Damian Hockney, leader of the One London Party, has promised to press the heads of the Olympic Delivery Authority on how the local people of East London will benefit from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Speaking ahead of the London Assembly’s Olympic Plenary meeting tomorrow Mr Hockney said, “We are constantly told that there will be massive benefits arising from the 2012 Games, but when we try to find out what they will be, nobody seems to know. Take jobs. No recent host city – whether Athens or Sydney or Barcelona – has experienced a drop in unemployment as a result of hosting the Games. We will be asking local borough representatives and the ODA how many permanent, full-time jobs for local residents they expect to be created – not burger flipping jobs that last three weeks, and not construction jobs for East European builders. These boroughs have some of the highest unemployment rates in Britain.
“All we do know for certain is that thousands of jobs could be lost in the area through closures caused by the demolition of existing business premises on the Olympic site, some of which cannot relocate. And that the imposition of EU rules on procurement have an impact on how many local people wil be able to find work on the Olympics even during the construction process itself.”
“Our other concern is the level of community usage for the Olympic venues after the Games are over. It’s no good building stadiums if they’re going to lie unused after 2012 and starve other facilities of money. Already swimming pools in the area are closing due to lack of funding. Lord Coe promised us that we would see an “immediate” increase in young people taking up sports as a result of London winning the bid – we’d like to see some evidence of that as well.”