We note no decision has been reached today in the London Legacy Development Corporation appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ICO ruling that the financial terms of the LLDC contract for the use of the Olympic Stadium by West Ham United should be published in full.
We trust the Tribunal committee will reconvene the hearing at the earliest possible opportunity, and conclude a process which has now cost the taxpayer £21,000 in appeal costs accumulated by the LLDC alone.
During the two hour open session this morning, we heard nothing to persuade us that revealing the contract in full would, indeed, impact on the stadium operators’ ability to secure competitive arrangements with other potential users, which now forms the backbone of the LLDC argument. This is a marked change from the LLDC’s original argument that disclosure would mainly negatively impact on West Ham United itself.
We also note that no representative from stadium operators Vinci, anyone from E20 (the partnership between the LLDC and London Borough of Newham), and significantly, West Ham United or any other potential or existing user was represented at today’s session. This leads us to question the fundamental assertion from the LLDC that the disclosure of financial material could be commercially damaging.
We remain determined to see full publication of the financial terms of the contract. This is about ensuring public money is used well and that it is not used to give one club a financial advantage over others.