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IOC claims 'We are normal'!?

The IOC is still concerned about transport for London 2012. Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Executive Director for the Olympic Games said of the £25million Olympic Route Network, "London is coming up with a certain number of proposals that we believe are feasible. Now we need to do more tests and of course, everybody will have to understand that we [the IOC] are normal and need efficient transport."

What was that? The IOC are normal!? What is he talking about?


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Or maybe there's an extra swan in the CGI?

According to planningresource: ODA unveils plan for open spaces

The open spaces, which will include parks, a wetland area and playgrounds, will be next to 2,818 planned new homes and are in addition to landscaped areas within the Olympic Park.
ODA chair John Armitt said work had begun on the new spaces, and construction of the athletes’ village was on track. "With landscaping work under way we will start to see green open spaces take shape between new homes," he said.
The first stage of the project intends to create a 2.5ha wetlands area next to the village.

Beyond the fact that the cutesy-sounding Channelsea Village monicker - as appeared in the conceptual bubble diagrams of all the new 'communities' from the 2007 Planning Application - is long gone, I find myself scratching my head to work out exactly what's new in Arnitt's revelations. Or maybe there's an extra swan in the CGI?


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Expensive Olympics require expensive seats!

An Olympic source has said organisers are having 'fruitful discussions' about how much to charge for tickets with some in LOCOG and the government favouring £3,000 for the best seats at the opening ceremony and other key events. However, it seems some idiots have been making "public statements that the tickets would be affordable and that is causing some disquiet.”

LOCOG needs to square the circle of a shortfall in its present projected income from tickets, sponsorship and marketing when set against the £2.15billion operating budget. Of course, the government has guaranteed the budget and would have to step in if the Games did not break even. But then, it has already funded the infrastructure costs which do not even feature in the operating budget and a further demand for money would not go down well in a time of austerity.

LOCOG has been employing consultants who have advised that £1,000 for a seat at a high demand event is a tipping point for British public opinion. Quite why this figure is so critical is not explained although it is nicely rounded out with three zeros.

The same consultants have suggested organisers will be widely criticised if they charge too much. This is remarkably perceptive and obviously good value advice! I wonder how much they have been paying these wise counsellors.


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Budget masseuse Jowell back on Olympics board

Tessa Jowell's brief Olympics exile is over. She may be out of office but she's back on the Olympics board. The woman who persuaded Blair to go for the Games and fiddled the budget has been restored to the board by the Coalition. Why exactly the government would want to have the Shadow Olympics spokesperson on the board is unclear although it may reduce the chances of criticism coming from the Opposition when the cuts start to bite and some will praise it for keeping politics out of the Games. Of course, the Coe explanation is that it is in recognition of her 'enormous contribution' to the Games. That could also have been said of Ken Livingstone, but it is hard to see BoJo accepting his rival on the board, so the cruel truth is that Tessa is the acceptable apolitical face of Labour when it comes to the Games. They think she's past it.


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Correction re Americans to take over London Fields Lido for last minute practice

Correction and apology, the Lido is not being taken over by the American Olympic team but by the Paralympic team - for a few hours a day, details not yet available - best to check with the Lido for times.

Fancy a dip in the London Fields Lido in July 2012? Suffering from a heatwave, got the children on holiday, just in need of a little restful soak? Not on your lilo! Hackney Council have agreed to allow the American swimming team to use it for last minute training. And it's not just Hackney. Other 50 metre pools will also be taken over for last minute practice. The Brits will be in Edinburgh.

Another good reason to pack your bucket and spade and head out of the city.


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Theatre Royal Stratford succumbs to Olympiad Octopus

Oh! What a Lovely Olympics. What would Joan Littlewood make of the Theatre Royal, Stratford, becoming entangled in the Cultural Olympiad? According to the BBC 'there has arguably been no challenge in its history that compares to the coming of the Olympic Games'. This banal assertion ignores the near demolition of the theatre by the property developers responsible for Stratford's remarkably uninteresting shopping mall and the creation of one of the most innovative theatre projects in Britain in post-War times by Joan Littlewood and Gerry Raffles. These two pioneers aren't even mentioned in the article or by the present crop of Theatre Royal thespians.


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Gold says: It's time to knock down Green Street!

David Gold has said it is time for demolition, sorry, redevelopment in Green Street.

When reminiscing about his childhood back in the 1940s and 50s he said:"Nothing has really happened in that area apart from some work on the stadium and the erection of a statue of West Ham's World Cup winners. It is time for redevelopment."

Nothing has really happened? I guess the arrival of new ethnic communities and the transformation of the area doesn't rank alongside the fact that Green Street hasn't been razed to the ground in order to provide a profit for property developers.

Campaigners at Queen's Market, just up the road from West Ham's Upton Park stadium, have just seen off a second set of developers. Looks like the locals don't share David's enthusiasm for street clearing.


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Car parking legacy for West Ham Olympic stadium

According to West Ham co-chairman David Gold the car free Olympic Park will have 20,000 car parking spaces for West Ham to use if it takes over the Olympic stadium. He told the BBC that West Ham supporters would find it much easier to get to the ground than at Upton Park: "At the moment, they can't get to West Ham easily but there will be 20,000 car parking spaces at the Olympic Park."

There will be around 2,500 spaces a distance away at the Media Centre and another 5,000 or so at Westfield plus some more dotted around the place. But 20,000 spaces? Looks like the public transport option had gone up the legacy exhaust pipe.


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Not only but also in Nigeria

We're now all quite familiar with the fact that Mega Events invariably go way over budget. insideworldfootball has the latest, revealing FIFA under-17 World Cup cost more than double the budget

Last year's under-17 World Cup cost more than double its budget, in an overshoot blamed by FIFA on "exceptional high" medical and security costs...
...FIFA said the competition was "a very special event in terms of medical and security requirements, which led to exceptional high spending/costs in those areas.


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Armed police prepare for 2012 mayhem

The Press Association reports that squads of marksmen are preparing for dangers including an armed siege, sniper shooting and Mumbai-style terror attacks with several gunmen.

The units, made up mainly of members of Scotland Yard's 'elite' CO19 wing will be armed with pistols, carbines and night vision goggles.

CO19 officers shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, which stimulated some interesting discussions about his killing and the police who were involved in it on police websites.

Let the Games begin!


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