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London First launches Infrastructure Commission (7 Jan 2010)

London First has launched an Infrastructure Commission to examine the challenges which increased population and workforce pose along with ageing infrastructure and the demands of new technology, as well as seeking solutions to planning, delivery and funding.

A Call for Evidence has been issued, inviting written submissions of evidence from businesses and stakeholders in the first instance. The closing date for this stage is 12 February 2010.

In a second phase, experts will be invited to present some of the most interesting ideas at oral hearings during the spring. The Commission will then make recommendations to national and local government, and regulators, for the short, medium and longer terms.

Martin Stanley is Head of Macquarie Capital Funds Europe (Macquarie Group) and chair of the Infrastructure Commission. He said:

“London is the world’s leading city. But it needs the right underpinnings to remain at the top of this competitive league. World class infrastructure is required in all forms of transport, telecommunications and energy as well as water and waste management. These all support a city’s economic competitiveness and its attractiveness for residents and visitors. Few would argue with this, but the short term interest of the customer and the long term need for investment are difficult to reconcile. Meeting London’s long term infrastructure requirements needs a strategic and co-ordinated approach that considers all of the factors that currently impact life in this great city.

“I have agreed to chair London First’s Infrastructure Commission in order to ascertain London’s long term infrastructure needs and to identify means by which they might be met. We have brought together an impressive group of people as commissioners, and I hope we will attract submissions from an even wider range of experts, from infrastructure customers, providers, regulators and academics.

“This is not a quick fix issue. We are not playing politics with infrastructure, since the timescales involved vastly exceed those of the political cycle. Indeed, we aim to report late in 2010, after the General Election. Our aim is to inform the Government as it shapes policies which will set the framework and incentives for infrastructure investment. The size of the task should not be trivialised – this is complex, politically and economically. The establishment of the Commission is an acknowledgement of this complexity, and as a group, the Commission is determined to assemble and critique the best ideas for tackling the barriers to London’s development as a world leading city.”

Ends

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Notes to editors

1. The Call for Evidence sets out some initial thoughts and a number of specific questions to help stimulate responses from demand-side as well as supply-side perspectives. Closing date: 12 February 2010.

2. The expert Commissioners are:

Chair – Martin Stanley, Head of Macquarie Capital Funds Europe
Terry Hill, Chairman, Global Transport Market, Arup
Nick Pollard, Chief Executive Officer, Bovis Lend Lease
Ann Bishop, Managing Director, Indepen
Dr. Timothy Stone, Chairman, Global Infrastructure Projects, KPMG
Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, London First
Prof. Tony Travers, Director, LSE London, London School of Economics

3. London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

4. London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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