Economy

This is one of a number of pages/topics about the work of Just Space groups preparing positions and demands for what goes in the next London Plan and associated strategies. The Next London Plan menu takes you there.

All the Just Space statements contain proposals for economic policy for London and the Economy and Planning group is expecting to meet with the City Hall team preparing the London Economy Strategy during the spring of 2017.

In addition there have been exemplary consultations between GLA Economics and the Just Space Economy and Planning Group during 2015/16 about the content of what is called the Evidence Base. The final version of this document is now published (Autumn 2016) and the Just Space inputs are outlined here.

Some of the earlier deliberations follow.

Some of the materials from the July community conference will be relevant. The first block of text below is the expanded statement being debated at (and after) the conference on 4 Feb 2016.

After that, with a blue heading, are the February conference workshop notes.

Stop press: 22 Feb 2016. GLA Economics has just published its draft of the Economic Evidence Base, for which Just Space had made many suggestions. Download at https://www.london.gov.uk/business-and-economy-publications/draft-economic-evidence-base-2016

Dr Jessica Ferm briefing for JustSpace April conference on JS  negotiations with GLA Economics is here: Commentary on EEB for JS conference 28th April 2016

Aims for London’s economic development

The London Plan —as part of an integrated GLA strategy— is designed to enable the economy of London to…

  1.    Expand the material welfare and wellbeing of all who live or work in the city as part of a balanced development of the UK as a whole, based on cooperation with government and other countries and regions to secure this balance.
  2.    Contribute to the fairer distribution of the benefits of economic activity among Londoners and, in particular, support the growth of productivity and earnings of those in low-pay occupations.
  3.    Support the diversification of the London economy away from excessive dependence on financial and business services, and on real estate, encouraging the success of manufacturing and of service sectors which meet the needs of other productive sectors and of citizens across the city – ranging from the repair and maintenance of equipment and buildings to the care of elderly and vulnerable groups in the society.
  4.    Taking advantage of the need to de-carbonise and ‘green’ the whole economy by pioneering and innovating in repair, maintenance and re-use of buildings and equipment, retro-fitting the building and vehicle stock for better environmental performance and fostering the labour force developments this will entail.
  5.    Building upon the ethnic and cultural diversity of economic activity in London, re-directing urban regeneration to build upon the economies we have, rather than erasing and displacing it in each new regeneration scheme.
  6.    Foster a more polycentric distribution of job opportunities in London to reduce the need for travel, especially the need to travel by private cars, and the need for deliveries, making more efficient use of infrastructure and reducing the need for costly new infrastructure.

Overview

London Plans and the strategy documents emerging from the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) and London First have hitherto focused on fostering growth of high profile globally-oriented sectors of the economy and growth of property-related interests.  This approach has given London an economy with growing in-work poverty, poor prospects for businesses and workers in low-wage, small-firm and BME sectors, lengthening work trips for many people and thus increasing hardship.

  1. The further development of economic strategies for London should be based on early-stage consultations with a much wider range of interests including small- business, ethnic minority and social enterprises and trades unions. Policy should be guided by analysis of jobs lost as well as jobs gained in new development, by studies of proximity of jobs to homes and by much better understanding of the functional interdependence of production, maintenance, distribution and service activities in localities, city-wide and in the wider region which is functionally strongly integrated with the GLA area. Just Space is delighted to be involved already in consultations with the GLA Economics team preparing the Economic Evidence Base for the Mayor’s strategies. [link to follow]
  2. There is an urgent need for evidence and analysis of the supply and demand for premises to accommodate a diverse and sustainable London economy. The availability and affordability of space has been squeezed by an out-of-control housing market and by policies designed to maximise housing output. These issues should be a primary consideration in evaluating plans to redevelop industrial areas, high streets and town centres to increase housing supply. We now have a lot of powerful evidence on this.
  3. The tendency of current practice to expel production, maintenance and logistics activity towards (and beyond) the edge of Greater London increases the mileage of (mostly diesel) vehicles delivering goods between firms and to households. This is a cost to the economy and a serious threat to the health of Londoners which needs to be fully reflected in policy and the evidence on which it is based.

Not all the economic objectives of this London Plan can be achieved through the Town and Country Planning powers with which the London Plan is mainly concerned. There will need to be close integration with the Mayor’s Economic Development, Transport and other Strategies and cooperation with relevant bodies beyond the GLA boundary.

