Budget mishandling threatens to derail Olympic legacy

Jo Swinson with Raymond McLaren and members of Baljaffray Utd

Jo recently wrote to local East Dunbartonshire sports teams to publicise a funding scheme for amateur clubs

Jo Swinson is fighting to ensure grassroots sport in East Dunbartonshire doesn’t lose out to the Government’s rising costs for the 2012 Olympics.

The Government has been widely criticised over the Olympics budget, which rose to £9.3billion last month. The increase will mean more money will be diverted away from National Lottery distributors, including SportScotland, the national agency for grassroots sport in Scotland.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo asked Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell:

“We all want the Olympics to leave a positive legacy for sport in our communities, but SportScotland has reported that the recent spiralling costs of the Olympics are going to lead to a further £7.3 million cut in funding for grassroots sport in Scotland.

“How can the Secretary of State talk about real benefits for grassroots sport from the Olympics, when due to her budgeting incompetence grassroots sport will be facing real cuts?”

Commenting later, Jo said:

“The Olympics will bring positive long-term benefits to grassroots sport in East Dunbartonshire, and up and down the country, if the whole project is not derailed by Ministers’ inability to manage a budget.

“Diverting millions of pounds of National Lottery cash away from local sports funding is not the way to secure this long-term legacy. If the games are to be a cultural success, the Government cannot be allowed to write any more blank cheques.”

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