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Olympic tax bill warning

PUBLISHED: 11:09 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 09 July 2010

THE ONGOING costs of London 2012 could be shouldered by Havering s residents, a councillor has warned. Residents Association leader Clarence Barrett says he is concerned that the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) may be used as a Trojan horse

THE ONGOING costs of London 2012 could be shouldered by Havering's residents, a councillor has warned.

Residents' Association leader Clarence Barrett says he is concerned that the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) may be used as a "Trojan horse" to pay the rising Olympic bill - which has already trebled from £2.4bn to £9.3bn.

The borough's residents are currently due to pump a total of £19m into the Games through an average annual council tax levy of £20 per household, payable until 2016-17.

But according to Cllr Barrett, Havering's council tax payers could be saddled with more costs if the park authority is given responsibility for the Olympic "legacy" projects, including the development of the Olympic Park after the event and regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley.

The authority, responsible for parkland stretching along 26 miles of the River Lee, is funded by council taxpayers in London, Essex and Hertfordshire, with Havering currently paying £273,000 towards the park's £12m annual cost.

Cllr Barrett said: "Bearing in mind that the residents of Havering are already contributing £19m to the Games, it is essential that the Lee Valley levy should not be used as a Trojan horse to meet the inevitable overspend and ongoing liabilities of the Olympic sites.

"Rather than imposing any increased burden on the council tax payers of London, Essex and Hertfordshire, it would be a better option if the Lee Valley Park was funded directly from central government in the first place.

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