Hartlepool Council have defended their decision to fund part of the Olympic Torch Relay with money intended for a maritime festival.
The Hartlepool Mail spoke to the council after finding out about the spending through Help Me Investigate. They report:
“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.”