Just £375,000 of a £111m government fund aimed at boosting London’s economic growth has been spent, London Assembly Members heard this week.
The cash was given to to City Hall 15 months ago by the UK Government to support projects which could boost London’s economy but officials have so far spent just 0.3%.
A further 6% has been allocated to projects but not yet paid to them.
London’s low levels of investment compare unfavourably with the South East and Manchester Local Enterprise Partnerships which have each approved 35% of their funds.
Projects funded in London include an upgrade to Hackney Wick station and more services between Tottenham Hale and the Upper Lee Valley. The money is given in the form of a repayable loan and all repaid cash is then invested in future projects.
Earlier this year Ministers criticised City Hall for failing to spend the money sooner.
Appearing before the London Assembly’s Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee earlier this week, officials defended the low levels of allocation, insisting that they needed to take time to properly scrutinise bids.
But Committee chair John Biggs said the money couldn’t deliver the intended economic boost “sitting unused at City Hall”.
Mr Biggs said it was important to make the “right decisions” about where to allocate the funds but warned against an overly-cautious approach which saw the money left “bogged down in bureaucracy.”