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Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Olympics update
Various Olympic-related news came out last week. The whole Stratford City debacle is finally sorted out with Westfield agreeing to buy everyone else out. Huge sighs of relief all round. Then the ODA announced its plans and timescale for the new sailing facilities in Weymouth leading up to a planning application next spring. It's going to be 'world class', surprise surprise...

But in the main news David Higgins got up in front of the London Assembly for a major update. Among many other things, he also refused to say that costs wouldn't rise, and appeared to renege on a previous pledge to pay all workers on the site a 'living wage'. Meanwhile, Alan Johnson announced £20m for training women in construction skills prior to 2012 - so they can all add to the huge number of badly-paid women, then! Hooray. Other regeneration commitments appeared to be dropped through the new planning application, it was reported, and the proportion of affordable housing may fall due to using Stratford City to provide a third of the Olympic housing. Already the vision starts to crack.

Higgins also set out the next ten milestones for delivery which include announcing the ODA's programme timetable, publication of the procurement strategy for stakeholder consultation and the appointment of a full ODA executive team by July. In August they hope to appoint the Delivery Partner, the programme manager for the Olympic Park construction and infrastructure work as well as starting the stadium procurement process some time this summer.

They will publish the Olympic Transport Plan for consultation in September; progress on the procurement of the Aquatics Centre later this year; and, following the publication of the new masterplan, the submission of a new planning application for the Olympic Park site in January next year.

I feel like they are weirdy both behind and cantering along at full pace. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it all!


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