Where's The Olympic Legacy For Merton?

Call for Games' bosses to leave a 2012 benefit

Merton could be left with no legacy from the Olympics in 2012 despite the tennis events being hosted in Wimbledon, warns London Assembly Member, Richard Tracey.

He has challenged the organisers of London 2012 to leave lasting benefits for Merton residents when the games have gone.

But local 'Going for Gold' initiative, managed by Merton Chamber of Commerce and financed by Merton Council, is hoping Wimbledon will achieve a legacy as a result of the Olympics.

Mr Tracey raised the issue at a meeting in City Hall when he asked John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, what legacy will be left in Merton. Mr Armitt's response was: "Well that's a difficult one for me to answer".

Mr Tracey, AM for Merton and WandsworthMr Tracey, AM for Merton and Wandsworth, said afterwards: "It is extremely disappointing that there will be no Olympic legacy for Merton. 

"We are hosting the Olympic tennis competition in Wimbledon, in the heart of this borough.  However, once the athletes have packed up and gone home, there will be nothing to show that the Olympics ever came to Merton.  It is such a wasted opportunity. 

"This is particularly galling as London taxpayers are forking out more money than the rest of the country to pay for the Games.  The average household in Merton will have to pay an extra £189 through their Council Tax for these Olympics, but we are getting virtually nothing in return. 

"London 2012 was always meant to be about legacy. Here in Wimbledon those promises are now sounding very hollow.

Diana Sterck, Chief Executive of Merton Chamber of Commerce, said the indications so far were that the Olympic Delivery Agency and the London Organaising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) would not be making any contributions for infrastructure or long lasting developments for Merton.

But the local Going for Gold campaign was aiming to achieve a legacy in Wimbledon as a result of the Olympics, she added.

She said one project illustrating a potential legacy was the the development of "The Wimbledon Way"  - a walk that links Wimbledon station and town to the Village and to the All England Lawn Tennis Club. This will be discussed at a meeting, including LOCOG representatives, later this week.

  • Meanwhile, Mr Tracey has been re-selected to fight the Merton and Wandsworth seat in the Greater London Authority elections in 2012.
December 13, 2010
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Merton Chamber of Commerce