London Evening Standard loves the future outlook of a wrecked Battersea Power Station

To start with, a few months ago the London Evening Standard proudly presented their collaboration with the owners of the Battersea Power Station on the ‘The Power 1000 – London’s most influential people 2013‘.

BPSeveningstandardpower1000_1

The endangered building was used as a backdrop for the party, no one seemed to be scared of the chimneys collapsing on them, even though the Standard had previously reported that they must be unsafe. The uncritical, back slapping love-in was topped with speeches from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Sarah Sands, Evening Standard Editor and Rob Tincknell,  Battersea Power Station chief executive.

And in the 13th November edition about ‘Battersea’s rebirth’ they enthusiastically trumpet the ‘creation of a completely new district where none existed before’.

Wandsworth Tory Leader Ravi Govindia claimed the area will “change faster and more dramatically than any other part of London”- perhaps but maybe not for the better.

As is their custom the owners of Battersea Power Station attempted to deflect the mounting criticism of their plans to demolish the chimneys by wheeling out their gimmicky use of the top of the chimneys, this time not for a single table restaurant, but a viewing platform.

A double page free puff for the Battersea Power Station project:

BPSeveningstandardFULL

Don’t expect the Evening Standard to be digging too deep, or indeed reporting at all, on the controversies surrounding the Power Station demolitions.

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Olympic promises- fingers crossed

Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium

In their bid for the games London Olympic officials promised to keep an athletics track in the stadium.

Now, during a meeting in Acapulco, British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt only “hoped” the Olympic stadium would retain a running track after the games- neatly side stepping the issue of empty promises by saying the decision was down to the mysterious “Olympic Park Legacy Company”.

Two Premier League football clubs, West Ham and Spurs, have made bids to move into the Olympic Stadium after 2012, but only West Ham’s bid includes keeping the running track.

Hunt made clear his determination to honour that promise telling AP . “Of course, we would love to see the provision of a truly world class athletics track….I think we’d all be disappointed if that didn’t happen.”

Fighting talk, might as well rip up the Spurs offer then.

If the London Olympic organisers keep none of their promises to Londoners  (on jobs, on housing, on costs)  will it be an Olympic record? Or does it happen where ever the five rings descend?

One way East Londoners could economically benefit from the games would be to put money with the bookies that the stadium will be home to Tottenham in 2013. I wonder what odds they are giving.

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British Olympic Association pretends Olympic budget is for regenerating East London

Olympic chiefs are having a luxurious beano in handily located Acapulco Mexico to hear progress reports on the preparations for London 2012. British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt was jubilant that the Con-Lib coalition  government had excluded the games from the recent drastic spending cuts.

Hunt told the audience that the Olympic budget of 9.28 billion pounds included “7.3 billion pounds for the regeneration of east London.”

“I think a two billion pound investment for staging the games feels about right and appropriate for what’s going to be a fantastic games.”

Why Acapulco? Well you have to travel a long way to find an audience who will believe that the London Olympic budget is being spent on anything other than the London Olympics. I dare Hunt to come here and tell East Londoners that nearly four fifths of the Olympic budget is being spent on them and only £2bn is going on the games.

Fancy a dip? Or getting your figures massaged? Or are you happy just lying on the beach?

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Spurs bid for Olympic 2012 stadium without track

Spurs challenge how much the Olympic Legacy Company really want an athletics track.

Spurs, in conjunction with entertainment giant AEG, made a shock move last week to take over the stadium after the 2012 London Olympics. But the club do not want a track running around the outside of the pitch, a clause which could seriously hinder their attempt to move into the venue. Or will it?

Timothy Leiweke , chief executive of the club, claimed the Olympic Legacy company would be likely not to accept their bid in light of these circumstances. “I think it is a crime if you sacrifice having a perfect football stadium for convincing yourself you are going to do a track and field event every 10 years,” Leiweke was quoted as saying in the London Evening Standard.

AEG Europe chief executive David Campbell believes the athletics track is not a deal breaker. He claimed that any expressions of interest in the stadium which would decide the venue’s future, did not oblige bidders to retain the running track.

Will the promised Olympic “legacy” of an athletics track trump the money on offer? Will West Ham United regret promising to keep the track in their bid if Spurs win? Will the famous West Ham atmosphere survive the dead space of the track or will it become another loss in the litany of negative Olympic impacts on East London?

For full article see here.

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