Monday, 2 April 2018

Chair's blog April 2018

This week we will be moving training to the London Marathon Community Track at Stratford starting on Wednesday. This is a move we agreed to back in 2010 and over the eight years since then a lot has happened. Most obviously the main London Stadium has hosted the 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games and the 2017 World and IPC Championships. The other most significant event has
been the move of West Ham United to occupy the main stadium.

The track we are moving into is not the original warm-up track for 2012. That was removed because
it was located on land that is scheduled for use by Cross-Rail. This track was put in place as a warm-
up track for the 2017 Games and to act as warm-up when the main stadium is used for staging
events like the Muller Games in coming years.

More important the way the whole stadium including the LMCT is managed has changed and this
has given rise to some problems with our move across. The complex is owned by a company called
E20 which was originally a partnership between the London Borough of Newham and the London
Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) a company run by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

But it is managed for E20 by a separate company called LS185 which is part of a global French
corporation. Around the end of last year Newham decided to pull out of the ownership company. So
the complex is now owned effectively by the GLA.

From our point of view we have always dealt with London Borough of Newham through Active
Newham over many years. We are now having to deal with them for our operations at the McMillan
Stadium and with LS185 at the new track LMCT.

This has made the situation very difficult to manage especially as we are a volunteer-based
organisation and do not always have time and resources to devote to what is actually a difficult
negotiation. As I write we are still trying to finalise the terms of our occupation of the LMCT. We are
also still to agree terms for the continuing use of the Indoor facilities at McMillan Stadium during
winter months.

The management at LMCT has been helpful but there are still areas of work to be completed. The
track itself is open and has been used by training groups and for development work over the winter.
But the club Executive Management Committee (EMC) decided around November to delay full scale
transfer of training because equipment like hurdles had not been delivered and because we felt that
the stadium just was not ready enough.

There is now enough equipment present for training on the track and jumps. The throwing cage and
shot putt area are still to be installed. The EMC has taken into account how many people actually
train at McMillan in these events and feel that this is not enough of an issue to stop us moving. We
are working with LS185 to get throwing facilities in place and hopefully this will not take too long.
The LMCT is an attractive facility in a location that is going to help the club increase its profile
generally. It has 6 lanes on the bends and eight in each straight. There is a clubhouse facility and a
200 seater covered stand. I expect it to end up being used for regional leagues and schools meetings
as well as our training.

The EMC hopes that members are happy at the LMCT. But we know that there are likely to be issues
as everyone gets used to new routines. Before complaining please feel free to volunteer to help the
EMC which is trying to act in your best interests.

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