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Leadership confusion holds back Thames Gateway

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LACK OF leadership is undermining efforts to regenerate the Thames Gateway, according to a report to be published today by management consultant Hornagold & Hills.

Engineers and local government officials also said that too many organisations were involved in the programme, causing red tape and confusion about who was in charge.

These are the conclusions of a survey of 92 construction fi ms, local authorities and public sector bodies.

They were asked to name the barriers to the successful regeneration of 202,000ha of land lining the north and south banks of the Thames.

Respondents criticised the number of organisations involved in the project, describing it as 'rudderless' and a 'bureaucratic nightmare'.

They named 16 separate people or organisations as being in charge of the Thames Gateway Initiative, although most people cited deputy prime minister John Prescott as the man pushing the project forward. Eighty seven per cent said the leadership of the project was ineffective.

The sustainability of the project was also attacked.

Few thought it would benefit those already living in the area and several expressed concern that it would turn out like Docklands, where 60,000 people work but only 4,000 live locally.

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