May 23 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 2, 2012
A row has broken out after Olympics officials were accused of ripping down signs advertising businesses around the Olympic Park, one of which is selling products for charity.
Furniture designer Martin Barnett invested £150,000 to provide furniture for Forman’s Fish Island, a pop-up restaurant just outside the Park, set up for the duration of the Olympics.
Once the Games finish, Mr Barnett is planning to sell off the furniture at knock-down prices, with 20 per cent of the proceeds going to charity.
But signs put up today around the Park in Stratford, east London, advertising the furniture sell-off and Forman’s, were promptly ripped down by officials, according to Mr Barnett.
“We just wanted to put a sign up and they came and ripped them down,” he said.
“They are being very aggressive and we are not even in the park.
“We are meant to be making money, everybody is. Everyone is meant to make money out of this Olympics, not just the people in the park.
“We are doing our bit and we have gone and put the signs up so people are aware - if you want to buy a chair or something you can buy it here and some of the money will go to charity.
“They have sent people down to say ‘sorry, you can’t have your signs there’.”
The original Forman’s was situated on the site of the Park and forced to move to the nearby Lea Valley by Games organisers so the stadium and its surrounds could be built.
Asked about the ripping down of signs, London Mayor Boris Johnson told LBC Radio: “That’s outrageous. Oh dear. I will immediately get on to it, I will find out if that is true.
“Lance is the great salmon king, he is the man. Get to Lance Forman’s right by the Olympic park, you’ve got a view over the canal into the Olympic park.
“He’s a great entrepreneur I hope that’s not true, I’ll find out if it is.”
An Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) spokesman said he understood the signs in question were directional ones pointing to Forman’s Fish Island premises.
The spokesman said the case was handled by designated enforcement officers working for the ODA, rather than Olympics organiser Locog.
He said: “A number of posters attached to lamp-posts near the Olympic Park were removed because they contravened advertising and trading regulations in force during the Olympic Games.
“However, we have decided that it would not be appropriate to take any further action over posters or signs that are purely intended to direct people to local business premises or attractions - as opposed to being for advertising purposes.”