Mayor's report (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 17, 2004
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I wanted to warmly support your comments about the Olympic bid, but I was going to suggest three further areas where we might make even greater progress in emphasising Londoners' and other people's support for the bid. The first is last week we signed a protocol with an organisation known as TELCO (The East London Community Organisation), which I think is ground-breaking. It talks about the ways in which local people will benefit from the Olympic Games in the area, through employment, training opportunity, and housing that is built on those sites.

The second area is I know that there is strong support and growing support in the country for the Olympics, but I think it is worth us emphasising to the rest of the UK how, in the longer term, they will benefit from this, because there is some scepticism out there. It is worth totalling up, using prior examples - for example of Canary Wharf. Canary Wharf happened in East London, but the benefits for it flowed across the whole country in terms of earnings, in terms of employment for the London south-east region, so massive spin-offs in the long term for the much wider area.

The third area, arguably a more trivial one, but I think it is as important, is that Kensington and Chelsea Council have actually been quite good at distributing literature against your extension of the Congestion Charge, so now there are a lot of cars in that area with stickers saying 'Say No to the C' or whatever it is - 'No C in K&C.' (Well, I think we should get rid of the whole of 'K&C,' actually, but 'no C in K&C' is a start on that.)

In the same way, it would be very helpful, I think, if there were a far greater preponderance of Londoners advertising their support for the Olympics on their cars, if we were to use bodies like the Evening Standard to distribute material, if they were happy to do that. I believe that they claim, on occasion, to speak up for London. I am wondering whether you might be able to take away ideas like that which will help to demonstrate Londoners' great solidity of support for this proposal.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Mayor's report (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Mayor's report (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I think now that London 2012 have appointed the Matthew Freud agency (Freud Communications), we will see a much more dramatic ramping up in engaging the community. I think a lot of people have done a lot of fine work to bring TELCO, the east London community and faith organisations and trade unions on board. There were a lot of people who had doubts.

We could easily have ended up in the situation New York is in, where there was massive public campaign against having the Olympics because it involves huge demolition, and local people are opposed to that. That will count very badly against them when the IOC visit. We will be able to demonstrate local people signed up and supporting this. I am very optimistic. I think that that level of public support and commitment is going to be decisive in actually winning us the vote.