Last year’s Olympic Torch relay cost the borough over £279,000, the second-highest figure of any local authority in the country and more than £155,000 higher than the next authority on the list, new figures show.
Had the total cost of the relay’s visit to the borough, £279,009.18, been just £971 more it would have meant Waltham Forest spent more money than any council in the UK.
Figures obtained by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act show the average spend of councils was just over £40,000, meaning Waltham Forest spent nearly seven times more than the average.
Councillor Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: ““The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the Council wanted to ensure that as a host borough we made the most of them for our residents.
“The Olympic Torch Relay was a fantastic way for the community to come together and celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Games.
“As well as being the first London borough to host an evening celebration we held three additional events to ensure that as many residents as possible could join in the Games-time experience and welcome the Olympic Torch.
“More than 95,000 people lined the route and enjoyed our special celebratory events.
“There was also an additional cost for the borough because the torch stayed here overnight and because our evening celebration was earmarked to include a very high profile torchbearer and therefore we had to plan for heightened security.”
Former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing an FA Cup match last year, was among those chosen to carry the torch however the London Evening Standard is reporting that it is believed another celebrity had been lined up.
Waltham Forest spent the second most, just behind Bexley which spent £279,979, while Wandsworth , the smallest amount on the list, spent just £710.14.