Mayor welcomes a Budget with big wins for London
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has welcomed big wins for the capital announced in the Chancellor’s budget (16 March), including:
- Plans for funding the development of Crossrail 2
- Devolution of business rates
- Land transfer at Old Oak Common to drive the growth of the ‘Stratford of the West’
- An increased focus on addressing rough sleeping, building on the success of the No Second Night Out initiative.
By committing to help fund the development of plans for Crossrail 2 the Government has effectively given the green light to a project that will boost London’s economy by billions of pounds and support hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs.
The Mayor’s persistent lobbying for the devolution of powers to London has also paid off as the Government has agreed that the Greater London Authority will be able to keep a larger amount of business rates in exchange for taking on responsibility for funding major transport projects in the capital.
It was also confirmed that the Government has agreed in principle to transfer selected land at Old Oak in west London to the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation. That will help in the creation of a brand new, thriving part of the capital with 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“The commitments made in this Budget are hugely significant and a major step forward for London. George Osborne has given us the green light to motor ahead with work on Crossrail 2 and to completely regenerate a key part of northwest London. Both those schemes are absolutely critical in enabling us to deliver the new homes and jobs that are required to cope with the staggering increase in population of this city.”
The major wins for London in today’s Budget were:
- An £80m commitment to help fund the development of plans for Crossrail 2 with the aim of introducing a Crossrail 2 Bill in Parliament by 2019. Transport for London has committed to match funding the development work which will mean construction could begin by the early 2020s and services be up and running by the early 2030s.
- The Greater London Authority will receive an increase in the share of business rates it retains from 2017/18 onwards in exchange for a reduction in the capital grant provided by the Government to Transport for London. That means the GLA will take on full responsibility for funding major transport projects led by TfL although Crossrail 2 will be subject to a separate discussion on funding. It will give the Mayor of London control over almost £1bn more of locally raised taxes. The GLA will also work with the Government as well as London’s Boroughs to explore the potential for keeping 100 per cent of the business rates within the capital ahead of a programme of national reforms.
- It was confirmed that the Government has agreed in principle to transfer selected land at Old Oak in west London to the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation. That will give OPDC full planning and development control to drive forward the UK’s largest regeneration site and create a brand new, thriving part of the capital with 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs.
More information: The GLA published a socio-economic baseline reportfor the area and they have started formally asking Park Royal businesses to take part in the creation of a Park Royal Business Plan.
- An increased focus on addressing rough sleeping in London. This will build on existing efforts of the Mayor through his flagship No Second Night Out initiative which has led to almost three quarters of those new to the streets now spending only one night out. The Mayor particularly welcomes the recognition of the success of his existing rough sleeping Social Impact Bond, operated in partnership with St Mungo’s and Thamesreach, with additional funding for new projects. It will be important to ensure that a high proportion of this new funding is allocated to London, where the housing pressures are greatest.
- Recognition of the importance of the Thames Estuary to the future economic success of the capital. The Mayor welcomes the opportunity for London to contribute to the work of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, which is due to report back in 2017.
For the Treasury’s formal Budget document