Cost of Commonwealth Games no hurdle for Solihull Council's support - The Solihull Observer

Cost of Commonwealth Games no hurdle for Solihull Council's support

Solihull Editorial 11th Mar, 2020   0

SOLIHULL Council has iterated its support for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, as the cost of the event was examined in a parliamentary debate.

Midlands Tory MP Andrew Mitchell spoke on Monday (March 9) to pressure Birmingham City Council to exercise ‘control’ over the games’ finances.

Mr Mitchell said he expected the government to be “generous and supportive”.

But financial rigour by Birmingham City Council, which he said had not been a feature of that council, must be made clear, he added.

“If they don’t, I hope he [the sports minister] will make it clear that the government will not tolerate any question of failure in these games and that Birmingham City Council will be removed from the management of it if they don’t demonstrate that control.”

Responding, the minister for sport Nigel Huddleston said: “The financial governance of the games is very strong and… we’re working with all stakeholders to make sure that we can deliver on time and on budget.”

£778m Commonwealth Games budget

In 2019, the government said it was giving the West Midlands £594 million to stage the games.

The cash came in addition to Birmingham City Council’s budget of £184 million, with the spend set to be £778 million.

Then sports minister Mims Davies MP said: “The games budget is a significant investment in Birmingham and the region that will deliver benefits to local people for years to come.”

Proposals are currently before Coun Joe Tildesley, Solihull cabinet member for sport, to strengthen the borough’s support of the Commonwealth Games.

Solihull will host boxing, badminton and netball at the NEC, with global broadcasting for the games also hosted at Bickenhill.

Public health officers said: “There are opportunities for the borough’s residents, visitors and businesses to benefit from this global event taking place at Solihull’s NEC.

“We are engaged in working groups that include communications, transport and trading standards.

“We are co-ordinating the Council’s involvement in the Games.

“The working group is chaired by the Director of Public Health and has representation from communications, highway services, regulatory services, growth and development and public health.”

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