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List of all articles in date order.

NBC wins the Beijing swimming finals

The IOC last week decided to hold the swimming finals and much of the gymnastics at the Beijing Games in the morning, to the delight of American broadcasters.


Why did Lemley leave ?

A year ago Jack Lemley, a square-shouldered American construction baron, walked into the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to meet a sceptical press.


Retail therapy

Remarkably, refutation of the inevitable benefits of hosting the Games is considered within the Olympic planning documents (Retail, Leisure and Sport Impact Assessment Appendices, Appendix 4 to the Environmental Statement, January 2004) as part of an attempt to calculate the amount and type of retail floor space that the Games could support. The Atlanta Games of 1996 was a retail disaster.


Locals 'not guaranteed' Olympic jobs

EAST Londoners will not be given preference when going for jobs involved with the 2012 Olympics, a senior Games official has admitted.


Funding problems for grass roots sport

It is a busy time for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Yesterday the report he commissioned on climate change was published and last week he made a major foray into the world of sport. In an article headlined 'My fight to get Britain fit for the Olympics', he told of his own good fortune to have attended primary and secondary schools that had sport at the heart of their ethos.


Outraged of Edgeware

While concurring with the sentiments expressed by Pete Smyth (What will be my consolation when Olympic spending goes hopelessly over budget?', Letters, October 26), who, like myself, is outraged by the surcharge imposed on London council tax payers to finance the 2012 Olympics, I thought that this might be a good time to note that, reportedly, the budget for staging the Games has already been increased by 47 per cent.


Beijing retail therapy

Germany's Metro Group, the world's third largest retailer, has opened its second store in Beijing on Wednesday. The store is Metro's 33rd in China, and comes just three months after the opening of its first store in the capital city.


Vietnam offers dollars for gold in Beijing

Vietnam will stump up $5,000 to any athlete who can bring home the country's first Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. "If athletes can win money, maybe this will help us to win medals."


Lemley leaves. The drama continues

Jack Lemley, who was chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), claims that in the 15 months since London won the Games, no remediation work has begun on the 757-acre site in east London.

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Children's lottery funding raided to fund 2012 Olympics

Children's sport is to lose out as clubs across the UK are denied £340 million of lottery grants to divert funds to the Olympics. The money, normally destined for thousands of small organisations, will instead be used to pay for 2012 projects, including a velodrome and an aquatic centre with two swimming pools and a diving pool.

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Manor Gardens Allotments Campaign

E-mail from Julie Sumner of Manor Gardens Allotments to Jenny Jones of the GLA Mon, 6 Nov 2006

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Olympics will ruin London

We should seriously be thinking about giving the 2012 Olympic games back, before it is too late.


Ending Homelessness

Homeless Link, the umbrella group for charities working with and for homeless people, today began an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in Britain by 2022.

The campaign was launched at a Parliamentary reception attended by Yvette Cooper, Minister for Housing and Planning, Caroline Spelman and Andrew Stunell (Conservative and Lib Dem Shadow Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government), MPs from all three major parties, homeless people and senior staff from national and regional homeless charities.


Brown downplays VAT bill

The Treasury is in discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority over the VAT bill. When the London bid was submitted to the International Olympic Committee in 2004, it included an estimate for building various sites in east London, but had presumed VAT would not have to be paid. Mr Brown said: "When we did the original application, there was one form of company organisation that might not have required VAT. "Now that we have looked at the thing in detail, there may be another form of company organisation for the Olympic deal.


Tower Hamlets retro-active brand infringement

Tower Hamlets bosses have been forced to tear down posters at sports centres in the East End because they use the five 'Olympic' rings logo. The posters had already been in place for six years-long before London won the bid last year to host the Games, the council pointed out.


LDA keeps its word! Open space at Eastway to close.

The LDA acknowledged there would be a loss of open space during the construction of the Olympic Park. I received the following information after several enquiries.


London Chamber of Commerce survey report

The London Chamber of Commerce has this statement (edited by me) on its website.

'The London Chamber of Commerce has now published a major report on business attitudes to the London Olympics entitled A Sporting Chance - Ensuring London Firms Benefit from the 2012 Olympic Games.


The energy level was really bad

The future site of the 2012 Olympics — a project plagued by unanticipated costs, a disputed tax bill and worries over removing World War II bombs — is getting some extra help from a South American shaman who blessed the land.


Leyton Orient interested in stadium legacy

The long-term future of London's 2012 Olympics stadium took a novel twist on Wednesday when third division football club Leyton Orient emerged as candidates to move in after the Games.

With London 2012 organisers sticking to their promise that the showpiece stadium would be retained as a track and field facility after the Games, Orient's chairman Barry Hearn said his club would be the most suitable occupants. Plans are for the 80,000-seater stadium to be re-configured to a 25,000-seater with the running track retained, a scenario that would not suit the likes of Premier League West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.


Stratford travelator plan not included

Construction of a travelator linking Stratford Regional and Stratford International station in east London will not be completed in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Although there is a requirement to provide a mechanised link between the two stations, it now appears that the extension of the Docklands Light Railway, approved by government two weeks ago, will fulfil this criterion. A spokesman for Newham council said a travelator would complement the link, but admitted it would not be included in London & Continental Railway's planning application to the council for the proposed Stratford City development.


Richard Rogers boycott threat

Richard Rogers, one of Britain's most distinguished architects and head of the Mayor of London's urbanism and architecture unit, has threatened to boycott the London 2012 Olympics in protest at the ways in which building contracts are being awarded. And rightly so.

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So who profits from Olympic developments?

Property speculation

Labour MP Clive Betts has highlighted the need for transparency in public private sector deals for delivery of the Olympic developments and has called for parliamentary scrutiny of such arrangements. Deals were being discussed with Stratford City Developments ahead of consent for the Olympic bill to ensure conversion of flats into housing for 4,500 athletes (R. Booth, The Guardian, July 29, 2005). In 2003, the consortium Stratford City Developments and the LDA agreed not to frustrate the other's planning applications. The Guardian article notes: "A director of the consortium, Sir Stuart Lipton, was also a senior government advisor on the Olympics plans at the time of the co operation agreement. He was later forced to resign from his post as chairman of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment following accusations of conflict of interest between his role as government adviser and a leading private developer".

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Legacy, infrastructure overload


Maintenance costs for redundant stadia are significant. Kevin Blowe (2005) extrapolates:

In Sydney, underused venues are costing taxpayers A$46m (£18m) a year to keep afloat and will lose money for at least another decade. The Super Dome, where the closing ceremony was held, recently went into receivership. Six months after the Athens Games, the Greeks face a £6.25bn debt and £60m a year for the upkeep of its unused facilities.
Radical Activist Network newsletter, Spring 2005

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Transport upgrades

Campaigning lobby Rail Future have welcomed the 2005 Transport Select Committee's recognition that proposals must "fit into an integrated, long term transport plan" and leave a "legacy appropriate to the (ongoing) needs of [e]ast London". However, they query the extent to which the Government has agreed to fund basic improvements to the rail network in London.

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Financing elite athletes

Athletes waiting for funding to finance their training complained of delays by Chancellor Gordon Brown in allocating monies to the British Olympic Association (BOA) (E. Harris & P. Waugh, Evening Standard, February 15, 2006). The BOA has stated that it needs £500 million to develop young athletes. The Chancellor refused to announce a decision until after the March 2006 Budget. Three athletes announced that they were quitting because finance had not been made available.