London City Council Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee Briefs


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Anti-vacancy strategy explored

A motion to tackle vacant buildings and land in central London sparked debate on Wednesday, especially from politicians who said there was too much emphasis on the heart at the expense of other parts of London. Ward 5 Council. Maureen Cassidy brought forward a motion asking staff to report on potential strategies to reduce vacancies. In a letter to politicians, she suggested that reallocation of buildings and construction on empty properties might be part of the “bold thinking” needed to build 3,000 new affordable homes over the next five years, a goal advice put all his weight behind. Councilors Shawn Lewis and Phil Squire said the heart of London should not always be given priority over other areas of the city, such as their neighborhoods in east and north London. But Mayor Ed Holder said the downtown improvement works are having a ripple effect across the city. “If the heart is not healthy then you know what, our city is not healthy,” said Mayor Holder. Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan added to Cassidy’s motion, asking staff to review existing plans, including incentive programs, a parking strategy and the central zone action plan, as part of the broader anti-vacancy strategy. The council, sitting as a strategic priorities and policy committee, voted 13-0 to ask city staff to assess an anti-vacancy plan.

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Public housing must not disappear

Fifty-six percent of social housing in London and Middlesex is in “poor condition,” a major gap in repairing infrastructure that will require more investment from city hall, politicians said on Wednesday. A recent injection of $ 40 million from the federal government – coupled with almost $ 30 million budgeted by the council – will help modernize a number of units “but we still have a long way to go,” said Paul Yeoman , Council of London and Middlesex Community Housing. chair. “We have a long legacy that we must manage in the future. I imagine we will be looking at some upcoming funding requests in the next multi-year budget. At an annual meeting to update the city council, the shareholder of the social housing provider, Yeoman described the progress made in the organization last year and in 2021, including the mobile vaccination clinics against the COVID-19, the search for a new CEO and the creation of a tenant. advice to represent people living in social housing. The organization has gone through serious turmoil since the board ousted its entire board in 2019 after a scathing audit showed high vacancy rates despite high demand for social housing and long lead times execution to fill empty slots. Politicians approved a new board of directors for the organization on Wednesday evening, comprising two tenants, two community members, two city staff who were on the interim board of directors, two city councilors – Phil Squire and Michael van Holst – and a representative from Middlesex County.

LEDC reports 820 jobs created in 2020

London saw nearly $ 80 million in new businesses or expansions last year, the London Economic Development Corp said. (LEDC) in an annual report to the city council. The economic development agency worked with 611 businesses in 2020, creating around 820 jobs. LEDC has also taken the lead in London’s film strategy to attract film production to the city, with several companies having already chosen to shoot or produce their projects here.

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