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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


... London wasn't such a great idea after all for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Tessa has told MPs today that the cost of the Olympic Park alone has gone up from nearly £2.4bn to £3.3bn since the games were announced, a rise of £900m, or about 40%.

The usual suspects - Tories, LibDems and anarchists have been quick to suggest that the overall cost of building and running the games and regenerating the Lower Lea Valley might rocket past £8bn, i.e. the Olympic Park costs could rise to £5-6bn.

I can assure everyone in Hackney that this is a malicious slur on our government and no such ridiculous inflation will occur while Labour remains in power. To prove this I brushed up on my old maths skills this evening and drew some graphs based on Tessa's figures.

I wonder whether you can see the Olympics from the roofThe City of London
Debtors' Prison, Whitecross Street

Prudent economic managementIf you take the % rise in infrastructure cost from £2.4bn in June 2005 to £3.3bn this December at extrapolate that % increase to June 2012, you get the figure of £10.2bn as shown in the first graph.

Obviously the money has to come from somewhere. When we started this project, Red Ken slapped an outrageous £20 precept on each Council Tax payer in London. Now if we take the increase in infrastructure costs and allocate it evenly to each Council Tax payer in London, we get the figures shown in the second graph.

This would mean that each household in London would need to pay an additional £2,694 in 2012. This would be much less if we spread the bill over each year between now and then - perhaps as little as £500 per annum.

So where's the catch? Well, in order to ensure that the initial increase is dramatically reduced in coming years, we will need someone with extensive and trusted skills in prudent economic management at the national helm.

I think you know who I'm talking about. So the choice is: Vote Tory and pay through your nose for something that we started or vote Labour and pay a bit less because we are slightly less inept than they are.


Clear Hardly said...

Luke – typical leftie alarmists trying too dampen our Olympic ardour. Take another example - the government approved New Dalston Olympic bus station. Orginally to cost £3m., then £28m and now £39m. So what?!! If you want a well planned quality regeneration scheme it has to be paid for. OK, it is true that the new Dalston “tube” doesn’t actually go to the Olympic site. Everyone will have to walk up to Dalston Kingsland to get the train from there to the Olympics. But when have a few inconvenient facts stood in the way of progress!! If the money runs out Ken can always bung a few more storeys on top of New Dalston’s Pipe Towers. Be positive! Think of the views. By 2012 they should be tall enough to watch the games from the penthouse flat - so there’s a saving on the train fare for a start.

Luke Akehurst said...

Can't we incorporate a swimming pool into the New Dalston Olympic bus station and save some money that way? I'll suggest it to Julian.

Clear Hardly said...

Luke - a swimming pool at New Dalston's Olympic bus station? Pehaps you shouldn't mention it to Pipesqueak - what with Clissold Leisure Centre and London Fields Lido he already seems to have a liquidity crisis.

iLikeAkehurstFanClub said...

"Can't we incorporate a swimming pool into the New Dalston Olympic bus station and save some money that way? I'll suggest it to Julian."

My dearest Luke,

What an excellent and original conception! Of course, this follows on from your brilliant idea to introduce leisure facilities to Hackney Town Hall Square (in the shape of the √Čnergie fitness franchise). We know how to kick out the slackers and mis-fits (with high prices and, of course, exclusion orders)!

Also, a Dalston-based gym and swimming pool - built with Council money (and run along similar lines to the Ocean) could rake in hundreds of thousands for the franchisees (particularly if the other Hackney pools were knobbled and shut down, tee hee!) In light of that, further details about this proposal will be passed on to you - in the usual fashion - before the Lodge meeting on Thursday.

Yours affectionately,


P.S. With cynical laughter, the tree-hugging anarchists appear to have derided our plans to call the highest Dalston structure Pipe Towers. Obviously, it will need a rethink. Meanwhile, I like the sound of the Luke Akehurst Fitness Centre, don't you?

Clear Hardly said...

Luke - perhaps if TfL could recycle the water from Pipe Towers into the old rail tunnel the Olympic visitors could travel from Dalston Junction to Dalston Kingsland by boat. We would then have our own New Dalston Little Venice and a swimming pool in one -and win lots of green votes as a bonus!

Luke Akehurst said...

I think you are extracting the liquid. In any case, if we flooded a tunnel the water would flow one way OK, but how would we get everyone back again?

Clear Hardly said...

Luke - aahhaaa - I see your point:if it's a load of Hackney plebs going by public transport to the Olympics then we wouldn't want them back again. There's no conflict with policy there then is there.

Luke Akehurst said...

You are obviously an idiot. If the population of Hackney floats away and can't get back, who the hell is going to pay the precept on their Council Tax to pay the bill for the games? I might be the only one left and £8bn sounds like a bit much for me to fork out.