May 21 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Thursday, August 2, 2012
A row has broken out after Olympics officials were accused of ripping down signs directing people to one of the East End’s oldest companies near the Olympic Park.
Lance Forman, who has invested in a pop up venue for the duration of the Games, at his salmon smokery overlooking the Olympic Stadium, put up the signs after guests struggled to find his venue.
The original Forman’s was situated on the site of the Olympic Stadium and forced to relocate to outside the park.
But within less than 24 hours Olympic officials yesterday came to rip down the signs, pointing to Forman’s Fish Island, on the grounds they contravened advertising and trading regulations in force during the Games.
Mr Forman said: “We’re not an easy place to find and people were telling us that park volunteers and police don’t have a clue where we are, and is directing everyone out through Westfield instead.
“So we decided to put some signs up by Victoria Gate and Hackney Station. It is just so heavy-handed. Are they trying to protect the sponsors inside the park? Once people have left the park they can’t go back.
“The Olympics were meant to be about bringing business to local companies, not just about people running around the track.”
Furniture designer Martin Barnett, who invested £150,000 to provide furniture for Forman’s also had a sign promoting the sale of his furniture for after the Games removed.
Mr Barnett plans to sell off the furniture at knock-down prices, with 20 per cent of the proceeds going to charity.
A spokesman for ODA said the case was handled by enforcement officers from 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.”