Fears raised over Redbridge’s readiness for the Olympics and its legacy
Fears have been raised that Redbridge may have “missed out” on the legacy benefits of the Olympics amid council cuts and the lack of 2012 funding.
In the week after a working group made a series of recommendations to cabinet members, and just 442 days to go until the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Stratford, fears have been raised over just how prepared the borough is for the big event.
Senior councillors now have up to a meeting on July 12 to make a decision on recommendations, leaving barely a year to implement the changes.
Cllr Wes Streeting (Lab, Chadwell) who sat on the working group that made the recommendations said: “Theres a risk that we may have missed out on some of the legacy benefits, for example we should be ramping up arts and culture and in Redbridge before the games but instead we have seen cuts.
“We were concerned with the way that the council has addressed this so far, so hopefully the cabinet will take up the recommendations in the report. It is really important that what should be a great occasion isn’t undermined by poor planning.”
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Redbridge councillors were the first in London to reject the offer of 100 tickets for local dignitaries when they discovered they would have to be paid for with public money.
Council leader Cllr Keith Prince said: “We have set up the corporate panel just for the Olympics, and the fact that it is cross-party and all-involving sums up my commitment to it.”
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“I am not sure that we have missed the boat and as a non-Olympic borough we have picked up very well.”
Although Redbridge will be substantially affected by the Games it was given no share of vital cash offered to host boroughs.
Cllr Prince added: “We should have got some Olympic money as we are going to be seriously affected by the Games.
“We do have grave concerns about dealing with traffic and infrastructure and that is something that the panel will look long and hard at.”
Elsewhere in the borough, the Redbridge Sports Centre, received �6.4million to develop an Olympic training facility for badminton and netball and Redbridge Cycling Centre, Forest Road, Hainault will host Olympic athletes training for the track cycling event.