Dee Doocey slams Merton Council for buying VIP Olympics tickets

The Evening Standard reports,

Council bosses came under fire today for taking £4,000 of VIP Olympic tickets at taxpayers’ expense.

Merton Council asked for two tickets – for the Mayor and a companion – for each of the opening and closing ceremonies at a total cost of £3,980.

At £995 a time, they are the most expensive of the tickets offered to London boroughs, which are each entitled to buy 100 prime seats worth £50,000 from Games organisers. Details of Merton’s move comes just weeks after the borough ordered…

Lib-Dem London Assembly member Dee Doocey said: “I am astonished that Merton council plans to spend almost £4,000 of taxpayers’ money on Olympic tickets for the mayor and consort.

“How it can justify this profligate expenditure to local taxpayers is beyond my comprehension.”

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  • “How it can justify this profligate expenditure to local taxpayers is beyond my comprehension.”

    Probably beyond anyones comprehension when less than 2 months ago this was in Your Local Guardian:

    “An eye-watering package of cuts has been signed off by Merton Council in what its leader described as “a moment for sorrow and an occasion for regret”. ”

  • Lefthandedlondoner 28th Apr '11 - 10:39am

    Ah, it’s okay, they managed to find £2million to add to reserves (when they were making £26mill of cuts).

  • Genuinely, jaw-droppingly shocking.

  • Given London council tax payers have had to foot the bill for the Olympics shouldn’t they all get some tickets. (I am not a London Council Tax payer).

  • Cllr Ian Bond 28th Apr '11 - 3:56pm

    Very poor show indeed from LB Merton! Redbridge set the pace by being the first to reject the offer of reserved tickets and most other Boroughs have followed our lead. Those few that have ordered large numbers of tickets are maintaining – for now at least – that these will be allocated to the community rather than kept back for members and officers at the Town Hall.

    I understand Merton’s argument is that their mayor will in some way be representing the Borough by going to the opening ceremony – obvious nonsense, I’d suggest, since it is hard to see in what meaningful sense the Borough is being “represented” by having someone sitting in the dark in a stadium surrounded by thousands of other people enjoying the spectacle. It’s very clearly just a freebie courtesy of the Merton taxpayers for whoeever happens to be the mayor at the time!

    Yes, I do think Londoners should have been given some discount or some priority given that we’ve been contributing towards the cost for some years now through the Council Tax levy. But that would have been for all Londoners – not just a tiny number of officials and elected members….

  • I would have thought that any member of any Council in the UK could afford to pay, each for his or her own ticket, out of the very generous allowances they get for sitting on Committees on top of their salary.

    The people in the rest of the country have to buy their own tickets – if they cannot afford them then they don’t go at all but watch it on TV.

    These Councillors need to start to live in the real world which the rest of us inhabit!

    Stop riding on the backs of those of us “at the bottom of the pile”!

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