Today, the London Assembly Economy Committee questioned Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse about the London Enterprise Panel. Committee members questioned the narrow focus of the LEP, pressing the Mayor on issues such as debt, the green economy, childcare and inequality. Planning was notably absent from discussions.
With the LEP due to begin developing a revised long-term strategy in the new year, linked to the Mayor’s 2020 Vision for London and the forthcoming revisions to the London Plan in early 2014, it is likely to be an increasingly important body for Just Space members to engage with on economy and planning issues.
More in the ‘storify’ of twitter posts here, and the webcast here.
On Tuesday 22 October, Just Space Economy and Planning met to continue our discussions about where we are going and what we are doing… A brief note can be accessed here.
This resulted in a provisional Statement of Intent for the group, which should be a useful starting point for anyone wanting to find out more about it.
We also discussed our draft Forward Programme. Our 3rd bi-monthly seminar will be on business involvement in planning (see initial note from George Turner) and our first public event on Making London Work, focussing on the loss of employment land. In the new year, we will turn to the theme of affordable workspace (see initial note from Ed Jones).
Robin Brown (Hayes Community Forum) discusses how industrial land in Hayes is being re-used and re-developed, exposing a tension between the aims of the council (to attract people from other places) and the residential community (to secure access to jobs) in relation to economic development.
On 25 September, Just Space Economy and Planning held its 2nd meeting, which aimed to bring together community and business-led campaigns and initiatives under the broad topic of ‘Planning London’s Economies from the Grassroots’. We heard from Hayes Community Forum (Robin Brown), Peckham Vision (Eileen Conn) and the East End Trades Guild (via UCL student, Anjuli Sethi). These inputs generated a rich discussion, in which examples of community and business engagement in planning in Waterloo (via the Waterloo Community Development Group, the Better Bankside Business Improvement District (BID) and the South Bank Employers’ Group) and in Greenwich (via the London Thames Gateway Forum) were introduced by Michael Ball and Roy Tindle respectively.
Some of the key issues raised were the loss of employment space in London and the relationship between the housing market and the rest of the economy; the difficulty planning and planning officers had in engaging with the messy, organic nature of London’s economies, and small businesses in particular; the dominance of big businesses and property developers in planning; and strategies and tactics for engaging in economic issues in planning. More detail in the note of the meeting here.
The richness of the discussion meant that we postponed discussion of our forward programme to a follow-up working meeting in October – more details to follow…
New participants to Just Space Economy and Planning (JSEP) last month faced a daunting task, finding it hard to access information about the group’s aims and activities online. Oops! We are currently working to address this, making it easier for interested groups and individuals to find out more about JSEP and to get involved. Watch this space for a ‘Statement of Intent’, presentations and notes from our second meeting in September, and details of upcoming events. Our next seminar will be on business involvement in planning in London, towards end of November.
In the meantime, you can access relevant content on previous Just Space websites:
– Details of our first meeting, held in July 2013 (including initial summary and discussions of the aims of the group)
– Just Space community conference on Alternative Economic Development Strategies for London, held in March 2013 (scroll down to bright green header)
We use a email group (jseconomy at googlegroups.com) to keep in touch in between meetings – request an invite from myfanwy.taylor at gmail.com or directly via Google Groups (search for Just Space Economy and Planning).
We also have a Facebook page, courtesy of Roy Tindle of the London Thames Gateway Forum.