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Bromley "showcases localism agenda"

Tue 20 September 2011, 11:19 am

Bromley is a first-rate example of the localism agenda working to create economic growth in partnership with the private sector, according to the planning minister and Bromley MP Bob Neill.

Speaking in front of an audience of more than 150 investors at the Invest Bromley conference today, he said: “Bromley really has driven forward a proactive agenda for this borough which I am very proud to represent in Parliament. Bromley is really up for this and really open for business.”

Speaking in support of the coalition government’s debt reduction policy, Neill told the conference that it was a necessary prerequisite to acquiring growth which is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, and added that the government’s policies aimed to cut barriers to business growth both nationally and locally.

“It is key to that we drive growth at a local level,” he said. “To do that decisions need to be made locally and the current system of operating doesn’t give local authorities and business partners a chance to make those decisions. So growth is linked to the localism agenda – and that means removing the top-down approach which has bedevilled Britain since World War II.

“Bromley has many advantages – its transport, skills base, its connectivity and closeness to London, but also its can-do attitude. We need to build bridges between the private and public sector and that’s what the localism bill all about.

“Key provisions in the localism bill are due to be in place next spring and will see a fundamental change to local authorities’ ability to introduce new initiatives, including putting appropriate powers and financial powers at a local level, from discretionary business rate relief so authorities can attract business, to reforming CIL and business rates so local authorities have a real incentive to grow business as part of strategy. It will change relationships between local authorities and business to a much healthier, more partnership one.

“The localism bill is not a power shift purely to developers, it is actually a shift towards local communities, local businesses, their local authorities and a shift towards realism. Growth will be driven by private sector investment and enterprise which is why so important get conditions of investment right, both at national and a local level.”

Cllr Stephen Carr, leader of the London Borough of Bromley, said: “Bromley has a record of being in the vanguard of change of which we are rightly proud.

“We believe there are compelling reasons why you should invest in Bromley. We are passionate about our borough and will use the full powers at our disposal to work towards the renewal of Bromley working alongside the private sector to seize opportunities.”


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