Keeping London at the forefront of global business
working with and for the whole UK
London First publishes blueprint for the next Mayor of London
22 April 2021
London’s leading campaigning business group, London First, has today (23rd April 2021) called on the next Mayor to commit to a set of no-regrets actions in their first 100 days of office to accelerate the recovery of the capital.
With the Mayoral elections two weeks away,London First has set out its top three actions for the new Mayor which include:ensuring short-term funding for Transport for London is maintained when the current settlement runs out on May 18th; launching a major marketing drive to lure people back to central London and backing a new London Careers Service for young and adult Londoners.
In its Mayoral manifesto (A bold approach to recovery), the business group sets out priorities for the Mayor’s first 100 days, alongside actions that will need to be taken in collaboration with central government and areas where the new Mayor will need to use the strength of their mandate to advocate for change to benefit Londoners and support the recovery. Other no-regrets actions London First is calling on the next Mayor to adopt range from the appointment of a new Freight, Servicing and Deliveries Czar to the creation of a new Land Fund to unlock tens of thousands of new homes and finding a long-term solution for Hammersmith Bridge.
London First’s Interim Chief Executive John Dickie said:
“An ambitious plan for London’s economic recovery needs to be the centre piece of the next Mayoral programme.
“Making the right decisions in the first 100 days will accelerate the capital’s recovery from Coronavirus. Top of the new Mayor’s to-do list must be a major drive to encourage people back to the city. Next is ensuring Transport for London doesn’t run out of cash when its short-term funding lapses next month and launching a new London Careers Service to support young and adult Londoners in a tough jobs market.
“The next Mayor will also need to use their platform to act as a passionate advocate for London, working closely with the Government to enable the capital to play its full part in the UK’s return to growth – whether that’s on apprenticeships or devolution.”
Looking at London First’s 100 days proposals for the next Mayor in full, they call on the next Mayor to:
Pull out all the stops to ensure the short-term funding for Transport for London is maintained when the current settlement runs out on May 18th, so that current service levels so critical to recovery do not drop, while setting out a robust and innovative approach to its long-term funding and operation;
Create a joined-up strategy to accelerate recovery, launching a well-funded, scale campaign to bring people back to the Central Activity Zone (CAZ) and committing to ensuring the right planning framework is in place to support the area’s economic growth. This will safeguard the capital’s potential to support a rapid and robust recovery across the whole of the UK;
Launch a new London Careers Service to provide tailored support to young and adult Londoners, with a clear, costed plan for scaling up over time. With unemployment in the capital the worst in the country, urgent changes are needed to support adults who need to reskill and those entering the jobs market;
Appoint a Freight, Servicing, and Deliveries Czar so that a proper city-wide strategy can be developed with business, boroughs, and others to ensure the efficient and environmentally sustainable movement of goods around the capital, and that this has its proper place within the delivery of the overall transport strategy;
Harness the potential of the green economy, setting out a clear roadmap to delivering net zero carbon in London by 2030. This includes developing of an integrated approach to public procurement in the capital, reskilling an army of Londoners to work on green projects, and developing a fair approach to road pricing that disincentivises unnecessary journeys;
Deliver tens of thousands of new homes by launching a new Land Fund to attract co-investment worth at least £1bn and develop concrete proposals to facilitate private investment into delivering new affordable homes, and re-examine the potential of Build to Rent in meeting the city’s housing needs;
Build on the speedy approach taken to street space in the early days of the pandemic and apply this to Hammersmith Bridge, bringing forward the opening of the ferry service to September, and leading the charge on finding a long-term solution to opening the bridge;
Set out an ambitious plan to deliver widespread, reliable Gigabit capable connectivity across London;
Embrace the power of data to tackle London’s most intractable problems, raising the ambition of the London Data Store so that it can become an open-data platform, opening up private data sets, and backing the London Data
Beyond the immediate 100-day actions, the next Mayor will need to work with central government on a range of issues. These include; a practical approach to the long-term future of TfL; reasserting London’s place as Europe’s leading global travel hub by backing the recovery and sustainable growth of its international connections; ensuring the new points-based immigration system is flexible enough to respond to any gaps in London’s labour market; agreeing a renewed approach to housing delivery in the capital beyond the Government’s £4bn Affordable Housing Programme; and making the case for a holistic review of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
The next Mayor will also need to act as a champion for the capital and its economy by making the case for: fiscal policy that provides breathing space for struggling firms; sweeping reform of the rail network, ensuring the fares system is fair to Londoners; HS2 to be delivered in full;a London Apprenticeship Fund that would retain unspent levy money to support firms affected by Covid-19; sufficient long-term investment in London’s utility infrastructure; a new constitutional settlement for the capital.
Tune in to series one and two of What Next for London? to hear views on London, our Covid-19 recovery and more