Memorandum submitted by Cardiff County
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 improvementsand it would have helped if
government funding mechanisms had been better geared to supporting
Second there is an unrealistic expectation from
governing bodies of sport that local authorities should provide
support and finance to market major eventsfor 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.