Could the new Government cause the Olympics to swap their rings of fire for the economy option?

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport states that, amongst many other things, they want to “improve the country’s sporting system”, by effectively providing coordination and significant funding to various non-departmental public bodies, such as UK Sport. The UK has experienced a turbulent few days in the world of politics, but with the new cabinet now securely in place and with Jeremy Hunt becoming the new Culture, Media and Sport Secretary (with the addition of all ministerial duties for the London 2012 Olympics) it seems possible that a“new era” will bring about change. A hot topic on last night’s (12 May 2010) BBC’s News Night programme was the budget for the 2012 Olympics. Arguably Mr. Hunt was clear in his words that nothing was protected, not even the Olympics, which is perhaps understandable in times of instability and budget deficit. This has sparked concern from the former Labour minister, Tessa Jowell, who claims that destabilising this budget could have major ramifications in the future as it may end what has so far been a successful delivery of the project in terms of time and money. Mr. Hunt now has a similar challenge to many ministers on how to cut back on spending without affecting core services. Cuts of up to £60 million have been suggested from a budget already declared “tight” by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.  There have (so far) been no comment or response from The Olympic Delivery Authority but this is certainly a space we should all be watching!

Published May 13, 2010

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