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Clays Lane

Left Standing at Stratford, BBC cuts evictees from ‘Olympic Dreams’ documentary

The BBC documentary, ‘Last Stand at Stratford’, part of the series ‘Building the Olympic Dream’, shown on BBC 2 on Wednesday 11th March was to have featured those being evicted to make way for the 2012 Olympics over three programmes. However, BBC chiefs decided to cut their participation to one programme. Consequently the Travellers, who were filmed for almost two years, were left out altogether. A number of residents at Clays Lane were included in the filming but in the event I was the only resident featured. Lance Forman of Forman’s Salmon Smokery ended up representing the businesses while the Manor Gardens Allotment holders survived as the only community on show.


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Inclusive Censorship: Art on the Underground TriFLes with our lives

There’s nothing new in patrons of the Arts censoring the work of artists they employ. Transport for London is no exception. During the summer TfL commissioned two community arts projects through its cultural arm, Art on the Underground. In keeping with current platitudes Tamsin Dillon, Head of AotU, pronounced ‘From the beginning, Art on the Underground was certain that the artwork produced for this station should involve the individuals and groups who live in, work in and visit Stratford. Central to the lives of so many people in the area, the station should embody something about the community that use it.’ The projects would have ‘the Olympic agendas of inclusion and celebration at their heart.’


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‘A prime opportunity for the property industry.’

This article has been slightly amended see sections [ ]

Recent reports in the Press (see attachment) reveal that businesses evicted to make way for the Olympics are still having to battle with the LDA over compensation. Looking back in time to reports published by the media can provide an interesting insight into the attitudes of the Olympic team (and how the media approached the project) and the difference between the rhetoric and the reality of the programme. One such report was contained in the Property Week Newsletter of 05.12.03 (see attachment) which included some particularly chilling assertions for the residents at Clays Lane.


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Perjured evidence before a House of Commons Select Committee.

It is said History is written by the winners. Committees from both the House of Commons and the Greater London Assembly Committees have held hearings into the Olympics. Apparently subjects are chosen on the basis of who makes the most noise. Amongst the topics discussed by the relevant House of Commons Select Committee has been the relocation of communities, be they residents, allotment holders, businesses or users, from the Olympic Park. The rule of subject choice also seems to apply when it comes to dishing out invitations to give ‘evidence’. Most people are left out of the magic circle and are unaware the opportunity might even exist. Not so those who run these programmes. They get to give their version of events as they either they get asked along or are warned the committee will be meeting and ask to go. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to either set of committees to track down those who were actually moved to ask them how they felt about their eviction and how it was handled.


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Contaminated Dust at the Eastway, the HSE responds and the ODA upgrades its monitoring

Further to my earlier article about contamination at the former Eastway cycle track the HSE responded after nine weeks (see email below). I remain astonished that it took nine weeks for the HSE to be able to summarise the monitoring being undertaken at the Eastway site. I would have thought the information would be readily to hand but apparently not.


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A peer gets confused about Clays Lane.

The website ‘They work for you’, referring to the various members of Parliament, Lords and Commons, contains some interesting interventions. Among the peers are the party apparatchiks who have been promoted to fill the benches on account of their ‘soundness’. One such is Lord Haworth, a former Secretary to the Parliamentary Labour Party, who made an eccentric contribution to the House of Lords debate on 17th January 2008 concerning the regeneration of the Lea Valley (see his attached speech). He states that his ‘only qualification’ for speaking is that he lived for more than 20 years in the Lower Lea Valley, which suggests that an awful lot of people are better qualified than he to speak on the subject.


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Legacy Launch..... Wherefore art thou community?

Dear Diary

Went to the Legacy Launch at Stratford Circus on 29th February. Felt a bit out of place as the room was full of besuited people, known as stakeholders. The meeting was addressed by the Mayor of Newham, Mr Armitt of the ODA, Mr Russell from the LDA, Mr Prior, the masterplanner, Kees Christiaanse from Rotterdam, Ade Ayepitan, paralympic athlete and a journalist who was chairing, whose name escapes me.


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