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The Mayor needs to set out how he will ensure he continues to deliver his vision for economic development in the capital despite changes to the funding and powers available to him, a new report from the London Assembly says today

‘The Mayor’s role in economic development’, by the Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport (ECS) Committee, calls on the Mayor to publish a detailed implementation plan that reflects recent changes to how he influences and funds economic development.

The report highlights three key developments since the publication of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy in May 2010 that could affect his plans:
•    Central Government funding for Greater London Authority and London Development Agency economic development projects has been reduced by more than 85 per cent for 2012/13 compared to 2009/10 as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
•    The Mayor is looking for other sources of funding. Business rates from London’s first Enterprise Zone, at the Royal Docks, will provide a source of funding for the new Local Enterprise Partnership from 2013. The GLA also plans to borrow £110m over four years for regeneration projects.
•    While the Mayor has gained important new powers over housing and regeneration, the centralisation of some business support and skills funding means he has lost some influence in these areas.

Dee Doocey AM, Chair of the ECS Committee said:
The Mayor is in a position where traditional sources of funding are no longer an option yet he has to continue to promote economic development in the capital.

“Changes to the Mayor’s powers also mean that in some areas of economic development his influence has increased while in others it has reduced.  
“To reflect the new situation the Mayor finds himself in, we urge him to set out new detailed proposals for continuing to deliver the jobs, skills and regeneration many parts of the capital so desperately need.”

The report highlights the potential for conflict between the Mayor and London boroughs over how Business Rates revenue from Enterprise Zones is spent and calls on the Mayor to explain clearly how this model might work in London.  It also urges him to develop a strategy in advance of the next Comprehensive Spending Review, including his policy on powers and funding for skills and business support.


Source: London Assembly

Written by Scott Buckler
Thursday, 20 October 2011 7:07

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