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Last Updated: Monday, 16 February, 2004, 06:15 GMT
My London: 'We can manage the Olympics'
Errol Hines
Errol Hines says Hackney would benefit greatly from the Olympics
Errol Hines is a business adviser for Hackney Business Venture (HBV) Enterprise, an east London agency which supports and encourages new and existing businesses. He says if London was to host the 2012 Olympics, it would be a great opportunity for the area to climb out of the poverty trap.

I was born in Jamaica but came to live in London in 1961 which is where I have lived for the past 43 years.

I have seen London change a great deal over the years.

I remember when I first came here, it was an enormous culture shock. I arrived in November and the snow was very deep and it was very cold.

One of the first things that struck me about London was the great number of facilities here.

But Hackney is one of the poorest inner-city boroughs in London and many parts of it are run-down.

It is in desperate need of regeneration and businesses in Hackney are badly in need of assistance too.

I am confident London can win the [Olympic] bid if it is given the right assistance... it is a world-class capital city
Errol Hines
The present situation of businesses in Hackney warrants special help from the government. I believe there should be a designated business zone, in the same way that there are sports zones and art zones.

If London won the Olympic bid, Hackney would have the opportunity to benefit enormously post-Olympics, particularly as a major London venue for events such as rock concerts and other recreational activities, including the possible relocation of a major football, rugby or other world-sporting club.

The Olympics would also create an infrastructure for tourism i.e. restaurants, hotels, theatres, cinemas, bowling alleys, to accommodate visitors to the Olympics who would otherwise have to visit the West End.

The extension of the East London line to Dalston and further east would bring much needed improvements to the local transport links.

I am confident London can win the bid if it is given the right assistance. It is a world-class capital city. If we can manage finances as well as we do, surely we can manage the Olympics.

Although I still see Jamaica as my home as I was born there, I have lived in London for so long now that England is really more my home. And, if I am honest, I can say that I am very proud to be a Londoner.

My London is a series of features about life in the city which will be on News Online every Monday. If you have a story suggestion please send an e-mail to: londonnews@bbc.co.uk.

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