The success of London’s economy is at present threatened by the progressive weakening of controls over change of use through ill-considered government relaxations of the General Development Order and Use Classes Order. These changes have been particularly damaging to the economy of London and the Mayor will seek to represent London’s needs to the English authorities and/or secure devolved powers over these statutory instruments.

Policies we need:  a broad policy statement on economic strategy (perhaps based on 1-3 above).

Sectors and branches of activity

The old distinctions between ‘sectors’ of the economy have become less and less useful because of the growth of out-sourcing by ‘manufacturers’, ‘public services’ and others to firms which are themselves invariably classified as services, e.g. in cleaning, catering, security, delivery, maintenance and even core activities like prisons, education and evaluating planning applications.  What London needs instead is a reorganisation of data and analysis around clusters of interdependent activities. This would, for example, highlight the importance of lift repair depots to the functioning of the building stock, of food preparation to restaurants, shops, hospital and institutional caterers, of model-makers to the design professions. The business imperatives of many such enterprises coincide with the public interest in minimising travel distances.  Of particular importance is the booming logistics and delivery business which spans some large enterprises through to private individuals ferrying deliveries in private cars and bikes. Britain’s world-leading growth of internet shopping calls for creative forward planning to maximise the effectiveness of this activity and to minimise the growth of (mostly diesel) vehicle-miles.

The financial services ‘sector’ with its attendant professions in law, accountancy and advice, is a distinctive British ‘success’ story but London needs to diversify to become less dependent on activities which are so vulnerable to instability and crisis (and —in the case of banking— demand such high bail-out costs), and also to international measures which may impose tougher regulation on financial practices and tax avoidance. The salary and bonus practices of these businesses may also have contributed strongly to excess demand in some housing markets and thus to housing price inflation.

Associated with these, essentially financial, activities is London’s pre-eminent cluster of built-environment professions: architects, engineers, planners and designers and their linked research and teaching universities. This is an outstanding resource both for international trade and for the nation and the city. While presently much absorbed in serving the needs of developers in a rent-seeking economy, these skills would be invaluable in tackling some of London’s major challenges: raising the environmental performance of the building stock, building and renovating homes and re-configuring settlement and urban patterns for a just society in a low-carbon world.

[similar paras on medical/bio, education, tourism….]

Of special concern to the GLA and London planning is the future of caring activities, both salaried and voluntary/unpaid. Britain is relatively backward in the availability and standards of care available to citizens in need – children in care, including unaccompanied migrants, adults with special needs for physical or emotional support and growing numbers of older, especially very old, people. London faces a challenge of transforming and expanding these services from a patchwork of low-pay insecure jobs to a more highly skilled, respected and non-exploitative set of opportunities. Improving support, both financial and emotional, for family and voluntary care workers is equally important. Progress on these issues will depend partly on national policy – on which the Mayor of London should campaign for change – and on branches of London public services beyond the planning system.  The planning system will, however, assist through the active protection of premises used for care, ensuring the provision of new facilities as part of new developments and putting the concept of ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’ at the heart of borough and neighbourhood planning.

Finally, the Mayor will ensure that the GLA, the Boroughs, the LEP and other bodies support the actual economy we have in central, inner and outer London instead of – in so many recent developments— sweeping it away and hoping that some relatively expensive retail and business units designed for corporate occupiers will replace those jobs and services. Recent research in Peckham, Southwark, Tottenham, Park Royal (by the GLA) and across London[1] emphasises the diversity of activity with about half of London’s jobs outside the Central Activities Zone, about equal numbers (check) in “town centres” and elsewhere – other high streets, industrial estates and scattered locations. London has some dynamic local concentrations of businesses serving specific ethnic and cultural groups, others which embody rich multi-ethnic mixtures of services. These enterprises are particularly important in offering points of entry and sources of income to newly-arriving migrants and young entrants to the labour market who might otherwise be excluded. Some have also been shown to offer work opportunities for women in cultures where employment in the mainstream economy is frowned upon. About half of the jobs in and around high streets and town centres may be in ‘retailing’, the rest are widely spread through making and repairing, accounting and legal services, auto-trades and miscellaneous business including software and IT production and support, fashion and furniture/building trades. The Mayor and LEP will foster the development of this “Other Economy” and Boroughs will be required to consult with and have regard to the needs of these activities in Local and Neighbourhood Planning and in development management. Workforce development and support for productivity and pay growth will be priorities.

