8 Your business February 2017 New London board to support business, jobs and growth Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced the new membership of London’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which will boost jobs and support economic growth in the capital. The new pan-London LEP, called the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), brings Mayor’s Brexit advisers page 10 together the Mayor, London Councils and business leaders across all the city’s main sectors. It will provide strategic oversight of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, which has the potential to deliver up to 40,000 jobs and 4,000 homes in east London, the London Growth Hub, the new online gateway to business support in the capital, and London’s European Structural and Investment Funds. The Mayor will chair the new board, with deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal (above) taking on the role of co-deputy Chair alongside another co-deputy from the business community. The deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, Jules Pipe, will also sit on the board, with the remaining members drawn from the London boroughs and businesses. There is also a new place for a trade union representative. Expertise The eight new business members – half of whom are women – bring a broad range of expertise in economic development as well as significant experience covering sectors from innovative tech start-ups to high-street retail, commercial land owners and creative industry. Mayor Khan, said: “This new business-led partnership provides a fantastic opportunity to ensure growth funding is invested in a way which makes a real difference to London’s economy. “London is open for business and I look forward to working with the members of LEAP to take forward my new economic development strategy for the capital, generating the jobs and growth we need to keep London prosperous.” Newly-appointed LEAP business member Natalie Campbell, founder of A Very Good Company, said: “I am looking forward to working alongside LEAP’s impressive line-up of entrepreneurs and business leaders to improve the lot for London’s small businesses. “SMEs employ around 2.5 million people across the capital and it is therefore of vital importance to Londoners that the sector thrives.” Exciting LEAP replaces the London Enterprise Panel and aims to be a more representative, streamlined, and business-led body. This includes an increase in the number of business representatives, of which half are now women. There is also greater representation from London’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, with one member nominated to represent and engage with the SME business community. In addition to overseeing current growth funding, confirmation of the funding allocation to LEAP from the £492 million for London and the south east in the Autumn Statement will be announced by government in due course. Sadiq Khan growing on London businesses Mayor Khan appears to be LCCI chief executive Colin winning round businesses Stanbridge said: “No doubt according to a new LCCI in one sense the Mayor will report. view this as good news as it Last December’s poll of more is certainly an improvement than 500 businesses, conducted on business perception of him by ComRes for LCCI showed before the election. that London businesses are “However Mayor Khan can’t more likely to think that Mayor be resting on his laurels as a Sadiq Khan is pro-business (39 third of businesses still think per cent) than anti-business he is neutral and 16 per cent (16 per cent), while one third believe he is anti-business. (31 per cent) say that he has While fewer business leaders a neutral attitude towards now see him as anti-business, businesses. the proportion who see him While the proportion who as actively pro-business is see him as pro-business is unchanged, suggesting that unchanged from the first business leaders are still quarter of 2016, the proportion cautious about his credentials. who see him as anti-business “There have been several has dropped and the proportion good decisions on his part who think he is neutral towards including bringing forward business has risen. transport infrastructure projects such as the night tube and the Bakerloo line extension and well as backing the expansion of London City Airport “We are also pleased that he has taken on board our proposals for a London work permit and London Visa in the wake of the referendum. All of these are essential to ensure London remains globally competitive, especially at a time when businesses are uncertain about the future. “However we would question his hesitancy to back a third runway at Heathrow. “Therefore he’s not making a bad start but I’m not sure he has quite yet fulfilled his pledge to be the ‘most pro-business mayor ever’. There’s still a lot left to play for.” Who’s on board In addition to Sadiq Khan, Rajesh Agrawal and Jules Pipe the currently named members of LEAP are: Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham; Cllr Claire Kober, chair of London Councils and Leader of LB Haringey; Cllr Peter John, deputy chair of London Councils and leader of LB Southwark; Cllr Teresa O’Neill, vice-chair of London Councils and leader of LB Bexley; Megan Dobney, regional secretary for South East Region TUC; and business representatives Natalie Campbell, Dr Celia Caulcott, Professor Greg Clark, Alexandra Depledge, Angus Knowles- Cutler, John Newbigin, Colette O’Shea, and Simon Pitkeathley.
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