Investing in London’s suburbs during the current recession will improve the capital’s competitiveness when the economy picks up. That’s the message contained in a report published today by London Councils.
The report, ‘Successful Suburbs: the case for investment in London’s suburban communities’, says the suburbs make a “vital” economic and social contribution to the capital and warns that a failure to invest the whole of London could suffer in the future, both financially and through loss of skills.
The report sets out a number of priorities for investment, including a change to housing policy to better reflect demand from residents, improved public transport links and attracting business by a greater provision of modern office and business premises.
Chairman of the London Councils Suburbs Steering Group, Councillor Mike Freer, said: “Suburban communities in London are being hit particularly hard by the recession. But investing in their untapped resources, skilled workforce and potential to contribute more to London’s economy will be vital in helping the city emerge from the recession and move towards a stronger and more balanced economy.”
Publication of the report comes as London Assembly Members prepare to question a range of experts on the future of the suburbs.
Tomorrow’s meeting of the London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee will question experts, including Professor Ian Gordon of the LSE, on the revitalisation of town centres and the relationship between central London and the outer metropolitan area.
Since coming to power last May, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has promised to introduce a greater focus on Outer London across the Greater London Authority group.
In November the Mayor announced the creation of an ‘Outer London Commission’ to advise him on ensuring the needs of outer boroughs are adequately reflected in his administration’s policies.