evidence from London Borough of Newham (OLL
§ The scale of regeneration
in Newham as a whole is tremendous, and represents a one off opportunity to change
the prospects of East London and the life
chances of our residents.
§ We welcome the investment
that has come to the borough through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the
commitment from both the Government and the London Mayor to transform East London as a priority. London's bid for 2012 was unprecedented; the
first to focus on legacy as a central theme and the first to link legacy to
existing resident communities.
§ It will be hugely
disappointing if this aspiration were to be obscured by current financial
circumstances or through poor and complex planning processes. We have serious
concerns that the likelihood of legacy - the basis upon which the Olympic bid
was won - is diminishing, and that in the current economic climate we are in
danger of losing sight of the original vision: the transformation of East London through social and physical regeneration.
§ Previous experiences tell
us that legacy does not follow Olympic investment as an inevitable consequence.
Commitment to legacy requires incorporating it as a central tenet within all
Games planning, and within the "hearts and minds" of all agencies responsible
for delivering 2012.
§ The outcomes we aim to
achieve from the Games, ownership of delivery, and measurement of the success
of those outcomes, must be agreed by all parties as a matter of urgency. It is
imperative that there is an alignment of the local, regional and national
planning process and cross-institutional consensus on legacy objectives.
§ The host boroughs are in this
for the long-term: well after the athletes have left, we will be continuing the
attempt to harness the potential of the Games for local residents. There is a
compelling argument that the five host boroughs are best placed to shape the
delivery of legacy, and should be better empowered to do so.
1. Regeneration in Newham and "Convergence"
1.1 The scale of regeneration proposed in Newham is a tremendous opportunity,
but it is crucial that we shape it so that it benefits local residents. There
are numerous examples of major regeneration schemes which have failed to
deliver benefits to the communities immediately on their doorsteps. Regeneration
in Newham is not limited to the Olympics, despite its high profile. We also
have the development of Stratford City, the transformation of Canning Town,
Custom House and the regeneration of the Royal Docks. Growth areas within Newham have the potential to
provide over 30,000 new homes and 75,000 new jobs to meet London's
housing and employment needs. We
need to ensure that the Olympic development integrates with our planning for
these other projects in order to deliver a real and lasting legacy for the area
as a whole.
1.2 It is crucial to define what we mean by
"legacy", a term which is freely used in relation to 2012 but which requires
clarification of objectives and a clear delivery plan with timescales. For the
five host boroughs, legacy means achieving convergence; that is, closing the
gap between East London and the rest of the
capital in terms of quality of life for our residents within the next 20 years.
Yet different stakeholders have different perceptions and expectations of
legacy, and it is vital that we reach unified agreement on our long-term
1.3 In our view, a lasting legacy would mean
the creation of sustainable, mixed housing and communities, jobs for local
people - particularly significant for Newham given its high worklessness and
levels of long-term unemployment. It would mean a self sustaining and
prosperous East London, a better quality of
life for residents, and fair access to opportunities. The five host boroughs
have committed to achieving Convergence by 2030, through the Strategic
1.4 Yet this is not a purely local agenda. Our
vision is for East London to become a net economic contributor to the UK, creating
self-sufficiency for the area economically, and moving towards independence
from the redistributive system. This economic self-sufficiency will also have
knock-on benefits for our residents, tackling ingrained poverty in the area and
reducing benefits dependency. A 2012 legacy should have this objective at its
centre, and convergence should be embedded in all aspects of masterplanning.
1.5 We welcome the establishment of the new
Olympic Park Legacy Company as a significant step in the delivery of legacy and
the Games. The new master-planning process must dovetail neatly with the wider
masterplanning underway for Stratford and the
rest of East London - it is essential that all
agencies involved align investment in order to meet shared objectives.
1.6 To achieve convergence we need to harness
the Olympics as part of the wider regeneration taking place to ensure that
there is not a 'cliff edge' around the park. The vision for the parkland must
be integrated with the rest of the borough, both to maximise the legacy
potential of the Games and to ensure that residents feel included in what is
happening on their doorsteps.
2.1 Newham in particular suffers from the
'barrier' effect of the Lea
Valley. Although it is well connected by various modes of
public transport and by major roads, there is a strong perception that the
River Lea, together with major north-south Underground lines, the M11 Link Road (in
Tower Hamlets) and large areas of industrial land, make Newham inaccessible.
This is a problem that can only be addressed by forging more street connections
and encouraging high quality development and urban design along the Lea Valley.
Olympic Park development plays a key role here.
