Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Cardiff County Council

  Following your letter of 1 November 2000, the Council welcomes this opportunity to contribute to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's inquiry to examine developments relating to the report, Staging International Sporting Events.

  Our previous submission to the Committee highlighted Cardiff's involvement in hosting the Rugby World Cup 1999 and the Council was pleased that the Committee subsequently recognized that "the involvement of a city authority has been essential for many British bids for sporting events. South Glamorgan County Council (now Cardiff Council) played a pivotal role in preparing the bid for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, assisting the Welsh Rugby Union on non-rugby-related issues, preparing information on venues and producing the bidding material."

  The Cricket and Rugby World Cups illustrated the potential benefits of staging world class international sporting events, including the impact of such events on the local and regional economies and the well-being of communities. Overall, it has been estimated that the month-long Rugby World Cup generated around £80 million for the Welsh economy. Furthermore, the success of the event clearly demonstrated that the UK is able to successfully host and manage major events through a partnership approach which involved the Government, local authorities and the governing bodies of sport as well as private sector sponsors. We believe that Government must recognise this success and pro-actively support the attraction of similar major sporting events to the UK in the future.

  In regards to the recent Cricket and Rugby World Cups, Cardiff County Council would like to bring several issues to the attention of the Committee:

  First, there is a serious lack of financial support to develop the essential city infrastructure to deliver major events. For example, our bid for funding for a bridge over the River Taff at Sophia Gardens to manage spectator numbers for the Cricket World Cup match in the city was rejected, and the Council had to fund this project alone. The County Council also had to make a significant contribution towards the building of the "river walkway" adjacent to the Millennium Stadium, in time for Rugby World Cup matches. There are many other examples of the local authority taking the lead in carrying out essential infrastructure improvements—and it would have helped if government funding mechanisms had been better geared to supporting this development.

  Second there is an unrealistic expectation from governing bodies of sport that local authorities should provide support and finance to market major events—for example, through the provision of banners and banner sites. Yet the local economic benefits, for example to trades and hoteliers, nor the sponsorship monies associated with the Rugby and Cricket Cups, do not filter back to the County Council for marketing support.

  Thirdly, there is a clear need for a forum of all agencies that underpin the operation of the event outside the Rugby Stadium and the Cricket Ground. The movement of people requires efficient services in terms of transport, parking, access, and entertainment. Support services are also required for cleansing, litter collection, park and ride services, coach parking, etc. Once again, this illustrates the vital role played by local authorities in hosting international sporting events. Yet no finance was made available through the World Cup organising committees to assist local authorities to pay for these services.

  Fourthly, major events place demands on local services and this is not reflected in the Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) formula for determining how much local authorities can spend. As the Capital City of Wales, Cardiff has additional responsibilities to manage major events, particularly in the Millennium stadium, and there needs to be some recognition from Government that Cardiff requires additional funding to respond to this role. At the present time, Cardiff makes a net NNDR contribution of nearly £40 million to the Welsh economy. The success of major events is reflected in the success of local businesses and their contribution to NNDR, but the local authority is not recompensed for the expenditure, which it incurs to attract and support such events.

  Finally, it is important that "extra" government and Assembly support should extend to the strategic planning and location of major event facilities where they can provide most benefit. The provision of capital, but not revenue, places the ongoing consequences on local authorities. Where new sports facilities are required, then revenue funding should be attached so that facilities can dovetail with other infrastructure, marketing, transport and sports development programmes.

  I hope the Committee finds these comments useful. If you require any further information about these or any other related issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

December 2000

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