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Value from the Olympics

March 30, 2012

From Boris Johnson:-

Dear Paul,

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 of 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.

I hope I can count on your support on 3rd May.


PS: If you haven’t already, please sign our Backers Map to show your support for what we’ve already achieved and what we plan to do in the next four years:

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