London 2012 and Tower Hamlets sign peace deal over Olympic marathon
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
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February 16 - A legal dispute over the route of the marathons for next year's Olympics has been resolved after London 2012 struck a deal with Tower Hamlets, who had launched the action following claims that they would not host any events during the Games.
Tower Hamlets dropped its call for a judicial review after London 2012 agreed to concessions, including better job opportunities for locals and helping schoolchildren become more involved at test events.
Tower Hamlets Council had sought a judicial review after London 2012 decided to route the marathon around the capital's landmarks, beginning and ending outside Buckingham Palace rather than the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, which meant that the races did not have to go through the East End.
Tower Hamlets had accused the organisation of being "ashamed of the very communities who helped London win the Games".
"There is no better way to celebrate and showcase London's ethnic diversity than to have the world's best athletes run past the mosques, churches, temples and cultural centres that make up the fabric of East End life," it had said in a letter last year.
London 2012 nsisted the re-routing from the main stadium would help traffic flow and make less of an impact on other sports taking place at the venue and across London.
Today, the two parties signed a letter of agreement which would give locals extra notice if jobs came on to the market, and give schoolchildren the chance of being involved in test events and ceremonies rehearsals.
"We're 100 percent behind London 2012, and want to make sure that our residents gain the maximum benefit from the Games," said the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman (pictured with Coe).
"They will have to put up with a lot of the disruption that comes with hosting the biggest sporting event of earth, so it's only fair that they get to share in the experience and reap the rewards."
London 2012 have also confirmed a special event will be staged in the area during the Olympic torch relay.
"I'm proud to be working with this Host Borough to these four key areas so the borough can benefit from the staging of the greatest show on earth right on their doorstep," said Sebastian Coe, the London 2012 chairman.
"We are committed to helping residents and businesses maximise the benefits from these commercial, employment, educational and cultural opportunities.
"Signing this agreement at St. Paul's Way Trust School in Tower Hamlets I see tremendous excitement amongst the young people for the Games.
"They are engaging daily with the project through the London 2012 resources the school is using across the curriculum from our Get Set programme.
"It is our vision to use the enthusiasm we see in these young people to make lasting change."
Rahman claimed he was satisifed with the outcome of the situation.
'We've been working with LOCOG to develop the opportunities for residents and businesses within the Borough, and will continue to do so to ensure that Tower Hamlets and east London gains lasting benefits from the Games," he said.
February 2011: Exclusive - London 2012 will regret changing marathon route claims East End MP
November 2010: IAAF back London 2012 in Olympic marathon row
November 2010: People's Marathon launched to protest over London 2012 changes
November 2010: London 2012 set to face legal action from Host Borough over Olympic marathon course
October 2010: London 2012 confirm Buckingham Palace start and finish for Olympic marathons