Ledbury Mayor writes to Olympic chief over torch row

Ledbury’S mayor Allen Conway has written to London 2012 chairman Lord Coe in a bid to resolve the "ludicrous" situation with the town’s Olympic torch relay.

Not a single person from Ledbury has been chosen to carry the torch through the town, despite the inclusion of a runner from as far away as Rio de Janeiro.

Coun Conway decided to take his dissatisfaction “straight to the top” after becoming concerned that residents are so upset that they may boycott the event.

“I have had people coming up to me in the street and telling me that they won’t be attending, or that they are so disappointed with this decision they will be turning their backs on the procession,” he said.

In his letter to Lord Coe, Coun Conway said: “As Mayor of Ledbury, I am so very disappointed that, although the Olympic torch is passing through our town, none of the four runners are from Ledbury, or even Herefordshire.

“While I appreciate that you have had numerous applicants, I would have thought that some consideration could have been given to locals.”

With the torch not reaching Ledbury until Thursday, May 24 he is hoping there is still time for the situation to be resolved.

“I am determined and will try my hardest to get this changed,” he said.

“They still have 1,000 of the 8,000 names to announce and as far as I am concerned they could still put someone else in.

“It is nothing against the runners that have been chosen. If it comes to it I will still stand there and will still be clapping, but I know we have had worthy local nominations and I believe a Ledbury runner should be involved.”

A spokesman for the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) said they would not comment on Coun Conway’s letter before it had been received.

The organisation previously declined to discuss individual runners and stages but said that, although the Olympics is a global event, it had been keen to involve local runners where possible.

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