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Security! Security! Security!

6.30am, Thursday 10th May, Park Village tower blocks, Metropolitan Police officers and the SAS wake up neighbouring residents and Travellers with a paramilitary exercise using high explosive stun grenades which shake nearby housing at Clays Lane estate and on the Travellers site. No warning was provided to residents and Travellers, although the housing staff at CBHA were told. LODA (the LDA and ODA) must have given permission for this exercise but also failed to provide any warning. Residents have since been told these exercises have been going on for a while without anyone outside a small clique being told. So the authorities have been practising anti-terrorist operations on an inner city estate for an undisclosed period! A further eye-opener for the public as to the meaning of the Olympic project.

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Contamination and Controversy in the Olympic Park

© Mike Wells, 0 77 99 152 888,


For more than a century what will be the Olympic Park was home to some of the nation’s dirtiest industries. Within, and surrounding, what will be the Olympic Park some 7,500 people were employed in the chemicals industry. A new document reveals a second case of radioactive waste dumped in 1953 in a former landfill site within the Park. An Environment Agency analysis shows higher than normal levels of radioactive material in the River Lee. The article examines the historical information available, includes quotes from experts and lawyers, and is critical of the LDA’s work in the Park, which local residents fear puts them at risk. Mike Wells is also a photographer. The article comes with photographs.

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An April Fool's Planning Objection

April Fool's Day seemed an appropriate day to submit objections to the ODA's Olympic and Paralympic Planning Application. It claims to be a Legacy application as well but I can't include this is in my title as the Application doesn't include a detailed Legacy plan. It is plain approval of the Application is predetermined. To approach the application in any other way is to be a flat earther, as I have already been described by a planning expert. Authorities long for people to censor themselves and limit themselves to treating power on its own terms. Be realistic! is the watchword. I'd prefer the earth to be flat.

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Save King’s Yard Campaign

King's Yard: Belfast truss roofKing's Yard: Belfast truss roofThe ODA has gone back on the original proposal contained in the LDA’s first planning application and Olympic and Legacy Masterplans to retain the finest industrial buildings in the Olympic area at King’s Yard, Carpenter’s Road. The works, which were used for making sweets and lozenges, were erected between 1902 and 1912 and include two buildings with curved roofs on timber Belfast trusses. These are probably some of the few surviving early 20th Century industrial examples of this type of roof truss in England. Most extant 20th Century Belfast truss roofs are on WW1 aircraft hangers. English Heritage historians recommended the whole site should be listed but this was rejected by E H listing inspectors who advised the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which is responsible for organising the Olympics, not to list the works.

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Masterplanners quit over 'dumbing down' of design

Foreign Office Architects (FOA), the creative leader of the group designing the Olympic park, has quit the masterplanning team. The firm walked out on the consortium last week over what are understood to be fears that the design quality of the plan had been dumbed down.

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Olympic Games and Housing Rights

The Olympic Games have displaced more than two million people in the last 20 years, disproportionately affecting minorities such as the homeless, the poor, Roma and African-Americans, according to a new report,

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The New 'commercial' Logo

If we don't engage young people..then frankly the project is unsustainableIf we don't engage young people..then frankly the project is unsustainable

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London Assembly research on Olympic Impacts

The London Assembly commissioned research into the long-term benefits of hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The research, produced by London East Research Institute at the University of East London, examines the lasting impact of hosting the summer Games had on Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, measuring their achievements in nine key areas including employment, urban renewal, skills and sports participation.

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Cheap labour poses risks to construction jobs

The London Olympics is in danger of being tarnished by the use of cheap migrant labour said Jim Sheridan, Labour MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire North, as he moved a 10-Minute Rule Bill in Parliament on 13 June.

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Photography and security guards

Olympics 2012 organisers have been forced to spell out their policy for treating photographers at the east London construction site after an amateur claimed security guards tried to stop him taking pictures there. Dr Patrick Green told us two security guards tried to prevent him taking pictures at the northern end of the 2012 Olympic site on Sunday 10 June.

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The Day of the Sheriff - Clays Lane tenants threatened with eviction

The first threats to evict residents at Clays Lane were made on Wednesday 20th June 2007 by Gareth Blacker of the LDA in a Press briefing. Some tenants have not yet received any offers while some are trying to resolve disputes about offers that have been made. The deadline is now set for 27th July although no official date has yet been given to tenants who still have to be served a notice of entry by the LDA. Only two weeks' notice is required by law. The LDA has failed to keep to its own preparation timelines which dated back to the autumn of 2004. Newham Council refused to grant decant status to residents until August 2006 while it used us as bargaining counters to get increased nomination rights to Legacy housing from the LDA and other Olympic boroughs are slow to process forms or, if they are not one of the four Olympic boroughs, refuse to assist at all. All of the original promises from the LDA and the Mayor of London made to residents have been swept aside.

