Monday, 21 May 2012

Sport: The Olympics and the Stadium for Cornwall

Sport is dominating the news in Cornwall with the arrival of the Olympic Torch and the ongoing debate about the construction of a sporting stadium for the Cornish Pirates rugby team.

The descent of Flight 2012 into RNAS Culdrose, the start of the ten-week relay from Lands End and the first full day of the procession, as the torch weaved its way through Cornwall, was a truly amazing spectacle.

It certainly placed the wonder of Cornwall at the very heart of a global media circus. But perhaps best of all, over 100 men, women and children from our local area were honoured as torchbearers, each recognised for their contribution to sport, their local community or their charity work.

From my own Parish, torch bearers included Val Hawken and David Denmead. Val was honoured because of her endless marathon running and the many thousands of pounds she has raised for Cancer Research, while David was rewarded because of his fantastic work on behalf of the Parkinson's support and research charity.

The event has certainly shown how sport can bring people together and help celebrate achievement.

By contrast, the controversy about the stadium rumbles on, following last week’s meeting of Cornwall Council.

Readers of the Cornish Guardian will know that I have been critical of how this issue has been handled, but I do believe that Cornwall merits a purpose-built sporting stadium (see last week’s comments).

But at the meeting, councillors voted by 55 votes to 46 against the Council exploring the possibility of using public money to underpin the project.

The main aspects of the revised proposal presented at the meeting were that the Council should investigate “whether it would be appropriate for the Council to take the lead in delivering a stadium for Cornwall,” that there should be detailed scrutiny of any proposal brought forward, and that “a detailed report setting out the business case with full financial information be brought back to full Council.”

I was therefore extremely disappointed that councillors voted to throw out the proposal without even wishing to investigate the details or costs or to consider what the sporting and economic benefits might be.

It saddens me that Cornwall Council is getting into such a mess on this issue, when there is so much talk about a sporting legacy from the Olympic Games and associated government investment.

The legacy from that investment should not just be restricted to London. And to put the cost of the Stadium for Cornwall into a sporting context, it equates to the annual income of individual professional footballers called Wayne Rooney (£17 million), or David Beckham (£25 million) who actually delivered the Olympic Torch to Cornwall.


Tredanek said...

I agree it's appalling that Councillers voted against a deteiled examination of costs & benefits. Where does this leave the stadium now? Is it dead & buried? However we know who voted against & it's not that long to the next elections. Step up to the plate MK and reap the rewards of being the only party who thinks beyond the 'wht's in it for me & my cronies' attitude of the London based parties

Lance said...

I have written to all the Councillors who voted against - have had a few replies but some of those who voted no did so because they did not the CC to be involved in funding. However, surely they could have supported a remit for CC to have a full examination of benefits/funding etc and take the lead in taking the Stadium forwards. What is wrong with our elected representatives - no imagination or will to pursue something for the benefit of rugby etc and the economy!