Hitchin man has leading role in London 2012 Olympic Games preparations

THE new head of an organisation which will manage three of the venues for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is from Hitchin. Derrick Ashley, who has lived in the town for 35 years, has been a member of Hertfordshire County Council since 1985 and is

THE new head of an organisation which will manage three of the venues for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is from Hitchin.

Derrick Ashley, who has lived in the town for 35 years, has been a member of Hertfordshire County Council since 1985 and is a long-serving cabinet member with responsibility for environmental planning issues.

He has just been appointed chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which he joined in 2006.

Lee Valley Regional Park is London's biggest open space - a 10,000 acre mosaic of award-winning open spaces, regional sports venues, country parks, farms, golf courses, lake and riverside trails, campsites, marinas, angling and boating locations attracting more than four million visitors a year.


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It stretches 26 miles along the River Lee from Hertfordshire, through Essex, north and east London to the Thames.

The White Water Canoe Centre and the VeloPark are among the Games venues the Authority will own, fund and manage.

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Mr Ashley said: "I am proud to be a part of this important phase of the park's development.

"As chairman, I will lead initiatives to reach out to our many stakeholders and users and ensure that the whole of London, Essex and Hertfordshire see the key role that the park plays in the region.

"I'll also make certain that we will maximise the benefits of the London 2012 venues which we will run in legacy, ensuring the widest possible use of these outstanding sites.

"A major focus for us will be the opening of the White Water Canoe Centre in spring 2011 - the first brand new Olympic venue to open before the Games.

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