Where did Boris spend the regeneration money and on what 2008-2016? What next?

A useful report from Regeneris: Capital Spread: Mapping the GLA's regeneration spend 2008-2016. 

£142m was allocated through four major regeneration grant funds:  the Outer London Fund (OLF), the Mayor's Regeneration Fund (MRF), the High Streets Fund (HSF) and the London Regeneration Fund (LRF). 

Haringey and Croydon received the largest sums with £28 million and £23 million respectively.  Hackney, in the Inner London zone, received £2m for Hackney Central from the LRF, £1,024,950 from the LRF for Dalston Works, £75,000 from LRF for Cell Project Space Limited and £20,000 for Mare Street from the High Streets Fund. 

The Outer London Fund along with the second rounds of HSF and the LRF focussed on town centre improvement and improving the visual quality of places.  Regeneris contrast this with Ken Livingstone's focus on the Central Activities Zone and the larger Metropolitan Town Centres commenting that "this approach makes sense in an increasingly polycentric city ...".

With new Mayors in place in London and coming up for Hackney, where should regeneration funds for Hackney be focussed now?  Your comments please.

I suggest we need funding:

1.    to develop both more local jobs and to enhance local recruitment.  

Hackney’s low jobs density is a key contributory factor in 80% of its working population needing to travel outside the borough for work.  Furthermore, as a result of accommodating a half of forecast population growth and a quarter of forecast employment growth, the East and South-east London sub-region is expected to see by 2031:

  • a 25% total increase in trips
  • an 18% increase in congestion
  • and an increase in expected overcrowding on rail and underground despite committed transport expenditure.

So getting about the borough is going to take more time and become more stressful and the quite correct local Transport Strategy's objective (amongst others) that there should be "Enhanced residents’ access to jobs, training and essential services without increasing congestion on public transport or roads" simply cannot be met without additional initiatives.

 ( See Hackney Transport Strategy 2015-2025 p20, p22, p42, p44, p46)

2.   to audit our green and open spaces, their quality and the loss of biodiversity and to support the refresh of local Biodiversity Action Plans, their delivery across council responsibilities and the regeneration of our urban ecosystems

Hackney has a Biodiversity Action Plan but lack of resources and its location in Parks means it does not reach other parts such as planning and housing.  Data is collected but we do not know what biodiversity is being lost through development or whether our ecosystems can provide the environmental services we need (such as clean water, drainage and flood management) as climate change occurs.  We do know it cannot provide the clean air we need at current levels of pollution.  We do know by simple observation that, as population grows, our green spaces are becoming more crowded.

We need a far more strategic and systematic approach to caring for our green spaces, creating capacity for local food growing and supporting recovery of biodiversity.

Your views would be very welcome.

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