2.2 It will be crucial to secure the transport infrastructure package to
support both the delivery of the Games themselves, and legacy. This includes
Crossrail, Eurostar stopping at Stratford International, the DLR extension and
the Thames Gateway
Bridge - all of which will create
jobs, give people easy access in and out of the East End,
attract investment and encourage growth.
2.3 The area also requires finer grain connectivity. It is essential that
access to the Olympic Park is improved after the Games are over, that the
promised bridges are built and that the current series of fairly weak entry
routes are strengthened and genuinely connect the existing local communities to
the newly arriving communities that will take up residence as the Park
3.1 Newham has been working to support local
people to take advantage of jobs coming in through the Olympic and Paralympic
Games; with up-skilling and with intensive support linked directly to our
employer partners, who include John Lewis, Bovis Lend Lease and Westfield. Our employment service, Workplace, was developed to
ensure that local people benefited from regeneration in the area. We realised
that traditional targeted employment services based on single need were not
reaching key groups of residents, who had multiple and complex barriers to
it was set up in 2007, Workplace has helped over 2000 people into jobs.
3.2 Similarly, our Mayor's Employment Project
offers a personal guarantee
from our elected Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, that if you live in Newham you will
not be worse off in work than on benefits. The scheme is targeted at the
workless and long term unemployed (three years plus). So far no-one has been financially worse off in work, but
we have learnt that people need the intensive support offered by the project to
be able to negotiate a complex system and claim what they are owed in tax
credits. We would like to see the Olympic authorities show more commitment to
encouraging local people into the new jobs becoming available in the area.
3.3 We have undertaken much work connecting
local people up with existing jobs. The
new Stratford City
is a partnership between Newham and Westfield, the Learning and Skills Council
and the London Development Agency at the Stratford Renaissance Partnership
(SRP). It will train local people in retail, leisure and hospitality, ensuring
that they are in a position to benefit from the 10,000 new jobs planned at Stratford City. Our partnership with John Lewis
has resulted in a commitment that 250 of the new jobs in their Westfield
store will go to workless residents in Newham, and we have similar partnerships
with London City Airport
and Bovis Lend Lease on the Olympic site. Joining up our residents with
specific vacancies and with the economic development coming into the borough is
a priority for London Borough of Newham.
3.4 Anecdotally, however, we know that 2012 contractors
are starting to bring in existing personnel with them, owing to the increasing
impact of the recession. This cannot be allowed to continue. London Borough of
Newham has around 18,000 people of working age who have never had a job. It is
absolutely imperative that those people are supported into the new jobs being
created, and joined up with the economic opportunities which are flowing into
4. The role of local authorities
4.1 As evidenced by Newham's success in
getting local residents into jobs, the host borough local authorities are the
experts in understanding the needs of their communities. Yet the institutional
architecture for decision-making around 2012 is very complex and far from local.
There are further powers that could be devolved to local authorities in order
to ensure that they are able to manage the vast changes happening in the area
4.2 First, the repatriation of planning
powers to the boroughs for Thames Gateway Development Corporation area, from
the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Thames Gateway Development Corporation,
would have a significant impact. As
long term legacy guardians, the five host boroughs are keen to resume planning
powers and have a statutory joint committee already in place for this purpose.
4.3 The five host boroughs should also have
greater control over nominations for social housing. With the huge housing
development planned in the borough, we have concerns that a situation is being
created which encourages other local authorities in London to transfer social housing
responsibility to the East, rather than ensure the even distribution across the
capital of social housing responsibility. In Newham we are committed to
building more social and affordable housing and value it greatly. However, we also
face the challenges of supporting a uniformly poor population. In boroughs like Newham where there is a high
concentration of deprivation and poverty, any pan-London mobility scheme for
social housing nominations could have the adverse effect of intensifying
deprivation in East London, as more housing is
built in the area and more tenants of other boroughs are moved East to
alleviate pressure on supply.
4.4 We believe it is of the utmost importance that Newham, and other areas
of high deprivation and worklessness, should have social housing nominations
largely ring-fenced to existing local residents. This will enable us to shape
mixed communities by attracting new types of residents and tenures, without
increasing pressure to house more and more people who are often workless, on
very low incomes, or who present with high public service requirement. At the
very least, any pan-London mobility scheme should be premised on only allowing
people who are in work to move to Newham through a regional transfer. This
ensures that our existing residents benefit from the Olympic and Paralympic
4.5 The boroughs should have greater powers
over Olympic venues for community use after 2012. We have some detailed concerns about the legacy use of the venues and
the transition arrangements outlined below; particularly the extent to which
the venues and even the Park itself will be accessible immediately after the
Games. This is vitally important to the success of the Park and the place as a
whole. We know there will be lag time; for example, in retrofitting the
Athlete's village with facilities to make it habitable for longer term
residents. However, the perception that the Park will become another building
site in the months immediately after the Games endangers Legacy. There must be
some areas of the Park which are accessible and useable to the public
immediately after the closing ceremony, in order to encourage a sense of
continuity; and engender faith that something positive has been achieved.
