Interviewed in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Tessa Jowell raises another potential problem for the 2012 Olympic project, that of completing the capital projects on time.
The old nugget of money is however, still an issue. Despite the fact that the budget for the Games left the start line at £2.4 billion, it is approaching the final lap at £9.3 billion. On the issue of costs, Jowell has adopted classic Labour spin. Asked whether the budget was immovable she replied “Absolutely”. However, she also added:
“Can I tell you that there are absolutely no circumstances in which the budget would rise? No, you would be a fool to do that”.
However, in an effort to move away from spiralling costs, Jowell raises the issue of building projects, an area she identifies as the “biggest risk” i.e. can we build them on time? To find the answer, look no further than Wembley Stadium, a project dodged by every conceivable issue you could imagine. It was finally completed three years late. I somehow suspect that sprinters will not sit in their blocks for this length of time!
Ending her summary of the project so far, Jowell lays it on the line. “The Olympics is….a metaphor for the government”.