Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Dodgy donations again

When Cardiff wanted to become European Capital of Culture in 2008 a company was set up to manage the bid. That company was called Cardiff 2008. It used public money, lots of it, to fund the bid, money provided, in the main, by Cardiff City Council.

Somehow, the directors of this publicly owned company decided that a sensible use of this public money was to give it to the Labour Party.

Labour claimed that Cardiff 2008 sponsored a "Welsh Night" at Labour's conference in 2002 with a donation of £7,149. Unfortunately for Labour, it holds its conferences in September and the donations (two rather than one) were made in October - £5,618 on the 16th of October - and November - £1,469 on the 28th of November.

Apart from the bizarre thinking in Labour circles that it is perfectly acceptable for public money to be spent on what might be described as a 'piss-up' (giving Labour the benefit of a very big doubt in the truth stakes), are we being told that Labour members needed persuaded to back Cardiff? Did the Liverpool campaign give a bigger party, thus taking Labour support away from Cardiff and, ultimately, the big prize?

The company also paid Labour £3,250 for three square metres of display space at Labour's spring conference in 2002 (not in Electoral Commission records since it was payment for a service, but noted in the company minutes from 19th November 2001, made public thanks to the Western Mail using FOI).

When Cardiff 2008 was wound up, having failed to win the bid, there was no money returned to the public purse.

Did they forget whose money it was?

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