OBSERVER COLUMN: Gold rush proves Olympic doom-mongers wrong

WELL, the Olympics are confounding all those critics who were forecasting doom and gloom about how they would go as far as the home country was concerned!

It seems the traffic in London is nowhere near as bad as was expected and, by all accounts, the atmosphere at the venues is unsurpassed.

At the time of writing, Team GB is on 16 gold medals – with realistic hopes of more to come – and in third position on the medals table.

Not bad when you compare the populations of the two above (China and USA) to ours.

Many people over the past few years have decried how much these games have cost; some still say we shouldn’t have spent all this money on sport when there are other priorities. So it was interesting to hear the comment of one of the rowing coaches when asked what he put down as the reason for our success.

He had no hesitation in thanking the National Lottery for its funding, along with the proceeds from the Olympic games, giving several of our successful gold medallists the chance to spend time training.

You get what you pay for – and the country is getting a golden return!

l On a local note, I cannot believe the council is selling the Assembly Rooms.

We are continually told we have to cut costs, but if some of our more recent councils had spent money on upkeep, perhaps we wouldn’t be in the position where selling iconic assets appears to be the only way to make money.

More worrying is on what the money will be spent (when, and if, they get it) – hopefully, not even more down the Boardsides, although that appears for some unknown reason to be the one thing they don’t want to sell.

And considering the present council cabinet’s announcement when elected to be ‘transparent’ in its workings, how strange that, on this occasion, they decided to be less so, taking the decision without reference to the full council and not allowing any questions to be raised.

What next for the chop?

Central Park would make a nice housing estate. I’m joking by the way – I hope.