Diary

First to east London, where Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales' bid to convince BBC bosses to update EastEnders' iconic opening credits to include the Olympic Park has been rebuffed.

Alas: the Olympic Park will not appear in Eastenders' opening credits
Alas: the Olympic Park will not appear in Eastenders' opening credits

Wales, whose borough includes most of the park, wrote to BBC director-general Mark Thompson proposing the change. The credits were made prior to the construction of the park.

Wales wrote: "I would ask you to intervene to ensure that the BBC helps to support our regeneration efforts as we look to ensure they inspire people in Newham."

But a BBC spokeswoman said: "We will not be updating the credits." Rumours that Wales has enlisted EastEnders hard man Phil Mitchell to change Thompson's mind were unconfirmed as Diary went to press.

The annual Planning Student Quiz, sponsored by consultancy RPS Group, is proving a popular draw. Last week's heats in Cardiff and London alone attracted a total of 83 students bidding for a place in the national final, where £1,500 can be won.

So far six teams from planning schools in Cardiff, Bristol, Kingston and Birmingham have made it through to the final. They will be joined by the winners and runners-up from the north of England heat in Manchester next Wednesday. A £500 prize is also up for grabs at the Scottish and Irish quiz next Thursday. For more details, go to PlanningResource.co.uk/go/quiz

Lastly, to Westminster, where communities secretary Eric Pickles came under attack during a Localism Bill committee meeting. At the meeting, shadow communities minister Jack Dromey drew attention to a missive sent on Pickles' behalf to staff at his department's HQ.

"The corporate plant contract has been cancelled due to recent cost-cutting measures," Dromey read from the memo. "Plants in Eland House are now in need of some green-fingered friends."

The memo continued: "If you can find a few minutes every couple of weeks to provide some TLC in the form of regular watering and occasional feeding, please volunteer."


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