Camden has been left short-changed by Tory Mayor Boris Johnson through City Hall’s unequal allocation of Olympic funds to support Boroughs with the cost of the games.
Camden requires £2m to deliver a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, with both placing significant demands on the Borough. Despite this, the City Hall has allocated just £260,000 to Camden.
Camden Labour has criticised the lack of transparency from both the Greater London Authority and Government Olympic Executive who allocated the funds to local authorities. Tory Kensington and Chelsea received 100% of their bid for funding, while Westminster and Merton received more than they bid for. Labour-led Camden received less than 10% of the grant it applied for.
Labour Councillor Tulip Siddiq, Cabinet Member for Culture said, ’This is evidently a very poor deal for Camden. We have not received a fraction of our original bid. We’re going to struggle enormously with our limited resources. There appears to be no transparency behind the decision making process when awarding these grants. Until the rationale is explained in clear terms, the people of Camden have every right to feel short changed.
During the Games, Camden will provide the Olympic site with a key direct transport link to central London. It is expected that 10,000 people an hour will get on and off high speed Javelin trains at St Pancras station and we need to make sure that any security concerns are met. This will place significant pressures on the Borough and its services such as street cleaning and waste collection. This means that the total grant of £260,000 from Boris and the GLA is woefully inadequate.
Labour Councillor Tulip Siddiq added, ’The Government has already asked us to take nearly £100million from our budget. How can we now be expected to find more than £1million to cover Camden’s costs during the Olympics? This is money that we need in order to provide essential services to our residents’.