Seb Coe signs Olympics deal for East End—but no marathon route
OLYMPICS chief Lord Coe has reached a deal to bring jobs and regeneration benefits to London’s East End in the run-up to next year’s Games.
He signed a memorandum at St Paul’s Way school today with Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman that offers a jobs lifelines to 1,000 people on the dole in one of Britain’s most-deprived areas.
It would also include more cash to spruce up the run-down A11 Whitechapel Road leading to the Olympics stadium by extending its ‘High Street 2012’ regeneration programme, using Victoria Park as one of four ‘live event’ venues across London and promoting Brick Lane as London’s ‘curry capital.’
But it doesn’t give East London back its Olympic marathon that has been re-routed to the West End.
The move led to a storm of protest and Lutfur Rahman starting legal proceedings in the High Court.
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Now the mayor has announced he is to drop plans for a judicial review of the marathon decision following today’s accord with Lord Coe.
Mr Rahman told the East London Advertiser exclusively before the deal: “We signed the letter backing the Olympic bid in 2004 and thought we were signing up to the regeneration of east London, a lasting legacy.
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“That is why I supported the campaign to bring back the marathon to the East End. Not only had we lost the marathon, but two other events that were promised.
“So I asked council officers to explore a judicial review of the decision to re-route the marathon which we thought was a breach of the original spirit of London’s Olympic bid.”
But he has been “in negotiation” with Seb Coe’s committee since November, which has led to deal signed at the rebuilt flagship school in Mile End.
“This Olympic news won’t lessen the impact of the government’s public spending cuts,” the mayor added. “But it will help keep the East End strong.”