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On 5 November 2015, the House of Lords will debate the progress on regeneration in east London since the 2012 Games. This short Library Note provides an outline of the plans for regeneration in east London prior to the Games. It then provides a brief summary of some of the key findings and recommendations made by the Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy on regeneration in east London; outlines the Government’s and the Mayor of London’s response to the Committee’s recommendations on this issue; and provides an overview of the progress report published by the Government and the Mayor in August 2015. It focuses in particular on the legacy strategies for housing, employment and skills, transport, and the development of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Background

On 6 July 2005, the International Olympic Committee announced that London would hold the 2012 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Olympic Games took place from 27 July to 12 August, and the Paralympic Games took place from 29 August to 9 September. A key theme of the UK’s bid for the Olympic Games was the pledge to “create an extraordinary legacy” for the UK and the world. One of the five main themes which underpinned the UK’s bid in 2005 for the 2012 Games, was a legacy of regeneration for east London.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games were held across six London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Across a range of employment, health, income and skills indicators the six boroughs have historically scored less than the London average. The aim set out in the Strategic Regeneration Framework, which was published by the six boroughs in 2009, to bring these socio-economic indicators in east London up to a par with the rest of London over the course of twenty years, an aim known as convergence, received support from the Government and the Mayor of London. The Government reported in July 2015 that the range of convergence targets had fluctuated year on year with the overall position being one of improvement, especially against education targets. However, in relation to the employment rate it argued that the picture was more complex. The Government stated that while in 2012 the convergence gap was at its lowest, it had subsequently deteriorated back to 2009 levels. A new Convergence Strategy and Action Plan covering 2015–18 was published in July 2015.

House of Lords Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy

On 20 May 2013, the House of Lords appointed a select committee to consider the “strategic issues for regeneration and sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and to make recommendations”. The Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy examined a number of different aspects including the plans for the Olympic Park and the legacy for the ‘host boroughs’. The Committee published its report on 18 November 2013, the Government and the Mayor of London published their joint response in February 2014. In June 2015, the then Chairman of the Liaison Committee, Lord Sewel, wrote to the Government requesting a written update on the status of the recommendations made by the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee. The Government responded in July 2015.


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