Victoria Park: keep walking if you want to see Olympic events
ANOTHER promise of an Olympics win for East London has run its course.
The men’s 50km and the men’s women’s 20km walking events due to be held in Victoria Park on the mideastern edge of the borough will instead be staged in loops through The Mall in central London.
The park, much loved by Hackney residents, was given in 1995 to Tower Hamlets council. Its present chief executive, Kevan Collins, is fighting what he describes as a broken promise by Olympic organisers.
Hackney council today Wed 29 Sep 2010 responded to Loving Dalston’s claim that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is about to admit that the walking, uhm, races will be moved from the park to central London. “We having noting to say about that,” said a council officer but added that Hackney is supporting Tower Hamlets in its efforts to get the Olympics marathon rerouted through that borough.
Guy Nicholson, Hackney council’s Cabinet Member for the Olympic, told Loving Dalston: “The London 2012 marathon should connect our city — west with east, It should start on the Mall, but must finish in the Olympic Stadium.”
Hackney council has the problem of the £400 million Media Centre near Leabank Square in Homerton, already scaled down to what London Assembly Conservative Olympics spokesman Andrew Boff says will be “a huge shed” after the games.
Mayor Jules Pipe has admitted that plans for the centre have been scaled back after raising private finance for the £400 million building became more difficult than expected. Local activists are trying to play a part.
David Altheer 290910