South London Partnership launches case for devolution

 

The South London Partnership has combined its ambition to further develop and promote skills, innovation and quality of life and make its case to the government for devolution to deliver the biggest growth opportunity in the capital.

The South London Partnership, which consists of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, yesterday held its first public meeting at which it presented the huge growth potential for the region that includes creating thousands of new jobs and homes for local residents.

The South London region’s “offer” to government includes:-

  • The largest office location outside central London
  • The opportunity to create 20,000 new homes
  • Over half a million projected new jobs by 2036
  • A £5.21bn regeneration programme in Croydon creating over 23,000 jobs
  • Easy access to Gatwick and Heathrow airports
  • The fastest growing tech sector outside central London
  • World renowned research institutions, such as National Physical Laboratory and Kew Gardens

The SLP has formed a joint committee – the very first in London – which has been ratified by each of the member councils, granting it decision-making powers that set it ahead of other regional groups.

The boroughs have agreed a joint “ask” to government, which covers four key themes for growth:-

  1. Devolved decision-making powers – including devolved funding streams and budget holding at a local level, 100% retention of business rates
  2. Matching skills to demand to support the local economy and create new jobs and businesses through devolved funding and commissioning at a local level
  3. Realising infrastructure ambitions – including a stronger role in transport planning, local control of bus routes, and stronger orbital connections
  4. Greater freedom to deliver homes – including a stronger voice in planning housing, easier and more direct routes to funding, removal of restrictions on borrowing

The SLP already has a track record in working together, which puts the region in a ready-made position for devolved powers and to deliver real change.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council who was today historically appointed chair of the joint committee, said: “This is a landmark opportunity for an unprecedented scale of growth in our region, which will bring huge benefits for local residents.

“South London represents one of the biggest growth opportunities not only in London but the entire country.

“We are starting from a position of strength and the strong track record we have of working together that demonstrates a single focus on delivery.

“Our message to government is quite clear – devolve us the powers we are asking for to unlock the growth potential in our region that will ensure London maintains its status as a global city in the coming decades.

“Together we offer the perfect platform to deliver a unique growth proposition benefitting both London and the UK.”

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