Housing, transport and skills on the MIPIM agenda

MIPIM, the world’s leading property event is vast, with over 24,000 participants, and over 3,100 exhibiting companies from 100 countries in attendance. This four-day event in Cannes provides an international platform for debate in the property sector that is unrivalled.

LCCI’s primary focus during MIPIM 2018 was not just on the challenges of catering for London’s rapidly increasing population, but the opportunities to capitalise upon it. Working alongside key stakeholders including the Department for International Trade, London Councils, New London Architecture (NLA) and the City of London Corporation, the delegation was focused on presenting brand London as a way to secure investment throughout the capital.

Messages

This was LCCI’s sixth year participating at MIPIM – now in its twenty-ninth year – in which it was supported by an 85-strong delegation of business representatives from 25 companies from the world of property and construction across the capital. The delegation, led by LCCI president and Berkeley Group chairman Tony Pidgley and LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge, were out in force to promote London as a place to do business, while advocating LCCI’s core policy messages on housing, transport and skills.

The London Plan that was unveiled by Mayor Sadiq Khan last November took centre stage. The plan presents the Mayor’s vision for the continued development of the capital for the next 20-25 years. In response LCCI has called on the Mayor to address the chronic undersupply of housing, tackling the overcrowding and congestion of the capital’s transport network, and the perennial issue of skills.

Packed

On housing, LCCI’s core ask was that the Mayor review the capital’s Metropolitan Green Belt, following the publication last year of Brown for Blue, a report which said that derelict or disused areas of the belt should be used to house the capital’s emergency services personnel. This report was central to a packed NLA discussion forum with Pidgley and NLA chairman Peter Murray.

On transport, LCCI strongly supports Crossrail 2 and aviation expansion – both at Heathrow and Gatwick. Crossrail 2 featured in a Chamber reception with guest speaker Jules Pipe – formerly mayor of Hackney, now working on the London Plan – particularly the concern over the project’s funding, and whether businesses should foot the bill.

On skills, LCCI are advocating greater devolution to the capital, particularly on skills funding and the apprenticeship levy – an issue raised by the leader of the London Borough of Newham, Kim Bromley-Derry, during an LCCI/Crofton event.

Collaborative

There has, in the past, been elements of ‘us versus them’ around investment in London and the rest of the UK. This year there was a more collaborative approach, particularly across the UK’s core cities; from Birmingham, Manchester and London. For example, LCCI’s Build to Rent lunch saw representatives of Manchester and Birmingham City Councils, alongside the leader of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. This session focused on how the build to rent sector could play its part in solving the affordable homes problem across each of the UK’s three core cities.

Cities

Other major cities promoting investment projects at MIPIM included Istanbul, Warsaw and Dubai. In this context, LCCI hosted a private dinner for Deputy Mayor for Paris Jean Louis Missika. This chimed with the signing of the Declaration of the Alliance of European Metropolitan Chambers, of which LCCI and the Paris Region Chamber of Commerce were signatories, that took place in April 2017.

Despite Brexit looming, there was relatively limited discussion on the topic, with pragmatism and a sense of ‘getting on with business’ prevailing. Domestic priorities took centre stage within the London Pavilion. This was evident during a panel discussion with the City of London following the publication of their report The City as a Place for People. Catherine McGuiness (pictured above), the Corporation’s policy chair, said that the report recognised that talent is more important than ever for businesses in the Square Mile, and that a range of strategies were being adopted to attract the best and brightest.

Simon Dishman, Policy Manager, LCCI

 

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