Active businesses in London are growing faster than the population. Between 2009-2013, Population grew at an average annual rate of 1.5%, while the number of active businesses per 100 population grew at a rate of 2.2%. (ONS) GLA policies and plans need actively to foster the contribution of this growing activity to the city’s prosperity.

Policies needed:  on sectors and clusters of activity.

Industrial and employment land

London has a diverse industrial economy, which is returning to growth after many decades of decline, representing 11% of all jobs in the city and 16% of employment outside the Central Activities Zone (CAZ). 22% of all Small and Medium Sized enterprises – the engines of entrepreneurialism and innovation – are in industrial areas, and many more are located in and around High Streets.

Output grows faster than employment because productivity is growing and compares favourably with most other sectors.

But London’s industrial land and buildings are being lost to housing at a damaging rate way and the historic diffusion of business spaces across London, in most neighbourhoods and districts, is disappearing. Meanwhile workspace to replace what is being lost is often not forthcoming, or is not designed to accommodate businesses of the kind that are being displaced. Planning should play a more decisive role, securing work spaces around London able to play a role in economic diversity and adaptability.

Strong leadership from the top – both central Government and the Mayor of London – is needed to support Local Planning Authorities in safeguarding land and premises for employment, and facilitating more appropriate provision in new development.

Industrial occupiers pay good rents and industrial premises represent reliable investments due to anticipated rental growth.   Premises are dispersed across the city in industrial estates, high streets and residential areas in various forms – workshops, light industrial units, wharfs, warehouses, studios and sheds. Vacancy rates have declined.

Since much of the industrial economy is about servicing the city, it grows with London’s population.  However, contrary to the general assumption, even many aspects of industry that do not directly serve London, the parts that were casually predicted to be in terminal decline, are now flourishing in the city: activities such as the making of food, drinks, garments, leather goods, furniture, bicycles, engines, umbrellas, recycled asphalt, plastic recyclate, paint, go-karts, wallpaper, lifts, prosthetics, shoes, brassware and cars.  The growth of e-commerce, the need for sustainable waste management, and the application of new technology to the making of things, all suggest this is a sector of the economy that should grow, given the right conditions, diversifying employment opportunities and improving London’s resilience in the face of global financial crises.

However, pressure for residential development is rapidly eroding London’s industrial accommodation, putting existing thriving businesses under threat and reducing our ability to embrace opportunities for future growth.

The land problem

Since the early 80s, industrial land has halved in London and inner London boroughs have seen the greatest loss, particularly in recent years with the increase in the gap between residential and industrial land values.  In the last 5 years, about 500 hectares of industrial land has been lost to (mostly) housing, which is nearly three times the “release” rate prescribed in the Mayor’s London Plan. Several more hundred hectares would be lost over the coming years unless plans in the ‘pipeline’ are changed..

Justification for the ‘managed release’ of industrial land is on the basis of employment predictions, which suggest that industrial jobs will continue to decline in line with past trends so sites are wrongly treated as ‘surplus’.  This belies evidence on the ground, which reveals that housing redevelopment is taking place on sites that are home to thriving businesses. Small and large, old and new industrial sites are mostly well occupied.  Where there are vacancies, this is due to a ‘mismatch’ between the supply of premises and what industrial tenants require or to owners holding them vacant with a view to changing use.

In the face of growing pressure to meet housing targets, local planning authorities are increasingly looking to industrial land and premises as development opportunities.  They are supported by a more relaxed planning framework provided in the London Plan and in central Government guidance. Isolated sites with little planning protection have always been the most vulnerable, but housing development is now even creeping into sites considered ‘strategic’.

In 2013, the government introduced changes to regulations allowing offices to be converted to housing without the need for planning permission. London has been hit particularly hard: 40% of all such permitted change-of-use across the UK has happened here.  Recently, the government has extended this right to include light industrial buildings and this may be further extended to include buildings for storage and distribution.  Given the gap between residential and industrial land values in London, this is likely to have a damaging impact on the city’s supply of industrial space.

