Reply from Tessa Jowell
Regular readers may recall this email I sent to Tessa Jowell regarding the Olympics. Imagine my surprise when I saw a reply pop into my inbox. Imagine my utter disbelief when I read it and it didn't try and bullshit me into believing that the Olympics would be of any tangible benefit to anyone outside of London.
Thank you for your email dated 6 July 2005 to Tessa Jowell regarding your concerns about the 2012 Olympic and Paralyampic Games. I have been asked to reply.
I fully appreciate your concerns about the funding for the Olympic Games and would like to advise you that the Government decision to support a bid was made after a thorough examination of the costs and benefits. The Government and the Mayor have agreed a funding package of up to £2.375 billion to help meet these costs. The first £2.050 billion of the funding package will be met from up to £1.5 billion from the lottery and up to £550 million from London Council tax (this equates to a £20 per year increase on Band D council tax from 2006/07). If you would like more detailed information about the Council Tax element of the funding package you may wish to contact the GLA directly either at City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA or by e-mailing email@example.com.
The costs of staging the Games themselves will be met from associated revenues – such as ticket sales, sponsorship and broadcasting rights. But major expenditure is also needed to prepare the sites and create the venues needed for the Games. Since the bulk of this expenditure will be in London, and will produce benefits – and a legacy – accruing to Londoners, a contribution from Londoners is not unreasonable
Major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, can have significant benefits in many areas including, health, regeneration, transport, employment, and sports. The Manchester Commonwealth Games showed what a successful major sporting event is able to do for a city and the nation, with £127 million investment in sports facilities which were put to community use after the Games, the reclamation of a 146 hectare derelict site, improved transport and the creation of 3500 new jobs.
The Olympic Games held in London will engender a “feel good” factor across the whole country, just as the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games did. More than 200 nations will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games and around 150 nations in the Paralympic Games. There will be an opportunity to host training and preparation camps in the months leading up to the Games. The BOA has for many years established multi sport holding camps to prepare their athletes for the games. Team GB, for example based itself in Queensland before the Sydney Games – delivering up to A$6M in the local economy. In addition to attracting investment to the towns where visiting teams chose to train, the prospect of hosting teams for many months before the Games could act as a catalyst for developing and refurbishing existing UK sports facilities. Facilities after the Games will be distributed on basis of need and
in line with Sport England’s facility strategy
The Olympic Torch tour in 2012 is likely to involve every major city and town in the UK. This will be preceded by a three-year cultural and educational programme which can be used to build community support and involvement. L2012 estimates that up to 70,000 volunteers would be required to help run the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. This would require the biggest volunteer recruitment drive in UK, providing a unique boost both to sport specific, and general, volunteering in the UK. Thousands of UK companies could be involved in meeting the needs of the Games, ie construction, manufacturing, catering, merchandise, services etc.
The Secretary of State visited Much Wenlock earlier this year, and acknowledged the town’s contribution to the revival of the Olympics. This contribution was also recognised by Baron de Coubertin and much more recently by Juan Antonio Samaranch. We have already been talking to L2012 about how we could recognise the historic link of this community to the Olympic Games, and we will be taking this forward with the London Organising Committee of the Olympics Games in due course.
I hope all this information is helpful.
Olympic Games Unit