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The LCCI Influence Blog - December 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.

'Brown for Blue’ report launch

On 13th December, we launched our latest report Brown for Blue - Land to house London’s emergency workers.

In our report, we propose that consideration is given to using a small portion of ‘brownspace’ in the 22% of Greater London that is Metropolitan Green Belt for the specific need of affordable housing, to rent, for London’s blue light emergency services.

The report was launched at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (with LCCI’s Research Manager Thomas Wagemaakers pictured below presenting the finings), with speakers Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, Will McKee CBE, Chair of the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation Planning Committee and Chair of the Outer London Commission, Paul Embery, the Executive Council Member (London) from the Fire Brigades Union, Simon Neate, Director and Executive Chairman at Indigo Planning and SuiWin Hui, Head of Consultancy at FIND Maps.

We’ve asked the Mayor and his team to focus on two principal considerations:

1) That the new London Plan should identify a ‘need’ for housing provision for front-line staff in the police, fire and ambulance paramedic services – in a similar way that previous reviews of the London Plan concluded there was a need for housing provision for older people and students.

2) That the volume and location of brownspace land within those London Boroughs that have Metropolitan Green Belt within their confines, be collated by the GLA and the feasibility of its utilisation to build homes for rent by frontline staff in the police, fire and ambulance paramedic services be examined.

The report’s findings and recommendations will form a key part of our submission to the ongoing London Plan consultation and will form a key focus of LCCI’s influencing work into the New Year.

The report launch received widespread coverage including in the Evening Standard (here), Telegraph (here) and CityAM (here).

Westminster engagement

On 30th November, we were joined by the Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee Rachel Reeves MP, pictured below, for a policy lunch with members.

The discussion ranged from Brexit to Industrial Strategy and how we can tackle the challenges of the UK’s productivity gap.

We’ll continue to engage with her committee into 2018.

Brexit and next steps

On 11th December the influencital House of Lords European Union Committee published its ‘Brexit: Deal or no Deal’ report, which includes two references to LCCI’s work around avitation and the length of any post-Brexit transition period.

We’d highlighted to the committee that there is no World Trade Organisation ‘fail safe’ for the aviation sector and that without an early deal - meaning clarity for airports, airlines and travellers as soon as possible in 2018 - uncertainty will begin to weigh on the decision making of those considering travel.

On transition, we highlighted our view that the required transition times for Brexit will not be the same for every business and sector, and that a two-year period cited by the Prime Minister should be considered “a minimum” period.

We welcomed the news that Brexit negotiations will now move onto the next phase’ - covering the UK’s future relationship with the EU - with an agreement over the ‘exit terms’. We’ve said, though, that the hard work really begins now, and that clarity on what a transition period will look like is the next key milestone.

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 January, we are hosting a Policy Breakfast with London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell.
  • On 31st January LCCI is hosting a Patron Lunch with Lord Andrew Adonis, the Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission.
  • On 1st February LCCI is holding a Business Question Time event with the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP.
  • On 8th February we are hosting a breakfast event with the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP.
  • On 26th February we are hosting a Policy Breakfast with the leaders of the Conservative and Labour Parties in the London Assembly, Len Duvall AM and Gareth Bacon AM.

As always - we want to hear from you. The public affairs and policy team is here to listen to your views and concerns and welcomes input to help strengthen our case for action. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For all LCCI events, check out our london business events calendar