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Venables tells 2012 bosses to get a move on

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LONDON 2012 bosses need a more urgent approach to building the Olympic Park, warned ICE vice-president Jean Venables following a meeting with the prime minister last week.

Venables attended a roundtable discussion on the 2012 sustainability agenda at 10 Downing Street attended by government ministers, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and industry representatives.

'Although people such as Tessa Jowell and [ODA chief executive] David Higgins were saying they are comfortably onprogramme, I would like to hear them saying the project is ahead of programme, ' she said.

'This allows for unforeseen events and the testing of stadiums. On a construction project of this scale with its tight timetable I would like to see people rushing about as if the thing was starting next week, not acting calm as if it will all be okay.' Venables' comments came in the same week that MPs demanded more clarity over the role of the ODA's delivery partner CLM, a consortium of CH2M Hill, Laing O'Rourke and Mace (see analysis page 14) The meeting had 24 attendees including London mayor Ken Livingstone, Strategic Forum Olympic Task Force chairman Peter Rogers and CLM chief executive Ron Brooks.

A number of the attendees spoke on the issue of sustainability, with Venables talking about the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award scheme and the importance of London 2012 leaving a legacy of improved skill sets.

'I also told the group that with the world focusing its attention on London in the lead-up to the Games, it is important that we build exemplar projects for construction sustainability that can be repeated around the world, ' said Venables.

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