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London devolution 'would boost infrastructure'

Businesses in London are to campaign for the city’s mayor to be given greater powers as they seek to boost infrastructure development in the capital.

Lobbying body London First said devolution would allow long-term decisions to be made on major construction projects.

It set out its vision in a report, London 2036: An Agenda for Jobs and Growth, which outlines how it believes the capital can achieve a world class economy.

“The most important aspect of devolution is likely to be its impact on London’s ability to make long-term investments in infrastructure,” said the report.

It called for London to:

  • Make a much louder and more persuasive case for devolution to the capital, using 2015 to capitalise on the Scottish Referendum, the recent devolution settlement in Manchester, the results of the City Growth Commission and London’s own work on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050;
  • Build a broader coalition of stakeholders from across the city to drive an integrated campaign, with a strong voice from business leaders alongside the public sector; and
  • Work closely with other city-regions around the UK to establish a shared voice that can effectively persuade national government.

The report added that Crossrail 2, as an example, could be funded by a community infrastructure levy on development around the line’s stations.

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