Political Update – June 2024

A New Labour Government?

There is now one week to go until the General Election. The latest polls suggests that Labour will secure a substantial majority and will hold or capture around 64 of the 75 seats in London.  Rachel Blake is the favourite to win the Cities of London and Westminster constituency.  The party have deliberately run a cautious, safe and steady campaign with little detail attached to proposed policies, and we understand that should they win, the shape of their new Government will be structured around their five key missions with a key focus on GROWTH.

The King’s Speech is currently scheduled for 17 July and there are currently no plans for an emergency budget.  Labour intends to be pro business and pro innovation and recognise that driving growth is the key to affording investment in our public services.

Business rates will be replaced with a new property based tax (no detail available yet) and reform of planning  is seen as a key part of the growth agenda.

In terms of policing and crime – 13,000 additional neighbourhood police and community PCSO’s will be recruited and the ‘immunity’ around £200 shoplifting offences will be ‘scrapped.’

In light of the above, we are of course reviewing our public affairs strategy and priorities and how we might best engage and influence the new Labour Government (should they win) post General Election.

Political Activity

  • Drafted and submitted a response to Westminster City Council’s sustainable transport strategy
  • Met with TfL to discuss how to drive forward the next stage of work with regards to pedicab regulation and shared our latest footfall data on off-peak Friday fares
  • Attended BusinessLDN’s Future London conference and noted their policy priorities and that of other key partners that included the restoration of tax free shopping, housing and transport policy and challenges with the UK Government’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme.  Published a short summary of key takeaways on LinkedIn.
  • Attended a briefing organised by AttisTowns and Red Rose Associates on what a new Labour Government would mean for central London BIDs and the wider visitor economy

Looking Ahead

  • We will issue a letter to the new MP for Cities of London and Westminster (and invite the MP to a future Board meeting or convene a roundtable/walking tour) and also send a letter to the new Minister for London post General Election
  • We will finalise our strategy and delivery plan for HOLBA’s key public affairs priorities
  • We will develop and issue a joint letter with the Westminster BIDS group to TfL to secure a timeline on its pedicab consultation
  • We will attend a briefing with Howard Dawber, Deputy Mayor, Business and Growth on 3 July about the Mayor’s London Growth Plan and the planned steps to boost skills provision in the capital.
  • We will participate in a sustainable transport strategy roundtable organised by WCC on 16 July

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail, please contact Antonia Stratford, Head of Public Affairs, at antonia@holba.london