LDN – London in Short
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CARS, CALL-INS AND CLADDING
As our dear city faces a state of emergency, the usual January horizon-scanning takes on a somewhat more desperate tone, with every prediction accompanied by a monumental shrug of the shoulders. Who knows what this year will hold? No seriously, who knows? Can they get in touch?
BACK TO BUSINESS (SORT OF)
The welcome news that London’s shops have re-opened (there was certainly a long queue at TK Maxx in Ealing at 10:30 this morning) has to be set against the backdrop of the Arcadia and Debenhams news, especially for the thousands of employees whose job prospects appear bleak.
NO TRAINS, NO PLANES
Today’s spending review is not great for London; our infrastructure projects are stuck, some of our key industries for jobs and growth are badly hurt and our local authorities are struggling. It’s tough out there right now, and the Government has its sights trained on fixing, well, anywhere but here.
LOCKED DOWN, BAILED OUT, MOVING EAST
Last week my fellow Board Director, Jenna Goldberg, clearly tempted fate in her LDN foreword by suggesting brighter days might be ahead and noting all the cultural activity that London still had to offer. So, personally, I blame her for this second lockdown.
TO BRIGHTER DAYS
Writing this from home, on a grey and gloomy day, having been up since 5am because the kids don’t understand that the clocks have changed, I’d rather not dwell on the transport rows over tubes and airports, or the political rows over planning reform and I certainly haven’t the head for funding rows over the future of beleaguered local authorities.
The news that the leader of Hillingdon is standing down after 20 years running the Council marks the fourth change at the top for London's boroughs in as many months, following the change of leadership at Southwark, Croydon and Merton.