By Duncan Mackay

December 12 - MP Nick Raynsford has claimed that the group leading the opposition to the equestrian events being held at Greenwich Park during London 2012 have distorted the evidence to try to get the venue changed.

Raynsford, the Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, has accused NOGOE (No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events)of "scaremongering" and "misrepresenting" the facts and claims that the majority of local residents are behind the scheme for the Park to be a focal point of the Olympics and Paralympics.

In a letter sent to John Hines, the coordinator of NOGOE, Raynsford said that he did not accept a survey commissioned by Gareth Bacon, the Conservative London Assembly member who is now the cabinet member for Environment, which claimed that 66 per cent of residents were against Greenwich Park being used for the Games.

Raynsford wrote: "The reason why I do not accept the veracity of that survey is because it was an unscientific survey prompted by political motives.

"By contrast, the polling carried out by an independent market research company, Nielsen, shows that just shy of 85 per cent of the residents of Greenwich support the use of the Park for the Olympic and Paralympic events.

"This reflects the balance of opinion among constituents who have discussed the issue with me."

Raynsford claimed that NOGOE had used modern marketing tactics to try to get their message across but had twisted the facts to make their point.

He wrote: "I have a poster in front of me now which has a picture of the Park with an accompanying caption which reads 'This will be a NO GO area in 2012 for several months'.

"This, with respect, is scaremongering, and a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

"LOCOG have been very clear that the Park as a whole will not be closed for several months.

"Indeed, the flower garden and the children’s play area will remain open to the public throughout the run-up to the Games with a complete closure of the park only on the one day of the events themselves.

"This, understandably, is for reasons of security.

"I am extremely disheartened that certain elements within NOGOE are misrepresenting the facts in this way and are continuing a campaign of misinformation to oppose the application without considering the facts of the case."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected].

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September 2009: London to cut time that Greenwich Park closed for equestrian in 2012
June 2009: London 2012 insist they do care about residents concerns over Greenwich Park