ADD2237 Funding for the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2237
Date signed: 
11 June 2018
Decision by: 
Tim Steer, Head of Transport

Executive summary

The West Anglia Taskforce was established by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London in February 2015 to develop an evidence base to support the case for improved rail infrastructure on the West Anglia Main Line. It produced a report in summer 2016 and it has been agreed that the Taskforce will continue to make the case for improved rail provision in 2018.

The secretariat function for the Taskforce was conducted by the Greater London Authority between September 2015 and January 2017. Since then it has been conducted by the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium.

Assistant Director approval is sought for expenditure of £30,000 to support the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium’s performance of the West Anglia Taskforce secretariat function up to December 2018.

Decision

That the Head of Transport approves the transfer of £30,000 from the GLA Transport Team budget to the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC) to support its performance of the secretariat function for the West Anglia Taskforce up to December 2018.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The West Anglia Taskforce was set up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London in February 2015 to make the case for investment in the West Anglia Main Line (WAML). The Secretary of State for Transport asked the Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst (then an MP) to chair the Taskforce.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, continues to be supportive of improvements to the West Anglia Main Line, citing in his 2016 Mayoral election manifesto:

“Work to make better use of existing capacity, fighting to secure the upgrade of the West
Anglian rail line in Network Rail’s next investment period, to improve journeys to Stansted, support housing development in north London and deliver faster journeys to Cambridge”

The London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC) took over the secretariat function of the Taskforce from the GLA in January 2017. The LSCC is a strategic partnership of public and private organisations covering the same geographic area as the economic growth corridor from north London through to Cambridge and Peterborough, with the common aim of seeking economic growth, higher employment rates, providing places for people and business while preserving the quality and character of the corridor.

To continue to perform a secretariat function for the Taskforce the LSCC requires funding support. It has been agreed that the GLA will provide £30,000 to support this function up to December 2018, at which point a further assessment will be made of the next steps for the West Anglia Taskforce and the best way to approach any further work required.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Over the coming year the West Anglia Taskforce has the following objectives:

a) Promote the report's five point “call to action” using this to build a broad coalition of sponsors and supporters and continue to work to the report produced in summer 2016
b) Use the highly compelling narrative‎ and campaign to underpin the importance of the proposed WAML upgrade and to further efforts to lobby for the Crossrail 2 programme both of which will vastly improve the economic trajectory of the London Stansted Cambridge corridor
c) Drive forward a series of short to medium term train service and performance improvements, promoting innovation and further work with rail partners to bring about tangible ‎benefits for commuters and airport users
d) Explore, with partner agencies, any sources of significant capital funding for which the four-tracking rail infrastructure ‎works may be eligible, in addition to Exchequer allocations
e) Convene regular officer meetings of the Strategic Communications (Taskforce) sub-group to achieve maximum press and media impact, exposure and wider influence
f) Transfer the www.upgradewaml.co.uk website to the LSCC

The expected outcome is that there will be much higher recognition of the need to make improvements to the WAML within various Whitehall departments, principally DfT but also other relevant departments such as Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy and HM Treasury.

Equality comments

This decision is not expected to have any impact on those with protected characteristics.

Other considerations

This decision is not considered to pose any risks to the GLA. The GLA will still play a key role in the work of the Taskforce.

The London Plan identifies the Upper Lee Valley as an Opportunity Area. The Taskforce’s work supports the Mayor’s commitment to realising the potential of the region and improving its connections to areas outside London.

The Taskforce membership includes some local authorities and business groups along the corridor and the LSCC, as part of its Taskforce secretariat function, will continue to conduct stakeholder engagement with local authorities and business groups in order to ensure that their views and considerations are incorporated into the Taskforce’s work at the earliest opportunity.

Financial comments

Assistant Director’s approval is being sought for a contribution of £30,000 to support the Taskforce Secretariat function for another year. DD1471 and ADD 2089 previously approved expenditure to support the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium to help the West Anglia Taskforce Growth Plan up to December 2017.

The £30,000 contribution will be funded to the Transport Team for this from Development, Enterprise and Environment 2018-19 Minor Programme budget.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Delivery Start Date

January 2018

Main milestones

4 x meetings of the Taskforce

 

3 x meetings of All Party Parliamentary Group

 

3 x business engagement and stakeholder events

Delivery End Date

December 2018