Impact of Lottery Funding Shortfall Confirmed

Comments by a former Labour Westminster UK government official have confirmed the fears of local politicians in Carmarthenshire about the impact of the Olympic games on the county. Adam Price MP and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM have argued consistently that the Olympics will have little or no impact on Wales whilst the diversion of lottery funding from local causes to finance the games for London would lead to vital services in county missing out. These concerns have been substantiated by the former Secretary of State for Sport, Kate Hoey, who claimed that the games would have no lasting legacy for the UK outside London.

Adam Price MP said:

“I have been a longstanding critic of the way the Labour UK government in London have taken lottery funding out of the hands of local provisions in order to fund these games. There are several societies, clubs, charities and community programmes that have suffered grately as a result of being turned down for funding and yet we are seeing the UK Government’s own former Sport Minister stating that Carmarthenshire will not benefit from these games. It is quite frankly a disgrace.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM added:

“It is clear that the promises made by the UK Government to deliver for areas outside London are simply not going to be met. I am angry that good causes, and much needed ones, in the county are left facing financial shortfalls because they have either seen their funding cut or missed out altogether due to lottery money being given to pay for the Olympic games in London.”

Plaid‘s Westminster candidate Jonathan Edwards said:

“It is believed that Wales is missing out on around £437 million in funding due to the Olympics. That is roughly £145 per individual meaning Carmarthenshire is loosing out to an estimated tune of £26 million. We are already seeing dramatic decreases in funding for the county. Lottery funding for last year was at £2.53 million which is far less than the previous years £7.5 million or even a decade ago in 1999 when levels were at £4.67 million. There is little doubt that Carmarthenshire is little more than an afterthought.”

DIWEDD / ENDS

Nodiadau / Notes:

Ms Hoey, who was Sports Minister from 1999 to 2001, was speaking in an interview with the Evening Standard

The Olympic Games have been designated as a UK spend for the purposes of the Barnett consequential, therefore Wales receives no benefit despite this investment being unequivocally concentrated in England. A Barnett consequential would give Wales around £330m.

The Welsh Affairs Select Committee estimates that in excess of £100m of National Lottery good causes funding that would have gone to Wales has been diverted to funding the Olympic Games.

Ms Hoey’s comments were that:

“No Olympic city has ever delivered a sustained legacy”

While she has hopes the Games can make a long-term difference to London , Hoey has doubts about other parts of Britain . “The rest of the country was also promised legacy … I have no idea what is happening.”

Evening Standard p53, Tues 09/03/2010

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