Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, has written to Sheffield City Council calling on the Labour run authority to re-think their plan to close Don Valley Stadium. It has recently been revealed that closing and demolishing the stadium at which Jess Ennis trained at for the 2012 London Olympics would be a net cost to the local taxpayer in the short term.
In the letter, Nick notes: -
“Following an investigation by local Liberal Democrat councillors it has come to my attention that the proposal to close and demolish Don Valley Stadium would come at a net cost to local taxpayers in the short term, leading to unnecessary cuts to other local services.
Council officers have confirmed that:
- In the 2013/14 financial year it is estimated that the Council would only save £348,000 in running costs;
- There would be one off closure costs in 2013/14 (excluding demolition and redundancy) of £400,000;
- The demolition costs of Don Valley Stadium associated with the proposal have been estimated at £250,000;
- There would be an additional cost of £300,000 from redundancies payments as a result of the proposal;
- The cost of refurbishing Woodburn Road athletics track is estimated as £150,000;
- The running costs of Woodburn Road athletics track is estimated at £68,000 every year;
“Therefore if Don Valley Stadium was demolished during 2013/14, it would cost local taxpayers a significant amount of money that should be used to support front line services.
“Given these revelations I would urge you to urgently reconsider your proposals to demolish a stadium which helped train our Olympic champion.
“Not only would this lead to other services being unnecessarily cut in the short term, it would deny others the same opportunities sporting heroes such as Jessica Ennis benefited from. It would also send out a negative message to the rest of the country in terms of our commitment to being a City of Sport and of being a place to invest in.
“Instead of coming to this hasty and short-sighted decision, I would urge the Council to bring together local politicians, the sporting community and business people to try and come up with a viable alternative solution which would save the stadium from demolition.”