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LONDON GIVES ITS VIEWS ON A DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

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A unique London response to the government's plans for regional development agencies will be launched today by the ...
A unique London response to the government's plans for regional development agencies will be launched today by the Association of London Government.

The ideas on how London's development agency should work to tackle the capital's social and economic needs have been agreed by all the main sectors involved in London's regeneration - business representatives, local authorities, the voluntary sector, TECs, trades unions and other London-wide organisations.

The response says that the LDA should:

-- support the Mayor in the development of a strategic vision for London

-- develop and manage a competitiveness strategy for the capital

-- play a crucial role in promoting London world-wide

-- organise bidding for international sports and cultural events

-- carry out economic research to monitor London's progress and support the mayor's strategic plans.

The paper says that the roles of the new mayor, the London assembly and the London development agency must be quite clear and that the LDA must be able to raise and manage private finance and to mobilise private capital to help favoured projects. The agency should also have a rolling programme of funding so that long-term strategies can be worked up and delivered.

The paper also recommends that the Board should be larger than that currently proposed so that all partners can be represented, and suggests that an interim shadow board could be set up based on a restructured London Pride Partnership - which includes the Association of London Government, the Corporation of London, LPAC, LCCI, CBI London and London First, the London Voluntary Services Council, the London Senior Church Leaders' Group and the LDDC.

ALG chair Toby Harris said:

'The economic well-being of the whole of the UK depends heavily on London - London contributes some 17 per cent of the UK's gross domestic product. Though the average household income in London is higher than the rest of the country, the capital has some of the most derelict areas and worst pockets of multiple deprivation with serious problems of social exclusion, discrimination and poverty.

The London Development Agency, in conjunction with the proposed elected mayor and assembly for London, gives us a unique opportunity to tackle some of London's underlying economic problems and ensure that we grasp opportunities to make London a city of the next century, with a thriving economy and improved quality of life for everyone.

The ALG has brought together all sectors with an interest and involvement in London's economic regeneration and, despite many widely varying interests, has managed to get some consensus on what London needs from the LDA. This, in itself, is a great achievement and bodes well for the different interests working together in the future.'

Notes

1. Capital Choices 2. Regional Development Agency proposals: a co-ordinated London response is published by the ALG, price£10.

2. Organisations who will be signing up their support of the response at the launch include:

Association of London Government

Corporation of London

Greater London Enterprise

London Boroughs Grants Committee

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

London Planning Advisory Committee

London Pride Partnership

London TEC Council

London Tourist Board

London Voluntary Services Council

The Peabody Trust

SERTUC.

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