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Day of the Sheriff - Monday 23rd July

Monday 23rd July is the day the Sheriff will enforce the Notice of Entry against tenants at Clays Lane. In his letter to tenants, Andrew Gaskell of the LDA says ‘we are grateful for the cooperation we have received to date’. However, this cooperation did not lead to any consultation about the closure date or information as to why that date was so critical. Indeed, we understand it may be related to the building of a scaffold to take down the power lines which cross the estate. However, if this is the case then we have to ask why this is a problem for Clays Lane tenants when the Travellers will still be occupying their site and the cables cross their pitches. The power lines will not be live so tenants will not be in any danger.

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Shortfall of skilled workers likely

Britain is facing a huge skills shortage that could undermine the success of the Olympics. The country urgently needs thousands more electricians, plumbers and bricklayers if the games are to be ready on time. Even if it finds them, there are not enough qualified chefs, security staff or cleaners either.

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London construction inflation triples

Construction inflation in London is set to rise by three times the rate of consumer inflation over the next two years, says EC Harris.

The international consultancy's latest Economic Survey shows that building tender price inflation in London is forecast to run at 6.3% over the next year and by 6.5% the following year, some three times the expected rate of consumer price inflation.


A little local difficulty in Rio before the Pan American Games

Security forces and drug traffickers battled with guns and grenades in a Rio de Janeiro slum on Wednesday after more than 1,000 policemen backed by armored cars invaded the area in a show of force before the Pan American Games. About 450 soldiers occupied the main entrances to the area that groups more than 20 slums in the north of the city.

Gang members set up barricades and created oil slicks to slow down the police assault. The BBC's Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo says the police face a formidable opposition as many members of the drug gangs have high-calibre weapons. In a recent exchange of gunfire a man was killed at a petrol station up to 2km (1.2 miles) from where the shot was originally fired.

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£161m plus of Heritage Lottery Fund money being diverted from Museums

The House of Commons culture, media and sport committee expressed “deep concern” about raiding funds from the culture sector to be directed towards the games.

Extract from: ‘Caring for our collections’ , Report of House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, 7 6 07

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Our biggest local swimming pool is closing

“The Olympics will promote sport and healthy living in the capital,” it says the website of Waltham Forest borough council. “We can now look forward to seeing the area regenerate with the best sporting, leisure and cultural facilities the world has ever seen."

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The Greater London Authority's comments on the February Olympic Planning Application

The GLA has produced a 17 page statement of comments to the 'Olympic, Paralympic and Legacy Transformation Planning Applications' which application was published in February 2007. Since the GLA are an organisation which has the capacity to respond in a well informed way to this 10,000 page application it is informative to publish their comments here as a PDF attachment.


Tennis 'Masters Cup' moving to London

The men's international tennis circuit will end with a prestigious final in London from 2009 under a four-year contract announced on Wednesday. The Masters Cup, staged in Shanghai for the last two years, is being renamed the ATP World Tour Final and is being switched to London's O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome.

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Eastway Cyclists struggle with the ODA planners

Below is the press release from the official governing body of our sport... Reading between the long, wordy, lines, it seems that British Cycling are now realising what the Eastway Users' Group has been telling them all along; that the plans for the new velodrome didn't show good enough facilities for a road or a mountain bike circuit. And without the bulldozing of these circuits, there wouldn't be any Olympic Park at all...

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American Community 'Allotments' under pressure

On June 14, 2006, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Antidevelopment Protesters Are Arrested at Farm Site in Los Angeles.” Featuring the arrest of actress, Daryl Hannah, the article describes the eviction of 350 families, “mostly Latino squatters” from the 14-acre South Central Farm, the largest community garden in the country.

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Vancouver 2010’s on-again, off-again, relationship with social sustainability

Executive Summary of a report by David Eby,Pivot Legal Society and the Impact of the Olympics on Community Coalition, Prepared for the June 14 and 15, 2007 COHRE Expert Workshop on Protecting and Promoting Housing Rights in the Context of Mega Events.


Constructors 'self-employed' scam

A drive to cut Olympic construction costs is threatening to suck in large numbers of “bogus self-employed” migrant workers, leading to widespread tax avoidance and blocked work opportunities for local people, ministers have been warned.

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When Clays Lane Estate residents are relocated a community is destroyed

It was the statement, in the various bits of evidence produced to justify the Compulsory Purchase Order, that the ‘socio-economic impact would be negligible’(on the residents of Clays Lane) that should have set off alarm bells. It did with me, anyway, and with others engaging with the process of objecting to the Order.

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