May 22 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Monday, May 14, 2012
Four-hundred free Olympic and Paralympic tickets worth £42,000 are up for grabs for Tower Hamlets residents through a ticket draw being launched tomorrow morning.
The announcement came after Millwall councillor Zara Davis had slammed Tower Hamlets Council for spending ten-of-thousands of pounds on the tickets at a time when the council is cutting back on services such as parks, libraries and waste collection.
The conservative councillor had urged the council to hand the tickets back, arguing that hundreds of residents had lost out in the Olympic ticket ballot.
She had obtained a list of the tickets purchased, including tickets for the Olympic opening ceremony costing £995 each and the men’s 400m semifinals hurdles at £295 each.
Residents can apply for the tickets from 9am tomorrow through the Mayor of Tower Hamlets London 2012 Ticket Bonanza launched today.
All London councils were offered the chance to purchase tickets. Tower Hamlets council initially secured 100 tickets but was able to purchase further tickets after some councils decided not to take up the offer.
Cllr Zara Davis said: “I had called for these tickets to be returned to the public and Lutfur Rahman has listened —at least he is making these tickets available to residents.
“However, there has been no transparency in this whole process. For months, I and other councillors in Tower Hamlets have been trying to establish what would happen to these tickets and how much they would cost. It is only after I have made public just how many tickets have been bought, and how much they are costing council taxpayers, that Lutfur Rahman decides to make these tickets available to residents.
“Going forward, I am going to be watching very closely to ensure these tickets are allocated fairly to residents.”
Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said he wanted to give as many residents as possible the chance to see an Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“Mayor Rahman said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for residents to see the world’s greatest athletes battle it out for the ultimate title.
“As well as enjoying the fantastic atmosphere residents will come away with memories that will last a lifetime.”
Visit my.towerhamlets.gov.uk to sign up for tickets.
The deadline for applying is June 6 at 11.59pm.