Colin Grainger

Real Olympics Legacy ignored in Government’s rush to claim credit says Sir Robin Wales

Olympic Stadium decision

The real legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been ignored by ministers in their rush to claim credit for their achievements.

That is the response from Mayor of Newham and former member of the LOCOG board, Sir Robin Wales, in response to a ‘flawed’ central Government report.

He said that Newham’s achievements since the Games were ignored by the UK Trade and Investment department (UKTI) despite it playing a pivotal role from the very beginning with the bid to host the Games.

Said Sir Robin: “Since London won the bid, Newham has been working to create a lasting legacy from the Games for our residents – getting people into work is our number one priority. The borough is on the way to achieving its target of £22bn of investment by 2025.”

He said that among the many landmarks achieved in Newham during the last 12 months is the £1 billion agreement recently signed with ABP which will transform the historic Royal Albert Dock into a business district.  It is one of the area of the borough that locals say was blighted far too early and left in a run down condition under the old London Docklands Development Corporation. Some businesses that were forced to move out could have stayed in business for 20 or more years. Now at last action is being seen there.
Other achievements include the creation of thousands of jobs for residents and further regeneration of one of the poorest boroughs in London.

Sir Robin said: “The Government is guilty of financial doping by pumping this UKTI report full of steroids. It is a cynical attempt to demonstrate an instant legacy benefit over and above the cost of the London Games and to claim the credit for it.

“Those of us who are actually involved in delivering the Games promise of regenerating the East End of London can see the legacy benefits, both economic and social, all around us. This has taken decades of planning and investment across national, London and local government to deliver essential foundations such as transport infrastructure.

“The economic benefit of the Games is a result of significant investment in high quality infrastructure of the type this government denies will boost our faltering economy. These false claims of an inflated, instant legacy benefit are a new personal best in spin for this government which does not reflect reality.”

 Pictured: Sir Robin at the stadium with London Mayor Boris Johnson and West Ham’s Karren Brady, David Sullivan and David Gold.

Picture: Newham Recorder/ Steve Poston

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