The weekend newspapers report £1bn of cost savings on Crossrail and rumours of delays on the 2012 Olympic site

Crossrail review finds £1bn cost savings

The Financial Times reports that more than £1bn has been cut from the projected cost of Crossrail in an effort to put pressure on the Treasury to approve a funding plan for the scheme. Douglas Oakervee, chief executive of Cross London Rail Links, the company responsible for Crossrail, has ordered a full-scale review to maximise cost savings. The original cost was £10.29bn but the Department for Transport has put it at £16bn.

London’s Olympic site yesterday – is it behind schedule already?

The Guardian on Saturday ran a two-page spread on the progress of the London 2012 Olympics. The article points out that the games has hit its first setbacks namely, Lemley’s sudden departure and arguments over the legacy of the stadium. It also runs a two-page picture of the Olympic site, pointing out where all the new projects will go.

Former Olympics Boss refuses to explain fears

The Observer wades in to the Lemley debacle in its report that the former chair of the ODA has refused to return to London to face questions on his remarks from the GLA. Apparently, Lemley told the London Assembly that he was too busy to attend or even give evidence by video link.

Hate a building? Ask the Tories to knock it down

A Tory think tank has proposed the idea of X-listing buildings, The Observer reports on Sunday. This means setting up a “blacklist of buildings” that should be demolished as a means of re-invigorating British cities. Suggestions so far include the Trellick Tower and Battersea power station.

Mega mosque falls fowl of planning laws

The Observer also reports on Sunday that plans to build Britain’s first mega mosque in east London may be scuppered because it has fallen foul of planning laws. Temporary buildings currently serve as a mosque on the site but planning permission for the non-permanent structures ran out last week.

Shortages put brakes on Gulf construction boom

A shortage of materials and staff is delaying the construction boom in the Gulf, according to the FT. The growing demand for hotel, residential and office projects is leading to fears that some contractors are cutting corners to save money and hit deadlines.

Serco and Bechtel join forces to bid for Sellafield clean-up

The Independent on Sunday reports that project services specialist Serco will announce today that it has formed a nuclear clean-up consortium with US engineering giant Bechtel and US nuclear specialist BWXT. The newspaper claims the consortium’s first aim will be to bid for the five-year clean up contract at Sellafield, worth about £5bn.

Voice of the people prevails as Darlington rejects Tesco

Tesco has been forced to back down over plans to build a store in Darlington after encountering stiff opposition from the public, Saturday’s Independent reports. The failure of the scheme echoes concern about the fast expansion of the supermarket group.

Diplomas to take place of GCSEs and A-levels within a decade

The Independent reports on Saturday that senior exams advisors are predicting the government’s shake-up of the education system will see vocational diplomas in subjects such as construction eclipse GCSEs and A-levels as the main qualification for teenagers within a decade.

Energy watchdog doubts carbon trading will work

The Independent reports on Saturday that the world’s leading energy watchdog, the Independent Energy Agency, has given a “lukewarm” response to the call in last week’s Stern Review for a global carbon trading system as the way to tackle climate change. The IEA said it doubted the scheme would gain sufficient agreement by world governments to be viable.

NHS Carbon trading sees millions go up in smoke

The Sunday Telegraph reports that hospitals have lost nearly £6m since the controversial European Union Emissions Trading scheme was introduced at the start of 2005.

On the right track?

The paper also reports that Jack Lemley's departure from the ODA was due to his frustration over the project’s progress and that the London 2012 costs are expected to double.

The hidden cost of carbon

The Sunday Telegraph says that some of Britain’s biggest companies including British Energy, Shell, Scottish & Southern and BP will face the highest taxes over carbon emissions as a result of the Stern Report.

Man from the Pru ups the pace

The Sunday Times says that Mark Tucker, the chief executive of Prudential, admits that Prudential’s position as a leading insurer has slipped.

My new museum is slightly smaller

The paper also reports that Frank Gehry, the world renowned architect has created a brooch worth £526,000 that is a miniature replica of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. The platinum brooch is based on the museum’s original floor plan and is made up of over 700 diamonds.