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Boris gives Southwark and Lambeth 200k to keep SE1 streets clean during Olympics

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has agreed to provide Lambeth and Southwark councils with an extra £200,000 to help the boroughs cope with the extra visitors expected to come to the South Bank, Bankside and London Bridge during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Overflowing bin at Waterloo
City Hall has warned of "reputational risk to UK PLC" if scenes like this are repeated during the Olympics. This photo was taken outside the main entrance of Waterloo Station in October.
Boris gives Southwark and Lambeth 200k to keep SE1 streets clean during Olympics
Installing the Olympic rings and Paralympic agitos at Tower Bridge will cost 1 million

The extra cash will be funded from the Olympic precept which all London council tax payers have been charged, but there will still be a shortfall which will have to be met by residents of the two boroughs.

"Lambeth and Southwark were originally asked by the GLA in July 2010 not to bid as they did not have any sporting venues within or adjacent to their boundaries," explains a City Hall report approved by the Mayor last week.

"The impact however on the two transport hubs, Waterloo and London Bridge, is now reckoned to be substantial and will generate greatly increased footfall.

"This will result in the need for additional service provision by the two boroughs, which is critical to operating safely and effectively, during the Olympics and Paralympics."

Of SE1's riverside along the South Bank and Bankside, the report says that "the eyes of the world will be on it as it is a focal point for visitor and spectator experience in central London".

"It will, crucially and intentionally, ease movement management on the north side of the river.

"The close proximity of the world's unaccredited media at London Media Centre raises the impact of reputational risk to UK PLC were the street cleaning and enforcement activities not increased on the South Bank.

"It is essential that the public realm in this area is maintained and there is no scope to fund the necessary services through other budgets such as last mile, venues or roadspace management.

"Estimated visitor numbers could rise from 150,000 on a typical day to 300-400,000 attracted by the greater activity during the Games (based on the experience of previous large events in the area)."

The GLA says that the two councils will be expected to provide additional sweepers, loaders, drivers and vehicles as well as heightened enforcement and licensing activity to tackle illegal trading.

The two boroughs forecast a doubling in street cleaning and a trebling of enforcement costing almost 80,000 per week extra in games time, plus increased costs for other activities such as environmental inspectors, parks and emergency planning.

Southwark Council says it is pleased with the extra cash from the Mayor. Earlier this year council leader Peter John said he was "baffled" that Southwark was not receiving any extra financial support despite the large Olympic crowds expected.

"We, like many other parts of central London, expect a huge increase in visitor numbers during the Olympics," says Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark's cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling.

"While we welcome the news that we are being considered for this money, it still represents a fraction of the overall financial burden that we expect to shoulder next year."

Last month City Hall approved a 3.1 million budget for 'iconic spectaculars' in London during the 2012 games, several of which will bring extra crowds to SE1.

Just over a million pounds will be spent on the installation of the Olympic rings and Paralympic agitos on the upper walkways of Tower Bridge.

Games-related films and images will be projected onto the Houses of Parliament using equipment to be installed at St Thomas' Hospital in a project budgeted at 850,000.

The Mayor's London 2012 director Neale Coleman has also approved a 930,000 plan to install the Olympic rings onto a pontoon with the ability to travel along the river "interacting with audiences and the surrounding environment".

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