‘Scottish Labour’ Failed to Argue for Olympic Funding

49
966


It has emerged today that the Labour party in Scotland made no attempt to argue Scotland’s case for extra funding and business opportunities to any of the bodies involved in the managing and financing of the London Olympics.

Documents released under a Freedom of Information request show that the last Labour Scottish Government failed to honour a promise to lobby either the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), who are in charge of construction and infrastructure, or the Treasury.


It has emerged today that the Labour party in Scotland made no attempt to argue Scotland’s case for extra funding and business opportunities to any of the bodies involved in the managing and financing of the London Olympics.

Documents released under a Freedom of Information request show that the last Labour Scottish Government failed to honour a promise to lobby either the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), who are in charge of construction and infrastructure, or the Treasury.

In 2005, when London was announced as the venue for the 2012 Olympics, the then Holyrood Labour leader and First Minister Jack McConnell promised to “begin plans to capitalise on opportunities for Scotland”.  His Sports Minister repeated the pledge saying:  “We will continue to work with all relevant parties to ensure that the many potential benefits of the Olympic games are delivered in Scotland.”

However, official documents now reveal that the Scottish Labour party made absolutely no representations to either the ODA or the UK Treasury on behalf of Scotland.

There has been widespread criticism over the tiny amount of contracts awarded to Scottish firms by the ODA.  Figures to July this year show that Scottish building companies had been given just £22 million worth of work, this is just £10 million more than foreign companies.  Their English counterparts on the other hand have received contracts in excess of £5 billion.

The Scottish Government only started making the case for Scotland in 2007 when the SNP came to power.  First Minister Alex Salmond has called for Scotland to receive an Olympic ‘Barnet Consequential’ proportional to the £ billions being spent in England.  The UK Government are expected to spend more than £9bn on the London Olympics.

The Treasury has said that it “(did not receive) any representations from the Scottish Executive (sic)” from 2005 to 2007, the years Scottish Labour were in charge.

The ODA documents say they do not hold “any representations from the officials or ministers of the Scottish Executive (sic) regarding the potential investment and opportunities for Scotland and Scottish businesses in relation to the London 2012 Olympic Games”.

Scottish Labour’s reluctance to lobby their London bosses on behalf of Scotland mirrors similar inaction over Scotland’s fossil fuel levy fund which was withheld by the last UK Labour government.  Alex Salmond has continually argued for the release of the £185 million fund that currently sits in a London bank account.