Remember last summer’s Olympic Torch journey through the streets of Britain, and then the capital? The crowds, the excitement…
Well, as with the bill that arrives a week after the boozy wedding party has finished, costs have just been released by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act to show what each council spent on the Torch-bearing event in their area. And in some cases it’s not a pretty sight.
The biggest London spends were in Bexley (£279,979) and Waltham Forest (£279, 008.18). Camden’s bill came in at £123,336.8. Wandsworth’s was the lowest at a mere £710.14.
We asked Bexley, Waltham Forest and Camden councils what an earth had cost them so much? Gold-plated traffic cones perhaps? The replies were predictably prosaic: fencing, barriers, health and safety bits and pieces. In Bexley, the event was linked to forming two community choirs, lots of ‘youth music’, samba bands and community theatre; Waltham Forest’s included extra security for footballer Fabrice Muamba, who ran with the torch; Camden spent £179.40 on wristbands and £356.90 on hand flags amongst other costs. We’re still baffled. It’s almost as if they had money – wait for it – to BURN.
You can see what your borough spent above. (Some boroughs had costs associated with the torch met by other bodies, or incurred no extra costs, and are not listed.)