London’s businesses and entrepreneurs cannot spawn new ventures, evolve and adapt to new markets, and otherwise develop and function, unless there’s the right type of workspace, in the right place and at the right price for them to do so. Expensive office floor plates in prestige or state-of-the-art are not the answer for the majority of the economy.

The historic diffusion of business spaces across London, in most neighbourhoods and districts, is disappearing. This is reflected in consolidation of enterprise into fewer areas, which is unhelpful socially and fails to take advantage of London’s poly-centric structure, excellent public transport options, broadly viable road-system, and culture of dispersed business activity.  In 2010, it was calculated that 65% of London’s jobs are outside the Central Activities Zone. This dispersed nature of employment should be considered as a sum of parts, added together it is “strategic” for London.

The latest version of the London Plan predicts that jobs across London could increase from 4.9 million in 2011 to 5.8 million in 2036, representing a growth of 17.6%.  The industrial economy should and could be part of that growth, but the rapid loss of industrial land and premises is undermining its potential.

Research and policy

At GLA and borough levels, the robust and fairer development of the London economy requires a major transformation of knowledge about how enterprises (large and small, profit-oriented and social enterprises) actually operate, what markets they serve and people they employ (locally and further away), what transport and travel movements they generate.

Over the next 3 to 6 months, the GLA and the LEP should be developing policies which will enable London to go on offering diverse types of space appropriate to the needs of its diverse and sophisticated economy. This work needs to include active consultation with community groups in localities (which commonly know more about their local economies than councils do), with SME and employers’ associations and trades unions. Just Space and its economy group is involved in this process and wants to do more.

Policy needs to span ‘industrial’ and other ‘employment’ land and buildings and to have regard to the fact that dispersed space can be just as strategically important as concentrated space. If there is to be planned release of employment space there must be an implementation mechanism to ensure that borough and Mayoral decisions conform to GLA policy.

Policy in the London Plan should embed a requirement that substantial development proposals must be preceded by better local evidence documenting existing economic activity so that planners have a deeper and richer idea of what could be lost through change-of-use and redevelopment. Local communities and business groups could have an important role to play here, perhaps facilitated through Neighbourhood Planning (see our recent Handbook: “London for All” for guidance on what local groups can do). Community engagement is no longer narrowly “residential” . All dimensions of place making are relevant including the role of established businesses in reinforcing local society. Local community organisations can often help identify local business organisations and facilitate better understanding by planning authorities. The GLA should also consider how to strengthen and support the capacity of SMEs to organise and represent their collective interests.

Where there are not already existing local business groups, ways need to be found to better support and enhance business representation and communication on industrial estates and high streets, building networks who together could provide a stronger voice in the face of redevelopment?

But, given the immediacy and extent of the housing crisis, the GLA should start to explore a range of design solutions, showing how industrial  and business premises can be better accommodated within new housing development, to meet the needs of occupiers who could co-locate with housing, if practical and design challenges were met.  We will also need to explore the barriers to implementing these solutions when redevelopment opportunities arise, and how to counteract the negative impacts of introducing the weak designation “mixed use”, in particular the effect on land values. At present this term simply means market housing with minimal and poorly specified ground floor units.

In addition, given that some industrial uses are genuinely incompatible with housing, we also need to consider alternative, and genuinely strategic ways to increase housing capacity that leave London’s endowment of useful industrial space intact. Politically this may suggest unpalatable decisions have to be taken.

Monitoring the London Economy

To measure the success of the London Plan and related Mayoral strategies at delivering against the economic aims listed above, the following indicators are recommended for discussion: the recently published ‘five headline indicators’ that NEF has proposed be used nationally to measure success. These are all measured by existing agencies such as the ONS, so should be easily feasible to collect data on:

  • Good jobs: % of the labour force that has a secure job that pays at least the living wage (using ONS Labour Force Survey Data)
  • Wellbeing: average life satisfaction on scale of 0-10 (using ONS Measuring National Wellbeing survey)
  • Environment: Carbon emissions in relation to the minimum limit set to avoid dangerous climate change (using DEFRA data); similarly for air quality
  • Fairness: ratio between after-tax incomes of top 10% and bottom 10% of households (using ONS data on The Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income Data
  • Health: % of deaths avoidable through good quality health care / public health interventions (using ONS Avoidable Mortality statistics

http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/five-headline-indicators-of-national-success

That list was derived mainly for national-level economic monitoring. For London and local monitoring additional indicators would be needed, covering —for example—

  • Financial success of households, after meeting housing costs
  • diversity of business sectors
  • strength of local supply chains
  • sustainability of resource use
  • reducing environmentally-damaging travel and transport generated by economic activity (work-trips, logistics, air-travel)

Indicators of this kind should be expressed as modified or additional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the Mayor’s strategy documents.

