30 March 2012

My Olympic legacy manifesto

By Boris Johnson"Value from the Olympics" - Boris Johnson's Olympics Manifesto

Today I'm launching my Olympics manifesto and I wanted you to be one of the first to read it.

This year the capital will experience a summer like no other.

London will become the first city in history to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games three times. It is also the first host city in history to finish building the Olympic stadium a year early – not just ahead of time, but under budget.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are about far more than just six weeks of amazing sport. I have worked to ensure they will lead to lasting economic, social and sporting benefits for London. I have ensured that these are the first Games where a host city has been building in the legacy from the beginning.

However, seven years ago we may have won the Games, but there was a real risk the opportunity they present would be squandered. Costs had quadrupled. There was no legacy plan. Taxpayers’ money was being wasted on unnecessary venues which would have become white elephants, while great venues across the capital were being under-utilised or ignored.

I have worked with the Olympic authorities to turn this around. I have co-chaired the Olympic Board, overseeing the entire project. I promised to keep costs low, and the Games will not cost London council taxpayers a penny more than pledged. I scrapped unnecessary new venues and used existing venues across the capital, saving tens of millions of pounds and ensuring all parts of London feel part of the Games. I put in place a credible legacy plan, creating thousands of jobs, ensuring a major economic boost to the capital.

I will go further:

  • I will guarantee that the Olympic Legacy does not cost Londoners a penny more on their council tax.
  • I will also ensure absolute transparency as the legacy plans transfer to the Mayor, requiring all expenditure to be published so Londoners know how money is being spent.
  • I will make sure that after the closing ceremony all Londoners continue to benefit from the hard work and investment of the last four years. That is why, using new powers secured from the Government, I have set up a new Mayoral Development Corporation to take responsibility for the Olympic Park. This will reduce the number of bodies involved, bringing focus and safeguarding the economic legacy of the Games by implementing our detailed plans to build 11,000 new homes and create 10,000 new jobs.
  • I will use my good strong relations with the businesses community to make use the Games venues with strong interest in taking on some of the venues, including the Olympic Stadium.
  • And I will explore creating a new science institute in the Olympic Park, to boost London’s hi-tech economy, including lobbying for the proposed Cell Therapy Technology and Innovation Centre to be located there.

We have made progress despite difficult times. At the Mayoral election on 3rd May this progress is at risk. The choice at this election is between a plan to ensure a true Olympic legacy that keeps costs low and putting the legacy at risk by cutting investment and damaging the city's international reputation.

Categories: Campaign Updates, economy, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, sport | Tags: Legacy, London 2012, Olympics, Paralympics

04 September 2011

That really was a cheap shot

In a letter published in today's Observer, the Mayor of London makes clear that it was not his decision to exclude shooting events from the Get Set Ticketshare programme for schoolchildren:

I'm writing in response to your report that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic shooting events would be excluded from the Get Set Ticketshare scheme.

I am happy to clarify that this story was based on inaccurate reporting of my position. I do not support a ban on tickets for shooting or any other Olympic or Paralympic sports. This decision was taken by the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog) following consultation with teachers.

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Categories: London, Olympics, sport, youth | Tags: Get set, London 2012, Olympics, Paralympics

28 July 2011

One Year to Go!

Last night was the official one year to go to the start of the Olympics in Trafalgar Square. A few mates and I went down there to get out Boris's record on delivering London 2012 on time and on budget. The Games mean a lot to us so we wanted to show a little bit of our appreciation to Boris for helping to deliver what I think will be the best Olympic games yet.

Back in 2005, when London was first chosen to host the 2012 Olympics, like the majority of my friends I was thrilled that such a massive event was coming to us. Being fairly young at the time I even had dreams of competing at London 2012 (and still do!). The plans for the Olympic Park came out and all the computer simulations were utterly mindblowing - it was the sort of thing I could never have imagined being built in London.

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Categories: London, Olympics, sport | Tags: London 2012, Olympics, One year to go, Paralympics

26 July 2011

London needs you!

As the capital readies itself to be presented to the world next summer, Boris is encouraging as many Londoners as possible to get involved in the Olympics and Paralympics. From helping to run the Games to greeting visitors and showing them around our great city, over 150,000 people have already registered their interest to be a part of London 2012.

And if you've ever dreamed of performing in front of a global audience of millions, now's your chance to get involved! The Mayor announced today that he wants to recruits 10,000 adult volunteers to take part in the opening and closing ceremonies of next summer's Olympic Games.

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Categories: Get Involved, London, Olympics | Tags: London 2012, Olympics, Paralympics, Volunteer

18 April 2011

London's Olympic build going swimmingly

The 180,000th and final tile was laid at the Aquatics Centre by Paralympic swimming champion Liz Johnson. The centre, designed by Zaha Hadid and featuring a 160-metre wave-shaped roof, is well on track for an on-time completion this summer. To mark 500 days until the start of London Games, the 26 year-old visited the pool where she hopes to win gold next summer.

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Categories: London, Olympics | Tags: Aquatic centre, London, Olympics, Paralympics