Housing (Supplementary) [12]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

We can all welcome, and we do welcome, those steps. My point is that that is not enough and this is why my second question is around the role you play in terms of getting others around the table. If you accept that the Speeding Up Delivery report is correct in terms that there is a capacity in the building industry, for example; if you accept that the boroughs have got to up their own game in terms of speeding up the planning process; if you accept, as you have implied you do, that boroughs need to step up to the 50% guideline and boroughs like Wandsworth aren't; what are you doing to actually bring people around the table so that all the parties to the possible solution to this problem are working together? If you agree with that, will you agree with this - because I need to convey to you this morning a request from the new Liberal Democrat-led administration in Lambeth, to urgently get involved in planning for a new local housing forum so that we can look not just at the growth along the riverfront in terms of housing and how to put that into the hinterland, but also to find some cross-borough boundary solutions, because that is part of the partnership working. Would you agree to do that?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Housing (Supplementary) [12]

Answer for Housing (Supplementary) [12]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am happy to agree to do that. I remember when I was Vice-Chair of Housing in Lambeth in 1971 we had meetings with other boroughs to devise cross-borough solutions. We tried to acquire land in Croydon for development there. We co-operated. So, there will be no problems working all together.

What has been interesting is that, although the initial response of some in the building industry was that this would never work, my office is in constant contact with the building industry. They are involved in this. We have managed to bring them along and the government's along as well. This is an example of where the Mayor, although I have very limited powers, has actually achieved a complete change in housing policy in London in co-operation with boroughs and the Government and the private sector.

You are right, it is not as quick as I would like it to be. I would much rather have the powers of the Mayor of Moscow who builds 100,000 homes a year, sells 70,000 and gives 30,000 away to key workers.