Eight London councils refuse 2012 Olympics ticket offer

Eight councils in London have decided not to accept an offer to buy up to 100 Olympics tickets.

Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Kingston, Harrow and Redbridge, and Croydon said they would not buy any tickets.

Merton plans to buy one ticket for its mayor to go to the opening or closing ceremony while City of London will buy all 100 but use private money.

London 2012 said any tickets not taken up would be offered to the public.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) said all London councils had been sent an indicative allocation of what was on offer.

A spokeswoman said all 33 local authorities had to decide by the end of March. Those tickets not taken up will join the 6.6 million on sale to the public.

'Buy your own'

Councillor Ian Bond, Liberal Democrat deputy leader of Redbridge Council, said the tickets ranged in price from £75 to £995 (for the opening ceremony).

He said: "Had we taken up the offer it would have cost the council £30,000 in total.

"Londoners are already paying towards the Olympics through council tax levy and we didn't think it's fair for them to pay for councillors to go to the Games."

Camden Council said it would encourage schoolchildren to apply for free tickets.

Barking and Dagenham said the "financial climate" had deterred it from taking up the offer.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said it intended to take up a number of tickets but had not yet decided how many or how they would be "dispensed".

Wandsworth Council said it would ask councillors to buy tickets "with their own money" and Enfield Council said it might buy some tickets on behalf of children in care.

Hillingdon Council said it would not buy any expensive tickets for its mayor or councillors but was considering purchasing some to pass on to schools.

Havering Council said it would not be taking up the full allocation of 100 tickets but it had made an offer to provide one ticket as a gift to the mayor of each of its twin towns.

All the other London authorities have yet to decide how to respond.

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