London 2012 Is Just the Job ; with the Games Drawing Nearer, Authorities Are Working towards Benefiting Local Residents and Businesses, Says Sarah Richardson
Richardson, Sarah, The Evening Standard (London, England)
WHILE Tower Hamlets may have failed to persuade the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) to stick to its original plans and keep the Olympic marathon running through the East End, it has negotiated an agreement to maximise the benefits of the London 2012 Games for the borough's residents and businesses. In return for dropping its judicial review against Locog, it has struck a deal agreeing four key areas where they will work together including employment, business, education and culture.
Plans include working together to identify up to 1,000 vacancies that Tower Hamlets' residents will be given access to 72 hours before they enter the wider employment market. There will also be work to ensure many opportunities for children and young people in Tower Hamlets schools, from being involved in test events and ceremonies rehearsals, to accessing tickets for the Games through the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme.
Brick Lane and Banglatown will be promoted as a cultural and entertainment hub for media, spectators and other visitors to the Games, helping to boost business and the reputation of the area. Locog has also confirmed plans to work with Tower Hamlets to develop a special event to mark the London arrival of the Olympic torch relay.
Seb Coe, Locog chair, and Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets, made the announcement at St Paul's Way Trust School in Bow.
"I'm proud to be working with this host borough in these four key areas so the borough can benefit from the staging of the greatest show on earth right on its doorstep," says Coe.
"Signing this agreement at St Paul's Way Trust School I see tremendous excitement among the young people for the Games. They are engaging daily with the project through the London 2012 resources the school is using across the curriculum from our Get Set programme. It is our vision to use the enthusiasm we see in these young people to make lasting change."
Rahman says: "We're 100 per cent behind London 2012, and want to make sure that our residents gain the maximum benefit from the Games. They will have to put up with a lot of the disruption that comes with hosting the biggest sporting event on earth, so it's only fair they get to share in the experience and reap the rewards."
The four other host boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Greenwich and Waltham Forest are also working hard to ensure that the promised legacy of investment and regeneration in their boroughs has a transforming effect.
In Hackney, for example, which is home to almost one third of the Games area, the council is working to provide significant lasting benefits including better public transport; jobs for local people; work for local businesses; new and improved sports facilities and a better environment and more participation in sport, culture and the arts. It also wants to promote the borough as a destination for work, living and investment.
Hackney Museum's Mapping the Change project will record the changes that will take place in Hackney as it builds towards, and then hosts, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hackney's Schools at the Heart programme has been developed by the Learning Trust and the London borough of Hackney to work with local schools using the Olympics and Paralympics as a tool to enhance schools' work. …