Friday, 2 December 2011

Where are the men of vision?
When Lord Coe led the bid  by London to host the 2012 Olympics one of the elements which swayed the vote away from the rival bid from Paris was the plans by the Olympic Park legacy Company to morph the world-class facilities into local resources. Despite no Olympics since Los Angeles in 1984 having made a profit, the IOC believed them.
We are now less than one year from the 2012 Olympics, the budget of £2.4bn is now nearly £10bn and OPLC have not even been able to find a satisfactory customer for the main stadium - the most marketable property on the site.
Six months ago the Wellcome Trust made an offer of £1bn for the whole site - lock stock and barrel.  They have a 20 year plan to create a Global Hub  for research and innovation in the areas of health and sports science creating 7000 jobs with close liaison with Loughbrough University and UCL. But they want it all - good bits and bad bits.  The OPLC seem to think that because the houses will be attractive to builders that the whole site is equally attractive.  They have already disproved that premise. And why should we listen to the Wellcome Trust?  One good reason, in the current parlous state of our economy is this:  The Wellcome Trust is the only organisation in the country, outside our government, which has the AAA credit rating.  It is more financially sound than Greece, Italy and Eire put together.  They must have been doing something right over the last 75 years!
Why must people in public office be allowed to make short-term decisions regardless of the long term future of the country? When the swimming pool was being designed the local authority offered to buy it after the Olympics for the local community but they would need it to be easily adaptable to leisure use like the addition of flumes.  Their wishes were ignored and it will not be viable for local  use. If you are wondering why the Olympic housing stock will need the involvement of builders to sell it is because the units built for athletes do not have kitchens and all the other facilities expected by normal people.

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