Canary Wharf from Greenwich

London Forum Updates

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Labour's proposed Mansion Tax

Posted on: 22 October 2014 at 20:15:39
Simon Jenkins has written on this subject in the Evening Standard here and suggests that the tax may provide £180M for the Government, not the £1.7 billion which is the target for investment in the NHS.  There are letters to the Evening Standard about it here.
Meanwhile, Diane Abbott MP, who wants to be a candidate for London Mayor, suggests here that the money from Mansion Tax should be diverted from the NHS into more affordable homes for Londoners.
No doubt all political parties and candidates will clarify their polices before the 2016 GLA elections. 

Adverse effects of permitted development of offices

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 18:50:34
The Local Government Association conducted a survey of the effects of the Government's imposition of permitted development for office to residential conversion.
Their conclusions are here.
The harm in London has been very serious and the GLA is seeking to stop the proposed Government extension of the 'freedoms'.
Mary Portas is reported in the FT here to have objected to the way office conversion is harming creative industries.

LGA proposals for first 100 days of 2015 new Government

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 18:22:19
The Local Government Association has listed here the actions the next Government needs to take in its first 100 days to tackle the housing crisis, unemployment and obesity.
They say that:-
"If a radical and devolved model for public services is put in place, local government will be able to commit, over the course of the next Parliament, to build half a million more homes so people can find a place they can afford, offer every child a place at a good school close to home, to give them the best possible start in life and halve the number of unemployed young people, giving them the best chance to succeed.
By implementing the range of policies outlined in this document, we will save £11 billion on the cost of the public sector and empower local communities to have a real say in their own future."

Response to Cycle Segregated Superhighways consultation

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 11:13:36
London Forum has responded to the Mayor's consultation on north-south and east-west new cycle superhighways with segregated lanes.
Transport for London has been asked to employ methods to minimise adverse impact on bus and commercial vehicle journey times, goods deliveries and air pollution.
That response and others can be seen here.

Lyons report published into future of Local Government

Posted on: 18 October 2014 at 23:13:19
The report, commissioned by the Labour Party, can be seen here.
Several recommendations are made which should have responses in Party mainfestos for next year's elections.
Elements of the Finance Commission report here are not covered but community groups should seek implementation of its proposals through their MP.
The Local Government Association has responded to the Lyons Housing Review and promoted its own plan for delivering half a million extra new homes over the period of the next Parliament. Details are here.

New survey and report on retirement homes

Posted on: 13 October 2014 at 13:30:10
Knight Frank has published a report here on this topic.

Improving public transport to London's airports

Posted on: 11 October 2014 at 21:57:10
A comprehensive report on this subject has been published by TravelWatch here.

Response to DCLG's planning 'Technical Consultation'

Posted on: 8 October 2014 at 19:14:02
London Forum's comments on this subject are here.

Spending Community Infrastructure Levy funds locally

Posted on: 7 October 2014 at 14:58:52
Government Guidance here explains how the 15% or 25% of income from CIL is supposed to be spent in the vicinity of a development.
It includes the following:-
"Communities without a Parish, Town or Community Council will still benefit from the 15% neighbourhood portion (or 25% portion, if a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order has been made). If there is no Parish, Town or Community Council, the charging authority will retain the levy receipts but should engage with the communities where development has taken place and agree with them how best to spend the neighbourhood funding. Charging authorities should set out clearly and transparently their approach to engaging with neighbourhoods using their regular communication tools e.g. website, newsletters, etc. The use of neighbourhood funds should therefore match priorities expressed by local communities, including priorities set out formally in neighbourhood plans."
Civic, amenity and community groups should agree with their Council how they will be consulted and engaged in this process. Meanwhile, they should be considering the local priorities for infrastructure investment.

Sustainable Urban Drainage updates/guidance available

Posted on: 5 October 2014 at 16:03:24
See for the latest information on using SuDS in property development and in the public realm.
Community groups need to make sure their Council applies SuDS conditions, including pervious surfaces, to planning approvals and in its own highways and car park maintenance.

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