The London Assembly review of the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s role
Redevelopment of the Olympic site risks marginalising some of Britain’s most deprived communities unless Olympics chiefs focus on opportunities for local people, warns the Assembly.
This Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee report assesses the challenges facing the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), the organisation due to take ownership of the Stratford site after the Games and responsible for delivering the promised improvements in housing, skills and sporting opportunities. The Games will deliver a new urban park, state-of-the-art sports facilities, thousands of new homes and numerous transport improvements, but the report expresses concern that much of it may not benefit local people. Instead the majority of the opportunities may go to wealthy outsiders taking over the Stratford site. Key findings of the report include:
- Ambitious targets should be set for employing local people on the park after 2012. Currently only 4% of the construction workforce is made up of previously unemployed people from the local area.
- Thousands of new homes will be built on the park - these must be suitable for, and available to, local people not just wealthy people moving onto the park
- East London has lower levels of physical activity - the state-of-the-art sports facilities in the park must be made available for community use.
The report concludes that the OPLC needs to focus on skills, employment, sports participation and housing to provide long-term benefits to the local community. It also notes that the OPLC’s narrow remit makes it hard to directly deliver significant socio-economic benefits. Instead, it must work with the Mayor, central government and local authorities to achieve the ambitious legacy envisaged in the original bid.