June 18 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Friday, August 3, 2012
A Muswell Hill youth project has launched a campaign calling on the government to return more than £400million to a charitable fund that was raided to help cover the cost of this year’s Olympics.
Exposure, a youth media group based at the Muswell Hill Centre in Hillfield Park, has produced an appeal film which they have uploaded to video-sharing website YouTube.
The two-and-a-half-minute film contains interviews with a number of young people from Exposure, each voicing their opposition to the coalition government’s refusal to return £425million to the Big Lottery Fund, which supports Exposure and many other community projects across the UK.
They claim that the previous Labour government took the money to help fund the Olympics but to this day it remains unspent.
However, according to the group, the government is now refusing to return the money until some time in the 2020s, handing it instead to the Treasury.
Exposure editor Gary Flavell said: “What it means is that for 10,000 community projects and eight million people, the money is just not going to be there.
“We are arguing that some if not all of the Big Lottery Fund money should be returned, because the Treasury will not serve the local community in the same way that the Big Lottery Fund will.”
A government Olympic communications spokesman said the money was “enshrined in a contractual agreement”, adding: “We have been clear right from the outset that the payments can only be achieved over the longer term.”