THURROCK Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, has outlined the work being done to ensure the borough takes advantage of next year’s Olympic Games.
Answering a question from Cllr Shane Hebb at Wednesday (19 October) evening’s full council, Cllr Kent said: “Thurrock has been working in partnership with Southend and Essex County Council’s Legacy Team on the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
“Councillor Worrall [portfolio holder for culture and leisure] is a member of the Essex Strategic Board which oversees this partnership and links to Nations and Regions East, and ultimately to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).”
He went to say the council is getting involved in a number of programmes including “Competefor a free e-procurement service that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to the London 2012 Games and provides a schedule of business opportunities for the areas of artists, performance and events, sports security, technology and so on.
“So far, 520 Thurrock businesses have registered for this programme which is approximately ten per cent of registered businesses – the highest level of registration within the East of England.”
He said: “Another example is Essex Ambassadors, a programme being promoted and managed locally by ngage and offering local people a volunteering opportunity to provide information and guidance on the Games events, transport and general tourist information.
“In return, the volunteers will have developed new skills and experiences which will improve their CV and will of course also have had the chance to be part of the Games experience.“
Thurrock has the highest percentage within the Eastern Region of schools, registered for “Get Set”, the official education programme for the Games (93 per cent) said Cllr Kent.
“We will be encouraging all schools to sign up to the ‘Get Set Network’ by the deadline of 16 December to ensure they are able to access the free Olympic tickets on offer.”
He said Thurrock has developed an Olympic video called “Passing the Baton” based on an interview with Thurrock’s Paralympics champion, Danny Crates. This contains many key messages to the people of Thurrock including the value of positive thinking, determination, hard work, courage and overcoming adversity etc. This will soon be available to see on the council’s website.
Cllr Kent concluded by saying: “We are expecting a national announcement to be made in November regarding the Olympic Torch relay, confirming what route the relay will be taking. Thurrock very much hopes it will be included in the route and if successful will put a plan in place to make the most of this opportunity.
“2012 presents a fabulous opportunity for all of us to celebrate and showcase Thurrock. In January, we will be launching our ‘Celebrate Thurrock’ campaign and events programme, as well as ensuring we deliver a long term legacy from the Games for Thurrock.”