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LDA set for massive budget cuts

London Development Agency’s funding may soon be decimated by a massive cuts plan devised by city mayor Boris Johnson.

Johnson has announced he wants to slash the agency’s regeneration fund from its current £41M to just £17M for the year 2011-12. Its £30M “sustained employment” fund may be cut to £19M, and its cash for supporting businesses is likely to be cut by more than half, from £26M to £12M.

The agency’s budget for tackling climate change may not be immune either. The mayor wants to take £5M from its £20M pot. Its budget for “international promotion” may also be slashed, from £27M to just £7.4 million.

Only money to pay for the Olympic Games is being increased, by a massive 250%. Its £4.1M pot for 2010-11 will be boosted to £14.3M for 2011-12.

The mayor’s budget document said: ‘This increase is due to additional projects being classified in this theme some of which previously came under the sustainable employment budget.’

Regeneration accounts for a greater proportion of the agency’s total 2011-12 expenditure (19.9%) than last year’s (19.6%). A spokeswoman for the mayor insisted the budget document is merely indicative, not final. The document reads: “The mayor is yet to receive a grant settlement from Government for the LDA in 2011-12 and remains in active discussions with ministers. Once these discussions are concluded and a settlement agreed, the mayor will be updating these budget plans as they relate to LDA functions.”

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