4.6 Our overall ambition is that each of the
venues has a viable community legacy use. In all, this means facilities and a public realm that is designed and
fit for purpose for our residents, including:
§ Full borough
involvement in the review of the stadium in order to finally conclude on its
legacy form, involvement in the stadium legacy decisions, with support for 2018
bid and ultimately football use of the venue.
discussions to help develop commercial leisure and leisure water to make the
aquatics centre a more sustainable venue and more relevant to the local
§ Ensuring the 100
hectares of undeveloped land has vibrant, innovative interim uses.
§ Improving the quality of transformation of the parklands.
that ODA transformation budgets are clarified, and that the ODA is required to
deliver the quality of park and venues promised by the bid.
§ Accessibility -
physical access for all residents, but also the management of the facilities
being operated in an inclusive, welcoming manner that reflects the diversity
and needs of our community.
§ Commitment to venue
access, membership and pricing being consistent with local venues and forming
part of the local facility infrastructure.
§ Test events which
are accessible to the local community, and part of an integrated pre-Games
§ An events plan for
at least the first decade of legacy that reflects the opportunity to showcase East London, bring major sports and cultural events to
4.7 In Newham we believe that there is a compelling
rationale to create a new Royal Park for East London.
There are outstanding management issues with the parkland which this would
resolve, and it could also be used as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
celebrations in 2012. It would give East London a park to rival the other Royal
Parks in London, and provide a high quality visitor attraction for decades
after the athletes have departed, as well as recouping public investment in the
Games through section 106 and attracting new residents and enterprise to the
4.8 Imperative to a successful park after the
Games are the right management arrangements. The Royal Parks Agency is the only
viable management body to ensure an Olympic and Paralympic legacy from the
parklands, having consistently demonstrated
excellence in horticulture, ecology, sport and play, heritage, public art,
event management, education and community engagement. Between 2005 and 2008 all
eight Royal Parks secured Green Flag status and every Royal Park
enjoys customer satisfaction ratings of at least 85%. This would also increase
property values around the Park post-Games, securing a return on public
4.9 Only half a mile further south, on the
other side of Stratford High Street, the London Thames Gateway Development
Corporation is developing the 'Lea River Park',
a series of linked public green spaces along the River Lea from Three Mills
Green in the north to East India Dock Basin at the Thames.
An exciting opportunity therefore exists to combine the Olympic and Lea River
Parks into a single, coherent park system running from the A12 right down to
the Thames, comprising perhaps around 130
hectares in total once completed. A park of this scale would have a higher
profile, offer economies of scale in management and maintenance and allow
simpler, clearer engagement with local communities and other stakeholders.
4.10 The parklands need a vital 'big idea';
strategic vision which will ensure that it does not become a wasteland in the
immediate post-Games time, and that at least part of the park is open to residents,
so that people in Newham feel they have ownership over, and investment in, the
area. Key parts of the park will not be accessible under current plans. The
Olympic Park is a potent symbol of the Games, both to local residents, and in
the eyes of the watching international media and public. It is absolutely
essential that plans for the park are clear and that the parklands can excite
and inspire after 2012.
5. The Olympic
Park Legacy Company
5.1 We are very
supportive of the decision to create the Olympic Park Legacy Company and are
also keen to review the Legacy Masterplan Framework (LMF).
issues around the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are a key concern and the OPLC will be unable to deliver key elements of the
legacy vision without either further funding or significant re-profiling of
payments to the Lottery and the London Development Agency under the Memorandum
of Understanding. Despite the great expertise and talent present within the
leadership of the OPLC, and its commitment to creating a lasting legacy, it will
not be possible for the Company to capitalise on this great opportunity if it
is saddled with debt from the outset. We would urge that this be addressed as
soon as possible, to remove this obstacle to legacy planning.
on legacy objectives and inter-agency consensus on delivery plan, based around
Convergence and aligned with the Strategic Regeneration Framework.
necessary transport infrastructure; including Eurostar stopping at Stratford,
Crossrail, DLR extension and the Thames Gateway Bridge, as well as access to
Olympic Park itself.
economic development flowing into the area is joined up with local residents,
particularly in terms of jobs.
housing development is balanced and ring-fence social housing nominations to
planning powers from Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Olympic
Delivery Authority to the host boroughs.
control for host boroughs over venue use.
a Royal Park
for East London, managed by the Royal Parks
a robust financial base for the Olympic Park Legacy Company.