CEO Article: CDA CEO Debbie Akehurst comments on the Queen’s Speech - Central District Alliance

CEO Article: CDA CEO Debbie Akehurst comments on the Queen’s Speech

Yesterday the Queen announced that her government will focus on growing and strengthening the economy and helping ease the cost of living for families.

As we face the multiple challenges (and opportunities) in the post-pandemic, post-Brexit landscape, alongside the climate emergency and cost of living crisis, new legislation to cut red tape, promote new energy security projects, and hand more power to local areas, may provide some comfort to some business sectors.

Out of the 38 bills proposed by the Government there were a handful directly impacting Business Improvement Districts including: Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, Draft Protect Duty Bill, and Non-Domestic Rating Bill. There was minimal detail as to implementation, but that’s not to say we cannot work together to find the right solutions to some of the nation’s thorniest challenges.

My hope is that UK businesses, at the local, regional and national level, will embrace the power of Government to continue to drive the recovery, recognising that through collaboration and coalescing around shared goals we can achieve so much more to the benefit of all. Cities like London have an important contribution to make, and I call upon the government to support investment and growth in our capital city, as well as other cities across the country, so that their full potential is realised and prosperity can be shared.

A report recently commissioned by our colleagues in South Westminster BIDs with WPI Economics showed that the untapped potential of cities could contribute an extra £63 billion by 2030, if they had London-level growth targets.

It is essential that we also have a transport system that can meet the demands of our economic and social growth and again I urge the Government to work on a recovery plan for transport infrastructure for the capital with long-term financial support to Transport for London to enable London to compete on a global as well as a domestic scale.

Businesses can have a real say in how our cities evolve in the future. I’m looking forward to forging new partnerships between businesses, communities, and policy makers. Let’s work together to create this new era of public / private partnership – and improve how our cities evolve in the future.

Debbie Akehurst

CEO of Central District Alliance

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