City and east London AM Unmesh Desai on his Olympic legacy
PUBLISHED: 09:22 24 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:22 24 August 2016
The start of the Rio Olympics brought back memories of the wonderful games our capital hosted in 2012. Those games spurred on massive transformation in our local area and the changes were evident when I visited Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park recently. West Ham marked their first game in the park with a win and I wish them the best of luck for the new season!
I also attended an inspiring Centre for London conference in the park. Speakers highlighted how much regeneration has taken place and we heard about future developments. Unlike other Olympic cities where stadiums and the local environment have returned to a barren state, it was good to see how the 2012 legacy is beng implemented. But as Sir Robin Wales and our young mayor said, regeneration has to be about jobs and ensuring local communities have a stake.
A boat trip along the Thames revealed the changing Newham riverside landscape. It was impressive to see Port of London Authority staff in action, controlling the river traffic flow. From their Greenwich HQ they perform a vital public role, not least ensuring our safety. Whilst there I was able to see their impressive response to a capsizing incident in Richmond.
I recently met with Crossrail to discuss the route into Newham and beyond. London City Airport has now been given planning permission which will create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy. And with ABP confirming their commitment, whole parts of the borough will look very different in a few years.
Barking Riverside, a new township with 10,000 homes, shows how much the local river landscape is set to change. Now more than ever we need to keep up the campaigns for better transport links and more river and bridge crossings, which Sadiq Khan has again emphasised his commitment to so that east London benefits from the new jobs and investment.
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