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LVRPA identifies 2012 Olympics as ‘a major risk’!

The Lea Valley Regional Park Authority seems to be a trifle confused. In its 2007/8 accounts it identifies the 2012 Olympics as ‘a major risk that could affect all our key business objectives into the future.’ It goes on to say ‘The award of the Olympics to London will affect our land, business, financial and human resources. At this stage it is too early to fully assess the precise impact.’ Later on it goes on restate the problem ‘It is important that the Authority remains focused on the issues and related risk of the Olympics, and that the new Strategic Business Plan reflects the effect of the Olympics risk on our business objectives.’

The LVRPA is not renowned for being a controversial or outspoken organisation. For example, when the access bridge for the International Station was built over the River Lea it failed to insist on replacement land to make up for the land it lost. So it is a little surprising to find it expressing this kind of concern about the 2012 Olympics.

However, elsewhere it is more on message. On its website it declares that ‘The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is an exciting and challenging project for the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA). By virtue of geography, statutory remit and landholding we are at the heart of the project and fully involved in the legacy master planning work for the Olympic Park.’

The LVRPA also reveals in its accounts that it is making a financial contribution to the Olympics. In 2006/7 net expenditure was £215,000 and in 2007/8 £233,000. This will, of course, also apply to a whole range of other organisations like local councils, sports, educational and arts organisations showing that the present budget of around £10 billion does not reveal the whole picture.

On its website it goes on to say ‘We are playing a key role in the planning of London 2012 venues which lie on LVRPA land and for which we will have long term responsibility such as the VeloPark, the White Water Canoe Slalom Course and the legacy facilities at Eton Manor. In terms of our contribution to the wider design of the Olympic Parklands we are greatly involved in specific work streams including parkland design, utilities and city form and type.’ Its accounts state that it has ‘an officer-led Olympic Project Team that is working on Olympic-related issues.’

However, one piece of LVRPA expenditure on the Olympic Park is rather strange. Its accounts reveal net expenditure of £337,000 in 2007/8 and £754,000 in 2006/7 on the 'Lea Valley Cycle Circuit'. Unless the LVRPA has another cycle circuit somewhere else in the Lea Valley this cycle circuit at Eastway closed in the latter part of 2006!

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