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Coe makes New Year resolution to keep Olympic costs in check

Questions over the financing of the London 2012 Olympic Games will be answered as early as possible in 2007, Seb Coe said in a New Year message.

Coe, chair of the organising committee, said strict cost management was fundamental to successfully bringing the massive sports event to the UK.

The former Olympian said organisers were working with the Government to make sure issues over budgeting and funding were resolved in 2007.

Coe was responding to growing fears that the full cost of staging the games remains unclear and could increase further.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has admitted that the cost of building the Olympic Park has increased by £900 million to £3.3 billion.

London mayor Ken Livingstone also has attempted to reassure Londoners, who are already footing some of the bill, that they will face no extra costs.

Coe said: 'Rigorous cost management is a fundamental pillar of this project and we are working with Government to ensure issues of budgets and funding are resolved early in the New Year and we are confident they will be.

'We must not lose sight of the wider benefits of this project. It is not simply about cost. It is also about value and ambition.

'Our vision for the Games has never just been a summer of great sport in 2012. It has always been much broader than that.

'We must not forget the ambition we have to use the games to help regenerate East London, the opportunity they will present in terms of jobs and skills and the chance they will give us to promote sport for all, especially among young people.'

by Ed Dorrell

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