LDN – London in Short
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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.
WINTER IS COMING
Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan has been all over the news and we are likely to be hearing more of the detail over the coming weeks. The package of measures, centred on a new Jobs Support Scheme, is as important for London as it is for any other part of the country.
SECOND WAVE OF WOE?
The New Year’s Eve fireworks are cancelled, as is the Lord Mayor’s show and presumably plenty of other exciting plans and calendar events. While we are not in full lockdown again, it is clear that new measures will be yet another blow to London’s already suffering economy (not to mention our collective mood).