Annex: Just Space research proposals discussed with GLA Economics in autumn 2015.

Diversity and inter-dependencies

  1. Dedicated sections analysing the contribution and characteristics of SMEs, social enterprises, self-employment etc
  2. Include area-based quantitative studies and qualitative studies to offer a different perspective to the macro modeling and sector-based analysis (Park Royal and LLDC studies may be good models).
  3. Consider the potential for productivity gains and wage growth across all parts of the economy – not just highest GVA sectors in which London may have a specialism but employment may not be so high.
  4. A dedicated section dealing with the inter-dependence of economic activity – local supply chains, local investment multipliers, resilience and adaptability, outsourcing, local and London-wide (and wider) spatial links – and its implications for economic development approaches.

What kind of economic development do we want?

  1. a) From the start, and throughout, a much broader range of economic indicators considered, beyond London’s sectoral specialisms. For example, employment, income levels, progression opportunities and other economic outcomes across age/ gender/ ethnic/ disability groups.
  2. b) Analysis of the implications of the economic geography of London’s projected growth for worker travel patterns, including emissions and access to work for low-paid/part time workers and those with caring responsibilities, and for local supply chains, including emissions and road congestion.
  3. c) Historic and projected analysis of the losses and gains in types of enterprises and jobs as London’s economy changes over time, and the analysis of these changes in relation to key economic, social and environmental issues.

Workspace under pressure

  1. a) Land use categories are not helpful for analysing the economic functions of employment land. There needs to be acknowledgement and consideration of this.
  2. b) We would like to see an analysis of the existing and forecast impact of existing and potential extension of permitted development rights. What are the implications of these new flexibilities for the Mayor’s approach to managing the release of employment land and GLA/borough capacity to plan more generally? What analysis and monitoring needs to be undertaken?
  3. c) We would like to see an analysis of the sensitivity of enterprises to rent levels and locations included.
  4. d) Current “projection” approach assumes coefficients etc stable.  However the long history of excess and release should not be carried forward and better modeling would enable alternative releases to be tested.

Workshop notes from 4 February community conference: download as PDF JS Economy workshop 20160204 notes or continue reading here:

Introduction

Michael Edwards (ME) opened the workshop, thanking Myfanwy Taylor for her work in the past two years leading the work of Just Space Economy and Planning, and explaining that she couldn’t attend the workshop as she is on maternity leave. ME explained that there were a number of strategic questions guiding the workshop:

  • Do we pursue growth? If so, how much growth? Growth of what?
  • How do we produce an economy that is fairer, that reduces inequalities (wages/jobs)?
  • Should London continue to pursue growth at the expense of Britain?

The workshop would also focus on some of the more familiar issues of loss of workspace and the diversity of the economy.

Discussion – strategic questions:

Participant x: We need to consider the global context for the economy.

Eileen Conn (Peckham Vision): If we are to influence the mayoral election, we need to link with partners e.g. NEF

Rachel Laurence (NEF):

  • NEF is starting to pull together thoughts on London Mayoral election (and other Mayoral elections outside London too). Currently topics include: 1. The unpaid economy (caring, childcare etc). 2. Energy/environment. 3. Regional banking. 4. Community economic development. NEF may prioritise one or more of these topics but those decisions have not yet been made.
  • Important question to be asked is this: Is London’s economy about generating growth for the UK, or benefits for London? The mainstream view is around the former. London does this very well. If we are to argue against this mainstream view, we need to be able to demonstrate how it’s doing badly for Londoners. We need to develop different ways of measuring impact (on well-being for example).

Michael Parmar: At the social inclusion workshop (earlier), we discussed social value rather than economic value and that social value needs to be elevated as a criterion in Planning. We need broader measures of success.

Someone argued that London is undermining its own economy by the way it develops, that the rush for ‘development’ of property has a major downside for the rest of the economy.

Tom Chance: Advice on influencing Mayoral elections. Do it now (or a month ago). Candidates have already written their manifestos. Focus on two different types of asks: 1. Visionary. 2. Once we get a Mayor, can we get follow-through on pledges (London Citizens are very good at this).

Can we show, or show there is not, a trickle down effect? Workers are sleeping in parks, in beds in sheds.

Can we ask candidates to commit to working with us to do a full review of the London Plan?

Roy Tindle (LTGF) – We need to challenge conventional methods of measuring success.   For example, the London Plan sees no value in industrial land. But if all suppliers move too far away, London dies. This is not being taken into account by economists. It is crucial that goods & services remain close to London.

Michele? – those in power never do what they say they are going to do. We need critical theory.

David Boardman (Oval/Vauxhall) – we are constantly fighting planning applications, where decisions are being made that are contrary to the local plan. In Lambeth, the borough is only meant to lose 0.4 ha a year of industrial land, but there are disused gasholders that needs redeveloping, which would lead to a loss of 5 years’ supply.

David Farnsworth – Central question is surely whether London needs to grow for the benefit of the UK. And we need to focus more on at what cost (social, environmental etc)? Could those jobs not be created elsewhere at less cost? We need to address that London mentality that everything starts and ends in London.

Sofia – the increasing emphasis on viability studies means that we are focusing on the monetary value – which is seen as hard evidence – at the expense of other softer factors.

Jane Clossick (CASS Cities) – If we have evidence, where do we put it so that it is visible to policymakers?

ME – JSEP has been having discussions with GLA Economics team to discuss/influence what evidence they should be collecting for the next review of the London Plan.

People are spending half their income on rent and the rest on travel. What sort of an economy is that?

We need to focus less attention on the provision of transport infrastructure and more on promoting closer proximity between live and work.

ME – Bartlett Planning public lecture last week by Michelle Dix on Crossrail 2. Asked the question about what TfL was doing to get homes closer to jobs. She acknowledged that would involve a very different type of transport network (with an emphasis on the orbital), but his impression that TfL seems to have given up on that strategy.

Corinne Turner (Peckham Vision) – there is a concern that workers in London have become service workers only.

Krissie Nicholson (EETG) – NEF is doing some work on alternatives to GVA, could they please elaborate?

Rachel Laurence – The mainstream view of the economy is that the purpose of the economy is to increase national productivity (GVA/worker). It does do that. The problem we have in fighting this mainstream argument is that our goals are different, therefore it is very difficult to win the argument. First you need to redefine the terms on which you judge the economy. At NEF, we are suggesting using “headline indicators” instead of GVA – focusing on things like human well-being, good jobs, environmental benefits. We need to first get them to commit to the same outcomes. This is all available on NEF’s website. ME confirmed that there is also a link to NEF’s website on the JSEP document prepared for the workshop.

Jenny Robinson (UCL) – We need to bring in the city context. London is undermining its capacity to be a good city. To what extent is the rush for development about trying to save the UK’s economy? London is being sacrificed not just in local terms. The Mayor is obliged to balance these things.

David Farnsworth – The London growth machine is being subsidized by the UK taxpayers’ money e.g. transport, bailout of the City of London

Land use issues

ME – There are two main planning issues: 1. Loss of employment land. 2. Targeting of high streets and town centres for massive redevelopment. Both driven by the housing imperative.

Jessica Ferm (UCL) – update on main issues around loss of employment land. Latest research commissioned by the GLA is confirming loss is around three times the rate of ‘managed release’ prescribed in the London Plan; in inner London it is up to 8 times the target. Also focus in London Plan has been to consolidate employment into larger centres – so for example Strategic Industrial Land (the larger industrial estates), and the larger Metropolitan centres (for retail). This has meant a loss of finer grain employment across London over time.

ME – what do we do next?

We need to add policy proposals in the document to deal with the issues we have identified.

Can we introduce a requirement for an assessment of what is already there? Questions around who/when should so such studies need to be resolved.

David Farnsworth – Can we ask for a mechanism to be involved in co-producing the Plan, rather than producing an alternative London Plan? There is no Statement of Community Invovlement for the Mayor at all.

JS strategy is to focus on process as well as propose alternatives.

Tom Young – Planners cannot know whether a business that is currently on the periphery will become a world leader in the future or not. We don’t know the future, this is the market system. WE don’t know if a start up in Hendon is going to one day be a big employer. Planning has to have the flexibility to allow for uncertainty.

Eileen Conn – suggest that the paragraph on ‘participation’ in the Just Space conference handout be revised. It sounds like a bleat for extra resources for community groups. We need to be careful.

David Boardman(Vauxhall) – As a practitioner (at public inquiries) I need policies for encouraging employment and defending employment. Focus normally is on floorspace. WE do not need floorspace in order to get employment (coffee and internet is fine for many businesses). We need protection and encouragement policies (clusters, nodes). ME asked if David could put these suggestions in an email.

ME – we need to be careful not to make the mistake in assuming that start ups are only interesting if they turn into big enterprises later. In fact, we have been trying to defend enterprises that don’t prioritise growth, they just want to produce and stay put but are a valuable part of the local economy.

David Farnsworth – Practical suggestion: Go to each of the Mayoral candidates and ask them to commit to five principles, including the principle of community involvement. Include Assembly candidates too?

Jane Clossick – in Old Kent Road (Southwark), the business consultation and the residents’ consultation was held on different days. Run by Southwark.

ME – recounted Mark Brearley’s (CASS Cities & proprietor of Kaymet manufacturing business in Old Kent Road) experience with the London Chamber whose Chair is Mr Pidgley (of Berkeley Homes, also Chair of the LEP). Reveals that business interests are being represented by real estate people. There is a real representation problem of the non-real-estate business sector.

Eileen Conn – there is no requirement for local authorities to consult business groups, only community groups. There should be.

Market Traders Association feel completely powerless also.

Could we team up with the FSB to make our asks? Should we make an ‘ask’ to the LEP?

Nicky Gavron (London-wide Assembly member). For small businesses, Permitted Development Rights is a real problem. The current government is dismantling the current planning system. Homes – and the wrong sort of homes – are trumping affordable workspace. We are losing 3,000 artists studios in the process. NG suggested engaging with the process of preparing “Towards a London Plan” which will be the first step for the new Mayor.

Jane Clossick – should we propose strategic high street locations as well as strategic industrial locations?

Jessica Ferm – cautioned the introduction of more hierarchies in policy, which somehow give planners the impression that it is okay to lose ‘non-strategic’ retail or industrial. Issue of cumulative loss being strategic in outcome.

Ilinca Dianconescu (LGTU)– urged members of the workshop to provide their email addresses if they would like to be on the JSEP email circulation list. Email: ilincadiaconescu@gmail.com to get added.

It was also pointed out that the “economy” work needs to cross-check at least with the groups working on opportunity areas and on social inclusion.

END   notes by Jess Ferm

The following had signed up in advance for this workshop, tho’ were not all present. Others may have been present too.

Jane Clossick – CASS Cities

Michael Edwards – Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

Patsy Cummings- Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood Neighbourhood Forum

Jonathan Rosenberg – West Ken & Gibbs Green

Lisa Greensill – London Voluntary Service Council

Glenn Power – Tower Hamlets Tenants Federation

Sofia Roupakia – Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN)

Heather Gillmore – Deptford Neighbourhood Action

David McEwan

Dee Searle – Green Party/ IF project

Mama D – Ubele, CFGN

Stephen Kenny – Grove Park Neighbourhood Forum

Santa Pedone – Ubele

Rachel Laurence – NEF

Daniel Fitzpatrick, Bartlett, UCL

David Farnsworth – Freelance consultant, Bristol

Clare Moore – LTF

Sarah Sackman – Barrister, Francis Taylor Building

Duncan Bowie – University of Westminster

Nicolas Fonty – UCL Geography

Ilinca Diaconescu – London Gypsy and Traveller Unit

Jessica Ferm – UCL Planning

Teresa Hoskyns – University of Sheffield

Luisa Vallejo – Clitterhouse Farm Project

Alessandra Mossa

Jo Meehan – Old Kent Road People

Corinne Turner – Peckham Vision

Adrian Glasspool – Elephant Amenity Network

Tamsin Curno – Disability Action Islington

Eva Psychriani – LTF

Ade Sawyer – Ubele, Diversity and Community Engagement, COMA.

Dr Michael Parmar – DharArt Ltd

Roy Tindle – London Thames Gateway Forum

David Boardman – Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum

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