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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.

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The 'real' costs of regeneration

A new budget is being negotiated for the 2012 Olympics to include extensive regeneration work in east London. The original funding package is expected to be substantially increased, possibly by £2bn, to take account of work needed to prepare the site for 40,000 new homes after the games, David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said yesterday.

He told the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, that the creation of the new homes and 60,000 jobs in the Lower Lea Valley had not been planned at the time of the bid. "It seems crazy to complete the games and then in 2013 fit out the entire site," he said. The ODA wanted to use the games as a catalyst for the regeneration of some of London's most deprived boroughs.

A new budget will be submitted to the DCMS, which will in turn have to agree it with the Treasury. The existing funding package is £2.375bn to build the Olympic village and venues, plus an additional £1.044bn set aside for infrastructure work.

Higgins said: "We do not want to take a lot of short cuts and do a lot of superficial regeneration of the valley. The responsible thing to do is to look at what all government departments intend to spend in the Thames Gateway in the next five years. We need to co-ordinate the expenditure." It is thought that could push the Olympic project's total price tag up by between £1.5 to £2bn.

He would not be drawn on the likely additional costs of security for the games. He said London 2012 would take responsibility for in-venue security, but the police and Home Office were responsible for the broader budget outside.

From: London Games set for £2bn budget increase for new homes, Andrew Culf, October 25 10 06, The Guardian

More at: Joined-up costing

See also: Costs rising

Tessa's version

The cabinet was given an upbeat assessment of London's preparations for the 2012 Olympics yesterday by Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, who said it was substantially ahead of other host cities at this stage of the process.

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Suburban pensioners protest levy

PENSIONERS are gearing up for a showdown with Bexley Council over the Olympic levy on London's council taxpayers. The pensioners are angry Mr Livingstone did not consult Londoners before announcing the levy and Londoners will also have to underwrite any debt from the Olympic Games.

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West Ham stadium games

The sports minister, Richard Caborn said: "There is a very serious negotiation going on between West Ham and the Olympic authorities about the stadium. Talks are going on about whether they could do something similar to Manchester City when they took over the Commonwealth Games stadium in 2002."

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Problems of mixed use development

Mixed-use schemes are seen by many policymakers as a panacea for a variety of problems. To some, mixed use is the solution to the problem of current inadequate housing supply; to others it is a means of delivering sustainable development and sustainable communities.


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Olympic gains, local losses

DEVELOPERS and residents close to Olympic Park may have to pay increased ground rent or service charges should the facilities for the London Games need cash for their upkeep after 2012.


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Olympic Airways Fines

The Commission has today adopted a decision requesting the European Court of Justice to impose a lump sum penalty and a periodic penalty on Greece for its failure to implement its 2002 decision in relation to the recovery of a State aid estimated at least €160 million granted by Greece to Olympic Airways between 1998 and 2002.


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Cost sinks an olympic dream

There are choppy waters ahead for swimmers in Oxford after it was revealed there is no cash to build an Olympic-size pool for the city.

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