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.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Wed, 16/05/2012 - 19:49.
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.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Sun, 13/05/2012 - 10:54.
by Steve Rushton
Sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics profit from peoples’ deaths and destroying the planet, whilst creating a vastly unequal economic system; this smears the Olympic ethos of people coming together to celebrate sporting excellence. Desecrating the games integrity will be advertisements from companies that profit directly from and cause peoples’ death, not least BP, Dow and Rio Tinto. Nevertheless, David Cameron has come out in support of DOW’s sponsorship.[i] More broadly, it has been argued that elites within the system are attempting to suppress peoples’ rights to express their discontent against injustices in Britain and abroad.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Fri, 13/04/2012 - 13:33.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Wed, 11/04/2012 - 13:11.
Statement by the Save Leyton Marsh group published on Indymedia. This is accompanied on Indymedia by a statement of support for the campaign from two Leabridge Ward Hackney Councillors, Ian Rathbone and Deniz Oguzkanli, detailing the failures of the ODA to communicate with them and the people living around Leyton Marsh. The behaviour of the ODA is reminiscent of its treatment of the residents of Leabank Square.
The ODA claim they have "no option" but to take legal action against this peaceful protest in order to fulfil their obligations "to provide practice facilities for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes". This is fundamentally untrue. Eleven questions were put to them in December by a number of local councillors and still remain unanswered, including why the ODA chose not to utilize one of several alternative sites that would not require destroying this much loved green space.
Kelmscott Leisure Centre is less than 10 minutes from Leyton Marsh with recently refurbished basketball courts suitable for disabled athletes, it will be shut for the duration of the Games. Walthamstow dog track is a disused brownfield site within 30 minutes of the Olympic park - specified as a requirement for the training facility. These both appear to be reasonable alternatives, but whether these sites were even considered has not been forthcoming despite requests for the selection process to be made available to the public.
Since planning permission was granted for these two huge 11m high 3 storey structure on Metropolitan Open Land, the ODA have refused to engage with local people and their very serious concerns relating not just to loss of green space but alarming health and safety irregularities arising from the construction. From the very beginning, local campaigners pointed out to the authorities concerned that Leyton Marsh was used for landfill and was known to contain unexploded bombs from WWII. Unsurprisingly work had to be halted during the first week of excavations when a bomb was discovered, workers were evacuated but not the surrounding area.
The ODA's own injunction mentions the discovery of asbestos on site, which is highly hazardous to health. Three of the five samples taken from the site survey prior to work commencing had such high concentrations of lead that they constituted 'hazardous waste', it is therefore extremely troubling that the planning application sought to avoid an Environmental Impact Assessment by claiming that only 15 cm of topsoil would be removed. Ian Ansell from Waltham Forest planning department has confirmed that the ODA have already excavated to at least 50cm in breach of their planning permission. Mounds of exposed soil several metres high containing significant concentrations of rubble are piled all around the site.
Whilst Lea Valley Park Authority claim that they are concerned with unlawful use of their land and are "keen to safeguard Leyton Marsh", they saw fit to let the majority of Leyton Marsh for a huge construction project requiring significant concrete foundations, in the process destroying a habitat that has taken years to establish itself and in no way can be restored to its previous condition in October as claimed.
Why have the ODA and WFC failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment when excavating several feet deep into the marsh? Why have the ODA and WFC not published the restoration plan that was part of planning conditions? Why are the ODA and WFC committed to destroying protected public land when viable alternatives which provide legacy and regeneration benefits exist? These are the questions to which local residents and councillors want satisfactory answers.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 05/04/2012 - 01:40.
The New York Times published this piece, 'The Games Hurt London', as a contribution to its Room for Debate on the Olympics. For other contributions to the debate go to Are The Olympics More Trouble Than They Are Worth?
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 03/04/2012 - 23:28.
Oh dear. Olympics, LSCA, Conditional Grants? What does it all mean? http://leabanksquare.blogspot.co.uk
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Thu, 29/03/2012 - 00:06.
The Vancouver Poverty Olympics torch finally made it to a mega event in Britain with its first stop in Glasgow. The mainstream media, true to form, failed to show up to record the event. But GamesMonitor2014 were there to report despite their absence:
'Something did happen today in the East End and GamesMonitor2014 were there to record it The Jaconelli family, Save the Accord Campaigners, the Glasgow Anti-Eviction Alliance and the Scottish Tenants Organisation all marched in solidarity with supporters over the decimation of community in Dalmarnock.'
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 16/03/2012 - 00:25.
A short news item on the mystery of the Leyton Marshes invasion
Submitted by Charles Batsworth on Wed, 14/03/2012 - 14:58.
Did any of the planning documents mention a missile base?
concludes @blackheathbugle, perhaps in faux naïveté?
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Wed, 14/03/2012 - 11:02.