Civic group urges Coe to make London the first ethical games

Civic activism charity London Citizens is urging Lord Coe’s Olympic bid team to make London 2012 the first ethical Olympics.

As the 2004 games get underway in Athens, London Citizens says that the capital’s Olympic bid must show how it will benefit local communities in order to give it the edge over other cities. The charity has sent a video letter to bid committee chairman Lord Coe outlining how the Olympics in London should ensure local employment opportunities, fair wages and affordable housing for East London’s residents.

“At the moment, London is the third most likely city to win,” said a London Citizens spokesman. “We want to do something that makes London stand out as different.”

While preparations for the Athens Olympics have been hit by strikes over pay, the London Citizens Olympic Charter includes a commitment to ensure all jobs connected with the Olympics pay at least £6.70 an hour. Other pledges include ensuring that construction contracts employ 30 per cent local labour and that the athletes’ village be given over after the games to a ‘community land trust’ providing affordable homes.

“After the Sydney Olympics, the athletes’ village was used for expensive riverside apartments,” said the London Citizens’ spokesman.

A spokeswoman for the London 2012 Olympic Bid Committee said Lord Coe was sympathetic to London Citizens’ proposals.

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