Olympic Legacy Is Just a Con

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Olympic Legacy Is Just a Con


LONDON 2012 was to be the Legacy Games. But with less than three years until the event opens, that promise is looking increasingly hollow.

New checks put in place by Boris Johnson at the London Development Agency, which was buying land at the Olympic site, brought to light [pounds sterling]160 million of debt that had been hidden during the time of the previous administration.

This money, for which the LDA had not budgeted, will have to be found from present funds, which means that there will be less to spend on the legacy projects Londoners were promised.

Help for small businesses in the recession, cultural projects and schemes linked to the Games will either have to be cut back or abandoned.

We were sold the Olympics on the basis that its legacy would result in real improvements in the lives of Londoners. The more I look into it, the more it looks as if Boris Johnson has inherited a smoke-and-mirrors con trick with hidden costs and overhyped benefits.

Andrew Boff, Olympic spokesman, London Assembly Conservative Group.

THE LDA has already delivered much to support Olympic legacy objectives and remains committed to the legacy in the future. For example, we continue to invest in projects such as High Street 2012 to the levels originally promised. We are also committed to providing skills and jobs schemes within the five Olympic boroughs and throughout London. …

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