found here; it is also detailed below.

  • Staff Costs £ 5,912.30
  • Road Closures/Advertisements etc £ 7,640.67
  • Construction Costs £ 4,026.20
  • Vehicle Charges £ 1,613.25
  • Florescent Vests £ 200.00 (retained for future use)
  • Event at Balmoral Castle £ 7,988.62
  • Total Cost £27,381.04

Sutton Guardian picks up Olympic torch relay figures

The Sutton Guardian have reported on local spending on the Olympic torch relay disclosed as part of Help Me Investigate’s investigation.

Mike Pyle writes that the local council paid £9,000 for the torch’s journey through the area. This covered stewards, barriers, road closures, road signs, St John Ambulance staff, street cleaning and publicity.

Those costs combined came to less than a fifth of the cost of bunting in the area, one of the highest in the country: £50,000 was used from another local government body to fund the decorations.


Leicestershire’s £230,000 Olympic torch relay bill – Leicester Mercury

The Leicester Mercury’s Dan Martin reports on torch relay spending in the county:

“The council said it footed a bill of £102,641 when the torch came to the city last July. Most of that, £81,560, was spent on a giant party in Abbey Park, attended by about 20,000 people to celebrate the torch’s arrival.

“The rest was spent on closing the roads, crowd barriers, security, and first aid provision as the torch entourage passed through the city.

“Leicestershire County Council told the Mercury it spent £29,600 on traffic management and staffing as the torch passed through the county in July and during a rehearsal for the relay in April.

“Leicestershire Police said it cost them £103,629 in staffing and overtime to supervise the rehearsal event and the real thing.”

The figures tally with data we’ve published on councils’ spending on the relay. Leicester City Council were one of the biggest spenders in the country.

The figures given to the Mercury, however, omit to mention that the total costs before external funding and income were much higher, at around £150,000. Curiously, the city did not seem to have received any funding from LOCOG for hosting a dress rehearsal for the Olympic organisers.

The Olympic letters that cost as much as road closures – Birmingham

The Birmingham Mail have published one of the stories from our investigation into torch relay spending:

“Birmingham City Council spent over £16,000 on letters to residents when the Olympic torch relay came through the region – almost as much as it spent on road closures.

“Birmingham’s costs, including £9,000 for security, came to £43,000.

“Neighbouring Walsall spent just under £22,000 on their leg of the relay, despite it spending less than three hours in the region, with security costs coming to £11,000 and a further £2,220 spent on staff overtime.”


Discover your council’s Torch Relay spending – and help find out more

Olympic Torch Relay Spending Database

We’re opening up our database of £4m of spending based on FOI request responses from 100 local councils and police authorities.

As we reported last week, the responses contain some interesting budget decisions – from a specific staff position in one authority lasting 18 months to the excessive cost of bunting. What can you find in the figures?

Here are just some more that we’ve found:

Continue reading

Raided reserves, extra staff, and lots of bunting: how did your council foot the £13m torch relay bill?

Intersport general manager Tom Foley and Next's Group Product Director Christos Angelides exchange an olympic 'torch kiss'

Intersport general manager Tom Foley and Next’s Group Product Director Christos Angelides exchange an olympic ‘torch kiss’ – photo from BBC Stoke

By Carol Miers, Juliet Ferguson and Paul Bradshaw

Funds intended for maritime festivals, economic development, council reserves and food markets were among pots which were raided to pay for torch relay bills, according to an investigation by Help Me Investigate users.

The details come from almost 100 Freedom of Information requests to local authorities by Carol Miers and Juliet Ferguson. They reveal that over £4m was spent by respondents to meet Olympic organisers’ requirements for hosting the events. If the figures are representative, the total bill across the UK could top £13m.

Now we need your help to find out more.

Continue reading

Useful Olympic links for October 4th through January 28th

Olympic news roundup for 11:06: