Skip to main content

Olympic Games 2012: East of England

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what discussions her Office has had with the Local Government Association on the East of England’s (a) participation in and (b) legacy from the London 2012 Olympics. (277778)

There has been regular discussion with the East of England at a local level, with local authorities and through public consultation events since 2007 by my officials, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

I also visited Norwich in November 2008 and spent some time meeting and discussing with councillors and members of the local authority about the plans for 2012 and how they can ensure that they maximise the opportunities they present.

The East of England will be hosting the mountain biking competition at Hadleigh Farm in Essex and the white-water canoe slalom will be staged in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. The region will also benefit from the legacy of the games in the form of a world-class community and elite use white-water canoe centre at Broxbourne.

I was delighted to award Essex county council a Beacon Award in March this year recognising the effectiveness of the council for its work on Olympic and Paralympic legacy. The Beacon scheme is a prestigious award scheme that recognises excellence in local government.

In 2007, the Nations and Regions Group (NRG) was set up by LOCOG and the Government Olympic Executive to build on the excitement and interest the games has inspired across the UK. The Local Government Association (LGA) has been present on the group since its inception and is represented by Councillor Chris White, who is also Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board. At the LGA conference in December 2008, I set out progress so far and the Government’s plans for the future alongside Charles Allen, the Chair of the NRG.

Local government was instrumental in the success of the 2008 Open Weekend when some 655 events across the country engaged some 700,000 people in London 2012 community, sporting and cultural events. The LGA and local authorities throughout the UK again have the opportunity to use the London 2012 Open Weekend held from the 24 to the 26 July to inspire people to get involved with a range of culture, sport, sustainability and learning activities to celebrate the UK hosting the games in 2012.