The LCCI Influence Blog - October 2017

As the capital heads towards ‘megacity’ status and Brexit negotiations continue underway, we believe that LCCI’s work representing the views of the capital’s firms to politicians and decision-makers alike is more important than ever.

 

Latest Capital 500 Economic Survey

Our latest Capital 500 Quarterly Economic Survey (Q3) conducted for LCCI by polling agency ComRes found that more companies were struggling to recruit than at any point since the Capital 500 began three years ago.

LCCI Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge set out our response to the findings in CityAM, which you can read here.

So, what do we think is needed?

Action to address the capital’s infrastructure and skills needs, and a recognition in the Industrial Strategy of the need for greater devolution to the UK’s cities and regions, would be an important start.

LCCI at Party Conference

Alongside other London business groups LCCI hosted “Cities” receptions at the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences in Brighton and Manchester. 

The fringe events highlighted the need for further devolution of powers to our city regions - a top LCCI priority - as well as for infrastructure investment, particularly in our transport networks. 

We were joined by the capital’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross [pictured speaking], as well as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Mayor of the Tees Valley Ben Houchen, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Chair of the National Infrastructure, Andrew Adonis. 

We’ll continue to push for the capital to get new powers, particularly over the taxes it raises, and in line with the sensible proposals set out in the report of the London Finance Commission in January.

Busy Autumn ahead at Westminster

Politically it is a packed Autumn ahead with some key Brexit papers being published, as well as some important developments around the domestic agenda; not least the Budget on 22nd November.  

LCCI is particularly interested in the recently published Customs and Trade White papers, having made clear our concern to ensure as frictionless as possible trade at our ports and airports post-Brexit, and the need for a pragmatic approach by government – including via a transition period – to allow this to happen. 

In September LCCI hosted a discussion (pictured above) between chamber members and officials from the Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs to discuss post-Brexit customs arrangements, and what practice steps the government needs to take.

Influencing the Mayor

LCCI will be responding to a number of key consultations being undertaken by the Mayor, including on a new Transport Strategy for London, a new Housing Strategy and London Plan.  You can read our responses as they are published, here.

We’ve welcomed the call within the interim National Infrastructure Assessment by the National Infrastructure Commission for progress on Crossrail 2, but also, critically, for an additional road crossing in East London alongside the Silvertown Tunnel – something that LCCI continues to campaign for. 

Currently, TfL’s plans for new river crossings beyond Silvertown - in the short to medium term at least - exclude the road crossing option in favour of public transport only schemes; welcome, but insufficient, we think, to cater for East London’s rapid growth.   

Separately, the Mayor of London published his paper Immigration: a future approach.  This paper calls for the Government to ensure that the capital has an immigration system that works for business, and highlights LCCI’s proposals for immigration powers to devolved to London, including via a shortage occupation list.

We’ve urged the Mayor to look at drawing-up a template for a dedicated Shortage Occupation List for London, and to bring London's civic and business leaders together to design a proposal for a future work permit system for our Capital.

Events, my dear boy, events

We think it’s important that LCCI members have the opportunity to put their views to, and hear directly from, politicians and decision makers. 

On 16th October, we are joined by the Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, the Rt. Hon Hilary Benn MP.

On 26th October the Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, will be addressing members in what will undoubtedly be a fascinating discussion. 

On 31st October LCCI is hosting a policy lunch with the Chair of the International Trade Select Committee Angus MacNeil MP

On 14thNovember we will be hearing from Baroness Sarah Ludford, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Minister in the Lords.