OR for Woolwich so no 2012 shooting events

Just gets better and better.

We can't hold 2012 shooting at Woolwich, says Army chief

"THE HEAD of the Army has come out against the plan to hold the Olympic shooting at Woolwich Barracks in a blow likely to be terminal to the venue.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, says the Army has an "operational requirement" for the barracks which precludes their use as an Olympic site. Since being chosen for the Games in 2005, Woolwich has become busier as other London garrisons have closed.

Glynn Alger, secretary-general of the National Rifle Association, told the Standard: "General Dannatt personally approached me to write the shooting element of a minute from him to the Defence Secretary asking that the shooting be moved from Woolwich. I have spoken to him and he is quite happy for me to tell you that the Army do not want the Games at Woolwich because they have an operational requirement for Woolwich."

The Ministry of Defence yesterday refused to deny that General Dannatt had intervened.

Key military units, including the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, which guards the royal family, are moving into Woolwich because barracks at Chelsea and St John's Wood are closing. The Woolwich site also accommodates hundreds of soldiers and their families. There are fears they would have to be moved for safety reasons.

General Dannatt's minute, to the then Defence Secretary, Des Browne, said that the Army could not do without the barracks if it was to perform its full range of London duties. Mr Alger said: "The brief was given to Des Browne and is supposed to have been passed on to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Sir Richard's ADC is currently chasing how far it has been distributed."

General Dannatt shook the Government in 2006 when he told a newspaper that British policy in Iraq was a failure. He is known for his strong support of his troops and is understood to be unhappy that they will face further upheaval so soon after moving.

Woolwich has long been among the most controversial Olympic venues. It emerged this week that it will cost at least £42million - well above the original estimate of £30million. It is strongly opposed by the NRA and by British Shooting, the sport's governing body, who are concerned that the venue will leave no permanent legacy. British Shooting wants to move the event back to Bisley in Surrey, the venue in the original Olympic bid.

Mr Alger said: "We are ready with a full plan, a building plan, an accommodation plan, a transport and security plan for Bisley. We come in at about half the budget for Woolwich and we are mystified that we cannot get through the door to discuss it."

Shooting was moved to Woolwich in the belief that the barracks would offer an "iconic" backdrop for television cameras.

However, their position in a built-up area will cause huge safety problems. The South Circular Road, which runs alongside, and another road used to access the local hospital will have to be closed in case motorists are injured by stray bullets.

The Olympic Development Authority was last week revealed to be considering a purpose-built facility in Barking. Sources said it was believed that Bisley could deliver the shooting for £30 million."

Hurray for Gen Dannatt, again proving he is indeed the Soldiers Soldier, or even the Soldiers Officer, and standing up for the boys.

And this whole shambles proves yet again that the various people in the Olympic bid are clueless.... not to mention the inane ban on hand guns post Dunblane. Perhaps they could repeal the law? Or perhaps the shooting could take place at Barry Budden, Sennybridge or Brecon :D Whitburn anyone?
there is a rumour that the upcoming Commonwealth games shooting is being held at Barry Butlins......
I could tell you a nasty story about a rediculous amount of money that has been used to extend the drill square, that will no longer be used.......but I won't.
Never mind the shooting, which by the way I would have in and around the Palace of Westminster, I would like every event to be staged in Paris or anywhere but London and Great Britain.

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