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Legacy

Contamination and Controversy in the Olympic Park

© Mike Wells, 0 77 99 152 888, mikejwells@yahoo.com

Synopsis

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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Further Olympic funding will deprive the arts

Arts Council England chief executive Peter Hewitt has warned that the government’s decision to divert more Lottery funding towards the 2012 Olympics will deprive arts organisations across the country.


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Olympic panel

EXPERTS are being urged to apply for membership of a new, independent panel aimed at ensuring the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Specialists with experience of a major construction project or public event, and with social, environmental, and economic backgrounds are needed to form the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012.


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Sport as catalyst. A critique of Olympic economic development strategy

The LDA estimate that in the 'red line area' alone, somewhere between 11,000 and 12,000 jobs could be created (private conversation). Later projections are as high as 35,000 (E. Goodwyn and K Munn, October 11, 2006). However, it is clear that social actions and relationships, development plans and economic strategies, have all been defined by a discourse of uneven development, that of poverty in the Lower Lea Valley and Olympic boroughs (a continuing product).


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Rising Olympic Costs

The emerging debacle of the escalating costs of the Games are providing the most disingenuous twists of logic and language. Ken Livingstone now states that the rising costs are not associated with the Games but with the ‘Legacy’, as if it were a leech that had insinuated itself into the proceedings. ‘Legacy’, we were told when the bid was successful, was one of the reasons which helped win. ‘Legacy’ was all about regeneration of an area typified as a black hole, despite it housing over 250 businesses, housing low-wage families and individuals and having a significant urban wildlife associated with the waterways and derelict land.


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Legacy, infrastructure overload

Stadia

Maintenance costs for redundant stadia are significant. Kevin Blowe (2005) extrapolates:

In Sydney, underused venues are costing taxpayers A$46m (£18m) a year to keep afloat and will lose money for at least another decade. The Super Dome, where the closing ceremony was held, recently went into receivership. Six months after the Athens Games, the Greeks face a £6.25bn debt and £60m a year for the upkeep of its unused facilities.
Radical Activist Network newsletter, Spring 2005 www.radicalactivist.net


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