Written evidence submitted by the London
Assembly's Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST)
This submission is designed to support the
Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee inquiry into the preparations
for securing a lasting legacy from the 2012 Games. The submission
summarises the findings of the EDCST Committee's work on assessing
progress made towards meeting the Mayor's five legacy commitments.
1. The London Assembly has a responsibility
to Londoners to monitor the preparations leading up to the 2012
Olympic and Paralympic Games (the Games) and the legacy that will
be left for the capital. In particular, the Assembly has a role
because of the Mayor's involvement as signatory to the Host City
Contract, because Londoners are paying a specific contribution
of £625 million through the Council Tax and GLA bodies are
involved in delivering related infrastructure and services.
2. The EDCST Committee is the London Assembly's lead
committee for monitoring and reporting on the London 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games. The Committee's work programme includes
specific projects that focus on the short-term preparations for
the Games, such as the ability of small businesses to compete
for Games-related procurement contracts, and longer term legacy
issues, such as sporting pathways for disabled youngsters and
the role of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.
3. The Committee places a particular focus on
the delivery of the Mayor's five legacy commitments, which mirror
the five national legacy commitments established in June 2008.
London's legacy commitments are to:
increase opportunities for Londoners
to become involved in sport;
ensure Londoners benefit from new jobs,
businesses and volunteering opportunities;
transform the heart of east London;
deliver a sustainable Games and developing
sustainable communities; and
showcase London as a diverse, creative
and welcoming city.
4. In July 2009, the EDCST Committee published
an initial assessment ("Towards a Lasting Legacy")
of the progress and likely outcome of the work being undertaken
by the main delivery partners to meet those five commitments.
In summary, our report
found that progress towards creating a lasting legacy for London
from the 2012 Games is mixed. In particular:
The achievement of transforming the industrial
land at the Olympic Park site has been breathtaking, but the Committee
has a number of concerns as to how the future viability of the
Park will be secured.
Significant efforts are being made to support
Londoners in securing access to skill and job opportunities arising
from the Games but the real benefits to local people are modest.
Innovative work on-site should deliver
an "environmentally sustainable Games" but much still
needs to be done on the ground to boost sports participation and
to prepare an effective tourism strategy for 2012.
5. The following paragraphs summarise the Committee's
initial findings in more detail. A response from the Mayor was
published in October.
Legacy commitment 1: To increase opportunities
for Londoners to become involved in sport
6. The Committee believes that while it will be "very
challenging" for London to deliver a lasting legacy in sports
participation, the Mayor has laid important early foundations
to meet the challenge. However, the Committee highlighted a number
of concerns including the lack of a fully articulated framework
and detailed comparative work showing how sports participation
can actually be increased by harnessing the marketing power of
hosting the Games. Creating venues will not, in and of itself,
be enough. The Committee recommended that the Mayor should be
prepared to look at the promotion of a "SportsOyster"
card which could give residents free or discounted access to a
variety of activities for them to try and develop as their interest
grows. The Committee also recommend further Mayoral actions to
help deliver on Lord Coe's promise that in delivering the 2012
Paralympic Games, London "would set new standards for services,
facilities and opportunities for people with a disability".
Legacy commitment 2: To ensure Londoners benefit
from new jobs, businesses and volunteering opportunities
7. The Committee welcomes the intensive effort that
the LDA and ODA are taking to develop the employment and skills
legacy for local residents from preparation work for hosting the
Games. The Committee congratulated the ODA on meeting its own
targets but questioned whether the targets are sufficiently challenging.
8. Evidence from previous Summer Games is that the
substantial gains in temporary employment will go into reverse
after the Games and that any permanent employment legacy is likely
to be modest. Post-Games evaluation studies in Sydney indicate
that around 2,500 permanent jobs were created by inward investment
and from company relocations. The next step is to build quickly
on the work of the ODA to develop a broader skills strategy that
will support service provision across the skill spectrum from
security jobs, to hospitality, waste management, event management
to media and IT-based employment. Such is the true potential for
the Games to generate a substantial boost in the employability
levels of local people.
9. Furthermore, the strategy then needs to link
into the development plans for Stratford City and the recently
announced proposals for new higher education facilities and the
"Green Enterprise District" that has been proposed in
the Mayor's draft London Plan.
10. The Committee welcomes the commitment to
a long-term goal of embedding relevant skills that could deliver
short-term jobs during Olympics in the local workforce and so
boost long-term career prospects. The challenge is acute, as unemployment
has increased in the five host boroughs by 48% between summer
2008 and summer 2009,
so the LDA and ODA's good work is likely to be undermined by the
broader UK recession.
