• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Olympics security fiasco could push up 2014 cost

SECURITY fiascos surrounding the London Olympics risk inflating the cost of Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games, the event's international inspectors have warned.

debacle: G4S came in for heavy criticism after it failed to provide enough stewards for the Olympics and the Army was drafted in. Picture: PA
debacle: G4S came in for heavy criticism after it failed to provide enough stewards for the Olympics and the Army was drafted in. Picture: PA

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said a full security budget would be drawn up within the next six months, with any demands for additional measures from governments over and above what the organisers feel necessary being met by those Commonwealth nations.

Bruce Robertson, CGF's vice-president, said G4S's failure to provide and vet sufficient numbers of stewards for the Olympics and the subsequent need to deploy the military at the last minute will all be taken on board.

In a biannual progress check, Mr Robertson said: "The £524 million budget should be adequate for the Organising Committee.

"That said, we said in April the budget around security would be a re-evaluation of that assessment post-London. That's under way at the moment and will be completed by December.

"Security costs considered necessary by any governments will be absorbed by those governments."

In an overwhelmingly positive health check on 2014's progress, the CGF said Glasgow 2014 was providing the blueprint for future Games, particularly around the issue of legacy.

Mr Robertson chaired the four-day review by the CGF's Coordination Commission, which included visits to the athletes' village and venues such as the newly-completed Emirates Arena.

He said the athletes' village had the potential to be the best accommodation constructed for any Commonwealth Games, making particular reference to the social and entertainment spaces and adding it would be a "showcase for the Games".

Mr Robertson also said the long-term financial planning going into the Games had protected it from the worst of the economic downturn.

Asked to compare Glasgow's preparations less than two years ahead of the Games with Delhi's at the same juncture, Michael Hooper, chief executive of the CGF, said: "Chalk and cheese."

The delegation also made reference to the relationship between the various partners staging the event.

Despite repeated murmurings of renewed unease between Labour-run Glasgow City Council and the SNP Scottish Government, including a stand-off ahead of last month's Olympics victory parade in the city, Mr Robertson said he saw no signs of attempts to politicise the Games or partisanship among the 2014 partners.

He added: "With so much good work done, and goodwill across the political landscape, it is important for all to resist any distraction over the next 20 months.

"Now is the time for absolute focus and commitment to the end result to benefit all in Scotland."

Lord Smith, chairman of the organising committee for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, said: "I'm very pleased indeed.

"What perhaps struck me most of all was that they are talking about using some of the things we are doing here as a blueprint for Gold Coast and future Games, and that is very heartening."

Contextual targeting label: 
Hobbies and general interest

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

119848