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

Friday, March 20, 2015
With the election coverage reaching fever picth here are some interesting things you may have missed (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

In amongst all the political rhetoric, endless polling and debate about having debates there’s plenty of interesing things you might have missed about the General Election. That’s why we’re here to fill you in:

Friday, March 20, 2015
Check out our guide to making sure you can cast your vote on May 7 (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Whether you’re a first-time voter or you’ve just not got round to it yet – our handy guide to voting will help you make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to make your voice count.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
The letter from Sarah Sackman - clearly signed off as MP for Finchley and Golders Green

When trying to win an election confidence in your ability is key - but signing off letters as MP despite the election still being 50 days away is probably a bit presumptuous.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
(Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

The three chancellors George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander took scrambled to get their hands on bank notes today during a Crystal Dome cash grab.

Thursday, March 12, 2015
(Picture: Crowdwish)

A bunch of hilarious anti-Ukip posters mocking Nigel Farage’s fashion sense and the party’s bizarre policies have been spotted around London - but who put them there?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Critics said using water cannon in London would be 'dangerous' (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

It looks increasingly unlikely anyone is going to give the go-ahead for water cannon to be used in London – so what will happen to the £218,000 investment?

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...