Moynihan voices London 2012 legacy doubts
They might come from different ends of the political spectrum, but Tory peer and British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has joined former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn in criticising the current strategy to deliver on London's grand sporting legacy promises.
Caborn is giving a well-trailed speech to the Sports and Recreation Trust Association in Birmingham on Wednesday in which he will describe the plans as "disastrous" and warn that unless there is a change of direction the country will 'fail completely'.
In my interview with Moynihan on Monday, he echoed those concerns, repeating long held fears that the nation is running out of time to deliver on the promises that played such a big part in London's victory over Paris and Madrid back in 2005.
He told me: "The reason the BOA looked to bid to host these Games originally was in part because it would lead to a step change in sport throughout the whole country, not just in east London but the whole country.
"We are a long way from delivering that step change. There's a great deal of work to be done in schools and school sports and connecting with the private sector. This is so important at a time when there are cutbacks in the public sector and when 60% of local authorities are reducing the time available for sport.
"As I go around the country I see that we have got an inspired effect from the Games, there's inspiration. But I want to see the bricks and mortar that will be the lasting sports legacy. More pitches, changing rooms and playing fields not being sold off. That's the bricks and mortar I want to look back at after the Games and say that was the legacy of London 2012."
Asked who was to blame he said: "It's been a matter for governments and it's been difficult because of the economic difficulties. It's easy to focus on an extra £50m to £100m for security or an extra £50m to £100m for transport.
"It's been more difficult to persuade governments and politicians that just as important is the sports legacy and raising the bar."
Increasing sports participation among the general public remains the hardest test for the government and sports bodies. Caborn's Labour government vowed to increase the number of people playing sport three times or more a week by one million by 2013. However, latest figures from Sport England suggest there has been only a modest increase of 111,000 since 2007.
A second target of getting a further one million people taking more exercise every week has been dropped by the coalition government.
Separately the drive to boost sports facilities has been hit by cuts to local authority spending and despite now channelling millions of pounds a year for participation projects through each of the sports governing bodies, the government seems powerless to reverse that trend at a time of major cutbacks for councils.
The target of delivering a successful Games with a successful British team is on track. But the issue of a national sporting legacy is no closer to being resolved.