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Torch dance

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As the London Olympic bid masterplan starts to be unveiled, spare a thought for the backroom boys of Whitehall who are engaged in bilateral, trilateral and quite possibly quadrilateral meetings most days as part of the bid exercise.Why?

Because the amount of information in respect of population, demographics, jobs, regeneration funding, likely outcomes etc, will form part of the massive dossier of information demanded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The committee goes through the facts and analyses them with a fine-tooth comb as part of its deliberations on which cities should go through to the next stage of the bid contest. Government is handling its side of the bid through MISC 25, a cabinet committee (MISC stands for miscellaneous in Whitehall-speak), with a raft of mandarins actually doing the day-to-day work from several departments.Meanwhile the EDAWled masterplanning team, which won a tough competition to get the job, is gearing up towards crystallisation of ideas before a planning application is submitted before Christmas.Man in the hot seat is EDAW's Jason Prior, recently appointed a CABE commissioner. He is staying cool so far, despite myriad meetings and consultations. Of course, if we get through the first stage, there will be even more of them. One group of consultees is an architectural review team working for the London Development Agency, a key bidfunder. It includes Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Terry Farrell. All were beaten finalists in the masterplanning competition!

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