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A London Olympic Bid for 2012 - House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee 2003

A London Olympic Bid for 2012 - House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee 2003

Third Report of Session 2002-03

An enquiry into the Government's decision making process on whether to support a London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. Completed shortly before the Cabinet decision to proceed with the bid. Excerpts -

Transparency - The process followed by Government has produced in public no more than an anaemic 12 page summary of a 250 page document containing only impenetrable, estimated, aggregate costs... this was of limited use for the purposes of accountability and none whatsoever with regard to public debate.

The Government could have been much more transparent in this process; reflecting the recommendations of our predecessor Committee. The Arup summary published, for what it was worth, was an abridgement too far. The Government should publish Arup's work in full, as well as its own subsequent calculations on costs and delivery of facilities and infrastructure, before a decision is taken.

It has been a peculiar feature of this inquiry that almost all the significant information is under wraps — contrary to the firm recommendations of our predecessor Committee...

As often is the case, public discussion has been clouded, rather than informed, by partial disclosure of some details and figures in the media (with consequent partial rebuttals from stakeholders). We do not blame the press for this but rather the absence of authoritative documentation on which to base open debate.

We received three memoranda from local community groups which disagreed with the concerted local authority stance. The Southern Lea Valley Federation and the Hackney Environment Forum and the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee argued vigorously against siting the Olympics in the Lee Valley as they regarded the area, not just as 'derelict land needing restoration', but rather a 'tranquil and precious green lung' close to central
London. The importance of consultation with, and involvement of, the local Community in a project of this nature should not be under-estimated no matter how enthusiastic are the relevant local authorities.


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