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Budget issues for 2012 Olympics to be resolved early in 2007, organizers promise

Budget issues for 2012 Olympics to be resolved early in 2007, organizers promise

Budget issues affecting the London 2012 Olympics will be resolved early in 2007, organizers said Wednesday.
The British government is soon expected to pass its first Olympic budget _ under close scrutiny in the fallout from the resignation of key engineer Jack Lemley from the Olympic Delivery Authority in mid-October.
"Rigorous cost management is a fundamental pillar of this project and we are working with government to ensure issues of budgets and funding are resolved early in the New Year and we are confident they will be," London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and ODA chairman Roy McNulty said in a joint New Year message.
"We must not lose sight of the wider benefits of this project. It is not simply about cost. It is also about value and ambition."
Lemley said he resigned as chairman of the ODA, the body responsible for building the venues and infrastructure for the games, because of political infighting and construction projects appearing likely to come in late and cost more than expected.
Lemley claimed Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell knew of the potential 1 billion pound (US$1.95 billion; euro1.48 billion) additional tax bill that could affect the games, months before she confirmed it in an address to a parliamentary committee on Nov. 21.
Then, Jowell said infrastructure costs had risen by 900 million pounds (US$1.76 billion; euro1.33 billion) from the 2.38 billion pounds (US$4.6 billion; euro3.5 billion) figure quoted in the bid. The final budget hasn't been formulated yet, but some British lawmakers have speculated the total cost could reach more than 8 billion pounds (US$15.6 billion; euro11.8 billion).
Coe and McNulty said 2006 had been a year of great progress and left the organizations in "great shape" for next year.
"This project is all about good planning," they said. "By planning games and legacy together now, we are making sure that we only build permanent venues if there is a long term legacy use. We can also make the most of the regeneration opportunity winning the games has given us."
In 2007, London will kick off its commercial program, develop plans for the Cultural Olympiad and London's contribution to the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Organizers will also begin to clear the 202-hectare (500-acre) Olympic Park site in Stratford, East London, install utilities and develop more detailed venue plans.
The first demolition work began this month and work on putting powerlines underground began in April.
Coe and McNulty also pointed to independent research conducted in early December that put public support for the games at 79 percent _ the highest since London won the right to stage the games in July 2005.
"There are challenges ahead but this project is built on strong foundations, and we look forward to making similar strong progress in 2007 as we move further ahead on the road to 2012," the statement said.


Updated : 2021-08-03 22:13 GMT+08:00