Sir Robin Wales criticises ‘urban desert’ comments

12:01 08 May 2012

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales defended pre-regeneration Newham after an Olympics boss said the area used to be an “urban desert”.

Stephen Frost, head of inclusion at London 2012, said the Olympic Park site used to be home to “burned out cars and wildcats” but the Games had transformed it into a “thriving community with affordable housing, lifetime homes, medical centres and new hospitals as well as venues built for legacy”.

Sir Robin, who sits on the boards of London 2012 and the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration. There were some very good businesses growing, but the Olympics has helped us move forward quicker.

“To suggest it’s anything other than a dynamic place now would be wrong. The Olympics went there because there are 10 rail lines, which the council fought for years to put in place. We have had a dramatic transformation of our community.”

The comments were made while Mr Frost was addressing a conference in Toronto, Canada.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Singing 'Yours' around central London (Picture: National Health Singers/ YouTube)

A choir of talented medics have been performing in Tube stations and outside London landmarks ‘singing for survival’ with their song to the NHS, ‘Yours’, since November.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Cambridge Circus at a standstill during this afternoon's demonstration (Picture: Fredrik Cornell / Twitter)

Thousands of London black cab drivers forced traffic in Whitehall, Piccadilly and surrounding roads to grind to a halt this afternoon as they staged a massive protest against mincab app Uber and government regulation of the industry.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Boris Johnson has today unveiled plans for the two giant traffic-busting tunnels (Picture: PA Images)

Fed up with the traffic en route to work? Boris Johnson may have the answer. The London mayor has just unveiled plans for two huge tunnels which would run under London and make commuting easier.

Monday, January 25, 2016
A new artwork by Banksy, depicting the girl from Les Misérables affected by tear gas, opposite the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

New artwork by Banksy criticising the use of teargas in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais has appeared on a wall opposite the French Embassy in London.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Young man tweeting on mobile phone

A survey analysed tweets from across the capital between December 15 and January 14

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Junior doctors will be on strike today

Next week’s junior doctors strike has been cancelled as progress is made in negotiations.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport