London First and the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) have published London 2036: an agenda for jobs and growth. This is a report on the future of the London Economy, substantially prepared by McKinsey and Co for London First. It is their report to the LEP.
Some of us went to the launch of this report last night (Myfanwy Taylor, David Fell, Lucy Rogers and Kristina from the East End Trades Guild). We agreed that we should quickly try to assemble some comments and evaluation.
The report itself is a free download, linked from http://justspace.org.uk (7.8mb. There is also a 14mb version – presumably higher-resolution – together with a video and some other stuff which they gave us on USB sticks, 101mb total.)
I just had a quick read and have these (purely personal) comments so far:
0. Preparation of this report seems to have involved massive private sector consultations + Universities + think tanks + other LEPs + London Councils but just one individual Borough. No Trades Unions. No community groups.
1. The first half of the report views economic development as an Olympic sport, the sole aim being to capture as much gold for London as possible. Various component ‘sports’ are considered.
2. There is then stuff on constraints, weaknesses, problems, threats (including airport capacity which all the speakers yesterday managed not to mention), poor internet, immigration controls, Brexit, £££ for infrastructure. Housing and unemployment end the list.
3. The report improves a bit (from our perspective) as it goes on.
4. There are some references to the need for more housing output though not much on “affordability” except that the word appears (once I think) and that recommendations include relaxing LA borrowing limits (implicitly so they can build). There is mention of publicly-owned land, but mainly implying satisfaction at its disposal. Nothing on losses of social housing or on rents.
5. There is some discussion on location of jobs, fairly defeatist about employment in much of outer London other than in services to residents; very little on losses of employment space, though the issue does get a mention.
5. Finally there is a bit on helping less-skilled Londoners to compete more effectively for jobs. Nothing very interesting there.
6. Usual stuff about London needing to “retain” more of the GDP and tax revenue which it “generates” (Travers etc). Offset by a lot about collaboration with other parts of the country because London’s growth benefits everyone…..
A. Nothing on wages, inequality, benefits
B. The overall priority of raising GDP/GVA still seen as achievable only by growing the high-productivity sectors and firms; no recognition that output and productivity could be raised in the rest of the economy, or at least retained.
C. Not much on SMEs and that only on start-up and growth funding for expanding tech/cultural firms
D. Nothing on environment (air quality, global warming, floods, green space, greening of activity except one ref to easier home-working)
E. Nothing, of course, on social enterprises, unpaid work etc etc.
I look forward to other people’s comments and/or improvements to the above. As and when some agreed comments emerge, we’ll put them on the Just Space (Economy and Planning) site.
Here is a comment from Richard Brown on the Centre for London blog.