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More than £20m wasted in ineffective Olympic survey

£22m of public money has been spent on a market research survey that could have funded the Great Britain Olympic sailing team for four years, The Times reports.

A Freedom of Information investigation has revealed the Active People Survey has cost 3 to 4 million pounds per year, leading to heavy criticism by the TaxPayers’ Alliance. Its chief executive Matthew Elliott said: “The legacy of the Olympics should be a record medal haul and a bright sporting future, not tens of millions frittered away on poorly thought out and badly targeted initiatives.”

The newspaper reports the survey was launched in 2005 under the Labour government and “was used to track whether NGBs would deliver half of the extra two million participants sought by the Government as a result of Britain hosting the Games.”

The coalition went on with the policy even though it was criticized as flawed and ineffective in reflecting the true picture of national activity.

The Times quoted Don Foster, co-chairman of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport who condemned it as an “extremely expensive exercise”.

Croydon council refuses to reveal information about £450m project

This Is Croydon and Inside Croydon both report that the Information Commissioner has criticised the local council for refusing to reveal the full details of its £450m Urban Regenertaion Vehicle (URV). The council, which chose to withhold information about its contracts with John Laing and other property developers under sections 41 and 43 of the Act, must answer the ICO before February

Briefing meeting ahead of FoIA review

Campaign for Freedom of Information is organising a briefing meeting on January 18 at 2pm, ahead of the upcoming review of the Act by a parliamentary committee that is expected to recommend changes to the law. The meeting is addressed to those who consider giving evidence and in order to reserve a place you can contact admin@cfoi.demon.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 7831 7477.

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