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The LCCI Influence Blog - November 2017


LCCI response to Budget

On 22nd November, the Chancellor delivered his Budget. Ahead of the big day we called on the government to take steps to tackle our dysfunctional business rates system, allow councils to borrow more to build the homes the capital desperately needs, and secure a funding solution for Crossrail 2 (you can read our full Budget submission here).

Our call to lift Councils’ borrowing caps was picked up by the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, who cited it at his keynote speech to the CBI conference.

In the event, we welcomed announcements that councils will be allowed to borrow more to build in areas of high demand, and also measures to help soften the blow of business rates.

You can read our full response here.

Influencing the Mayor

Jules Pipe: On 21st November, we hosted London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills Jules Pipe at a policy roundtable with members.

With the imminent business publication of the draft London Plan, the roundtable was an excellent opportunity to hear from the Deputy Mayor about his priorities for the capital’s built environment, his views on issues like the impact of Permitted Development Rights on affordable business space, and the Mayor’s now published draft Skills Strategy. All vital issues for the capital’s future competitiveness as a ‘megacity’ of ten million.

LCCI’s policy team will be responding to the Mayor’s draft London Plan, as well as his Skills and Housing Strategies. For more information don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Transport Strategy: LCCI has been busy briefing the London Assembly with our priorities for the capital’s transport future, following the publication of the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy.

These include:

  • Calls for a new ‘River Commission’ to make the best use of the Thames to move freight off our roads;
  • A new ‘Freight Commissioner’ (modelled on the Walking and Cycling Commissioner) to ensure freight and logistics matters receive the focus they need in London the ‘megacity’; and
  • Support for small businesses likely to be affected by new Ultra Low Emission Zone.

As mentioned in last month’s blog, our priorities also include more road river crossings in East London (chronically underserved by crossings, holding back growth) and moving forward with the Silvertown Tunnel. This was given even greater urgency this month with news that the decision to move ahead with construction at Silvertown has been postponed for six months.

Migration: On 22nd November members gathered, alongside special guest contributors David Arnold, the Principle Policy and Project Officer London Councils, Martin Bentham, the Home Affairs Editor at the Evening Standard and Vicky Pryce, Board Director Centre for Economics and Business, for a discussion to mark the one year anniversary of the publication of LCCI’s migration report Permits, Points and Visas.

The Mayor has welcomed our proposals and has committed to look into a ‘regionalised’ solution if the government fails to ensure any post-Brexit migration system meets the capital’s needs.

We want to see that work start now.

Brexit

We welcomed Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Wallace at a policy breakfast on 16th November (below), gamely stepping in for his colleague Baroness Ludford, the Lib Dems’ Brexit spokesperson in the Lords, who was unwell.

Lord Wallace outlined the Lib Dems position on Brexit, and heard from businesses about their priorities for issues including future trade and customs arrangements, migration and transition periods.

Ensuring our ports are Brexit ready is an LCCI priority (flagged in our recent submission to a Lords’ Committee). In partnership with LCCI members P&O we undertook a fact-finding visit to Dover to see for ourselves the potential for disruption caused by new non-tariff barriers (see below).

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 30th November we are hosting a Policy Lunch with Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the House of Commons Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy Select Committee
  • On 13th December we are launching our new report Brownspace for Blue – Land to house London’s Emergency Workers.
  • On 16th January we are hosting a Policy Breakfast with London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell.

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 or if you would like to register your interest for LCCI policy events and to receive more information, please contact us.

For all LCCI events, check out the events page here.