Residents may recall the Olympic Levy which imposed a £20 precept on all Council Tax Payers in London to contribute £625m towards the total costs of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The first payment was made in 2006/07 and the final balancing payment of £8 was made in 2016/17.
As the full £625m had been paid off, the expectation was that the remaining £8 would be returned to Council Tax payers in 2017/18. However, the draft 2017/18 GLA budget from the Mayor of London does not propose to return this sum, instead to subsume it into the general GLA budget.
Cllr Clarence Barrett (Cranham, RA), who headed a high profile campaign calling for the £625m contribution to be borne by all tax payers and not just London Council Tax Payers, is adamant the remaining sum should be returned to residents. He said: “Our Council faces significant financial pressures, such as Social Care, demographic growth and Housing which is made even more challenging when set against substantial reductions in local government funding. While the Games were a great success and enjoyed by many, the precept meant that Havering Council Tax payers contributed some £16m towards the Games with little quantifiable benefit to our residents.
“The £20 precept was ring-fenced for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and as the financial obligation has been met in full, the remaining £8 should be returned to Council Tax payers in 2017/18 to help fund council services to our residents”.
The Council has already raised the issue with the GLA in response to the draft budget and the matter will be the subject of a Full Council Debate on 25th January which will seek cross party support for the return of the money.