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US Paralympic swimmers to use London Fields Lido

Earlier reports of the closure of the London Fields Lido seem to have been exaggerated. According to Hackney an agreement was signed to allow the American Paralympic swimming team to use the pool 'for a few hours a day'. The website says the deal will mean 'local people can look forward to seeing Paralympic swimmers train and children of all abilities will receive coaching from top international athletes' and Hackney will receive various pieces of 'Olympic and Paralympic memorabilia' for its London 2012 archive.


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drop in, tune out

Anyone whose experience of ODA 'drop-in' style consultations has been one of bitter frustration and disappointment might enjoy letting this 2-hour recording play in the background.


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Forthcoming Social Cleansing in London

Anticipating the effect of the Coalition’s Local Housing Allowance reforms

The Government paid out £8bn in Housing Benefit in England in 2009/10, of which £1.5bn was spent in London. In an attempt to reduce this, a number of changes are being introduced to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), which sets the maximum amount of rent that can be met from Housing Benefit. From 2011 LHA is being reduced from the median level of local rents to the 30th percentile and an absolute limit is being imposed on the allowance. From 2013, LHA will be increased in line with consumer price inflation (CPI) not with rents themselves. Cumulative CPI inflation between 1997/8 and 2007/8, for England, was 20%, compared with 70% for rents.


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Jonathan Stephens has got form

Jonathan Stephens, the permanent secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), told a select committee that he would neither confirm nor deny his alleged role in allowing Adam Smith, Hunt's special adviser, to speak to James Murdoch's office. Later, the DCMS issued a statement saying Stephens was "content" with Smith's role.


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Public expenditure for private profit

This video arrives via Paul Norman's Olympic blog. On September 28 2011 he chaired a debate at the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation's annual meeting. He says:


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The Tower of Piffle

Boris Johnson’s ‘Tower of Piffle” is one of the names invented by journalists for what is properly called the ArcelorMittal Orbit. It is being erected close to the Olympic stadium in east London. ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producing company in the world. Its chairman and CEO is Lakshmi Mittal.

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A chance encounter

The following is taken from; In the wake of ArcelorMittal: The global steel giant’s local impacts


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Public Accounts Committee report Feb 2012

Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games Feb 2012 report


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