May 21 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Council chiefs are planning to seek compensation after the Barking leg of the Paralympic torch relay was scrapped at the last minute last night.
Barking and Dagenham people were left disappointed after their welcoming celebration went ahead at Barking Park without the relay following severe delays along the route.
Barking and Dagenham Council indicated the London wide relay had been dogged by “poor planning”.
The Olympic host borough is planning to claim compensation for the costs of staging the evening celebration, which included a Paralympic sports challenge, medal and torch workshops and family entertainment at the park in Longbridge Road, Barking.
Council deputy leader Cllr Rocky Gill said: “We are obviously extremely disappointed about the disruption to our event in Barking and Dagenham as a result of the severe London-wide delays to the Paralympic torch relay.
“We will now be asking some serious questions of Locog and the organisers of the Paralympic torch relay about how and why their scheduling and planning of the journey of the flame went so badly wrong.
“Those questions will also include some form of compensation to the council and to those community organisations who worked so hard on the local event despite the disruption which was caused by what appears to be poor planning.”
Grandmother Barbara Fletcher, 71, of Upney Lane near the park, said: “I think it’s very sad. They could have whizzed it through a bit faster. Why should we miss out? We were one of six boroughs selected as Olympic host boroughs.
“I wonder what they are going to do for the people of Barking and Dagenham to make up for it.”
A London 2012 spokesman said: “Because of the severe time constraints it was necessary to reduce the route so that the flame got to the stadium on time.
“We are very sorry that this meant the torch did not visit Barking and Dagenham but we hope that residents appreciate that delays during the day and the impact of the poor weather earlier meant that we had to change the route at short notice to ensure the Paralympic athletes saw the Paralympic flame light the cauldron. We will be working with Barking and Dagenham to see how we can redress this.”