£10,000 bill for St Albans leg of Olympic Torch Relay

£10,000 bill for St Albans leg of Olympic Torch Relay

£10,000 bill for St Albans leg of Olympic Torch Relay

First published in St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

St Albans District Council splashed out more than £10,000 to host its part of the Olympic Torch Relay in July.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows that that final bill for the iconic flame’s 45 minute journey through the city on Sunday, July 8 was £10,272.

Richard Shwe, head of community services at the council, said: “We focused our resources on ensuring as many people as possible had the opportunity to see the Olympic Torch Relay as it travelled through the district.

“Our aim was to bring the streets alive by bringing the community together.

“An estimated 35,000 people lined the streets to watch the procession, creating a sense of community sprit during a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The biggest expense was event staff, including security and stewards, which set the council back £2,500.

Traffic management costs were the second biggest cost at £1,731.

Mr Shwe said: “We worked closely with the police and highways to ensure that the flame passed through the district safely.

“Due to the short time that flame was in the district and the nature of the road network selected for the route, we were able to use a rolling road closure system.

“This meant that the council did not incur any costs associated with road closures as other local authorities have done.”

The council spent £2,377 advertising the torch’s journey along Hatfield Road with the media and £905 was spent on 16 banners across the city.

A further £799 was spent communicating with residents that live along the route. 

Mr Shwe said: “To help foster a sense of community spirit, we encouraged local residents, community groups and businesses to host their own events along the route.”

The council also hired a photographer, at the cost of £240, to capture each of the 14 torchbearers running with the flame.

Hiring equipment for the day, including a PA system, radios and a generator, had a bill of £907.

Volunteers helping out on the day were given high-visibility jackets to make them obvious during the day setting the council back £270.

Mr Shwe: “More than 200 volunteers came forward to help make the day a success. We paid for some professional stewards to support the volunteers throughout the route.

“Overall, this approach helped us implement a safe and successful event without spending large amounts of money.

“The day was a fantastic example of how the private, public and voluntary sector can work together to benefit the community.”

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