Olympic torch visit is sparking controversy

Residents and businesses have said it should not be left to them to pick up the pieces to organise celebratory events for the arrival of the Olympic flame next year.

Ajay Parekh, an events organiser in Chichester, wrote to the Observer and said: “Once again it will be left to local communities or the private sector to deliver events and I am sure that all of the local authorities will start to take credit and want the limelight.

“‘Ahead of the Games’ has cost tax payers’ money to set up and I have seen nothing to speak of since its launch. Roll on 2012.”

Last week the Observer encouraged residents and businesses in the city to do something to celebrate the Olympics.

Chichester City Council has said that it is awaiting to hear from the district council to organise events for the arrival of the Olympic torch next year.

The city council’s clerk Rodney Duggua said: “We are waiting to meet with the district council so we can all pull together and something.

“We are starting our budget next Tuesday so it the district council need money, they will need to come to us by then.”

He added: “We are no longer the nanny state here where the council does everything for everyone. The main point for our Christmas lights and Gala events is we are here to help with funding and organising a framework, but we need the community to buy into it.

“The days where parish council’s do everything are gone.”

Chichester District Council said it is meeting with parish councils to organise celebratory events.

A spokeswoman added: “We have received interests from community groups to hold events.”