The Liberal Democrats have slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for running up huge expenses bills during delegate visits to the UK and called for a reassessment of the cost of bidding and hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.
They said the cost of bidding for the Games, receiving repeated inspections and hosting the international delegates and their spouses in 2012 is expected to run into millions of pounds. London organisers are expected to book delegates into five star accommodation and provide chauffeur driven limousines. The criticism comes as the IOC co-ordination commission arrives in London to inspect preparations for the 2012 Olympics.
Liberal Democrat shadow Olympic minister Tom Brake said: “The IOC must provide the British public with a cast-iron guarantee that they will reduce their costs in 2012.
“At a time when across the globe both people and governments are having to tighten their belts, there is simply no justification for officials luxuriating in five star hotels or being ferried around in limos.
“The whole cost of bidding and hosting the Olympics needs to be urgently reassessed as the financial benefits of having the Games are becoming far from clear. IOC reps would get a much better view of London if they stayed in budget accommodation and got around in black cabs.”
Speaking during today’s visit, IOC Coordination Commission chair Denis Oswald said: “I have not been here since May last year. I’m very impressed by how much work has been done.”
Meanwhile, the Olympic Delivery Authority today released new images showing progress on the Olympic Park. Work is now well underway on all five of the main venues - the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Olympic Village, Velodrome and International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre.
View the images here. The ODA has also released a flythrough of the construction work. Watch the video here.
ODA chairman John Armitt said: “The Olympic Stadium has changed the east London skyline, the Aquatics Centre roof is starting to take shape and the first residential blocks for the Olympic Village are out of the ground.
“As well as constructing new world-class venues, work is steadily taking place on creating the new infrastructure that will be the backbone of the Olympic Park for both the Games and the development after 2012. New energy and sewer networks, roads, bridges and revitalised waterways and new urban parklands will join together to create a new part of London.”