Legacy commitment 3: To transform the heart of
11. There is much to welcome in the work of
the ODA and LDA in the transformation of the main Olympic Park
site. It has been a breathtaking feat of engineering and project
management. It has progressed ahead of schedule and despite pressures
of budget and timing the overall look of the park remains largely
unchanged from what was promised. The Committee welcomes the early
commitment of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which owns
20% of the Olympic Park, which have also agreed to take over responsibility
for the management and maintenance of the Olympic Park's Velo
12. However, in terms of taking the park's legacy
forward beyond 2012 there has been rather slow progress in the
establishment of the Legacy Delivery Company (now the Olympic
Park Legacy Company, OPLC)
that is tasked with providing the strategic leadership. The task
for the OPLC is significant; it will have neither planning powers
nor control of the land and will have to negotiate with the five
host boroughs and other stakeholders. The Committee has expressed
particular concerns that the body set up to manage the legacy
has no dedicated budget.
13. The Committee met with Baroness Ford and
Andrew Altman, the Chair and Chief Executive of the Olympic park
Legacy Company in October.
Discussion focused on how the OPLC will engage with local communities,
stimulate business interest and investment and ensure that a range
of sectors are able to "piggy-back" on the interest
generated by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The OPLC will need
to articulate a framework for how they will begin to facilitate
the creation of the "soft" legacy benefits of jobs and
environmental improvements from the "hard" legacy of
buildings and empty land.
14. The Committee has expressed concern over
previous legacy plans, including:
the lack of a clear articulation of the
links between the "hard" legacy of venues and buildings
and the "soft" economic and social regeneration targets;
the lack of legacy tenants; and
the lack of clear sequencing of housing
development and the community assets.
15. Despite the aspirations there is still no
identified tenant to take over the management and maintenance
of the stadium post-Games. The Assembly has consistently expressed
concern about the long-term future of the main stadium. For without
a credible anchor tenant to bring regular foot-fall into the park
there will be serious doubts as to the future financial viability
of the venue and hence attractiveness of the park site to business
investment. The iconic Chinese National Stadium, popularly known
as the "Bird's Nest", was the centrepiece of the Beijing
Games. However, it has no anchor tenant and has become dependent
upon the visits of Chinese and other tourists as a source of revenue.
It is highly unlikely the tourism market alone would generate
sufficient income for London's Olympic Stadium to be commercially
viable, without other significant sources of revenue.
Legacy commitment 4: To deliver a sustainable
Games and developing sustainable communities
16. There is much to welcome in the steps taken
so far to ensure environmental sustainability is embedded in designs
and procurement processes. The Committee welcome the recent publication
by London 2012 of its first sustainability guidelines for corporate
and public events. The document contains information on ten aspects
of events management, including choosing a venue, sourcing products
and services and energy consumption. However, concerns have been
raised that the carbon management strategy will come too late
to influence key decisions around venue design, energy management
and tourist strategy.
17. The London Assembly's Environment Committee produced
a report on the future for recycling "On The Go"
in May 2009.
The report makes the case for the Games to be zero-waste by drawing
on best practice currently being adopted at other event arenas
such as Earls Court. Making the Games zero-waste will act as a
catalyst for infrastructure investment to support recycling across
east London. With the government funding the construction of the
Athletes' Village in full, we believe it is important that the
Village is the first instalment of a zero carbon Lee Valley.
Legacy commitment 5: To showcase London as a diverse,
creative and welcoming city
18. The Committee welcomed the publication of
the draft Tourism Action Plan and the long-term vision that will
use the 2012 Games as a springboard to greater success in drawing
in tourists from across the globe. Many aspects of the plan, however,
were underdeveloped. Budgetary implications were lacking, as were
detailed milestones to success. The Committee was concerned that,
given the experience of other cities that planned long in advance
of actually staging the Games, London was missing the boat.
19. The London Tourism Action Plan 2009-2013 was
published in September 2009. In response the Committee wrote to
the London Development Agency to comment that the final version
of the plan had changed very little from the original draft. Furthermore
it addressed very few of the weaknesses the Committee highlighted
in its response to the draft plan.
20. The Committee continues to undertake a range
of work to monitor preparations for the Olympic legacy for London,
across a number of issues. We meet regularly with those responsible
for delivering the legacy, including recent meetings with the
Olympic Park Legacy Company, the Mayor's office, the host boroughs,
and with independent experts. We hope the findings from our work
will prove valuable to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
1 A full list of the London Assembly's work on the
preparations of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is
available at http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/scrutiny/2012/index.jsp Back
The full report can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/reports/culture/edcst-2012-legacy.pdf Back
The response from the Mayor is available at http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/edcst/2009/oct21/item13.pdf Back
The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London:
Consultation draft replacement plan, Greater London Authority,
October 2009. Back
Based on the number of Jobseekers' Allowance claimants. Office
for National Statistics, August 2009. Back
The EDCST committee launched its inquiry into the governance of
the Olympic Park on 21 October. Back
The transcript for the Committee's meeting on 21 October with
Baroness Ford and Andrew Altman is available at
The Committee's response is available at http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/reports/culture/edcst-tourism-action-plan.pdf Back