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Our Successes

2014 – Concerned by a lack of housing to meet the demands of a growing population, we published ‘Home Truths: 12 steps to solving London’s housing crisis’. Recommendations included the creation of a 21st Century ‘Domesday Book’ of publicly owned sites that should be sold off for homes, the creation of new communities in the south west and north east of London to meet burgeoning demand.

2014 – Our Crossrail 2 taskforce looked at how the new £12 billion underground rail line could be built with less than half the cost coming from central government, meeting a key Treasury demand. The result was our report ‘Funding Crossrail 2’

2013 – We considered options for short-term solutions to the UK’s air capacity crisis in our submission to the Airports Commission in May, supported by a manifesto for balancing aviation growth and aircraft noise and calls for a world class rail link to Stansted. In December, we publicly supported the Commission’s interim report as the first step to delivery.

2013 – We launched the Let Britain Fly campaign, to continue to push for politicians to take action immediately following the General Election, whomever is in power.

2013 – We joined forces with a number of leisure and retail organisations to form the UK-China Visa Alliance, with London First as the principal funder.

2013 –  Our report ‘Building London, Building Britain’ found that construction work in central London generates twice the economic benefits – and supports almost twice as many jobs – outside London as it does in the capital.

2013 –  We successfully lobbied for the government not to tighten the migration cap when it came up for review. After review, the migration cap was maintained at 20,700.

2013 –  The reduction of top rate of income tax to 45p (announced in the 2012 Budget) came into effect.

2013 –  Crossrail 2 edged further forward as our task force, led by Lord Adonis, released its proposed route in February. With the support of the Mayor, proposals for the new line, joining Hertfordshire in the north-east with parts of Surrey and Middlesex in the south-west of the capital, via a new tunnel under central London, went out for public consultation shortly afterward.

2012 – The Goverment accepted the need for any review of aviation capacity in the South-East to include consideration of ALL possible options for increasing capacity, including expansion at exisiting airports. An independent commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will make its interim report in 2013

2012 – The Chancellor reflected the thoughts of the business community in the Budget by announcing the reduction in the top rate of income tax to 45%, which is due to come into effect in April 2013. We had been campaigning for two years for this measure, as the 50% top rate put at risk the attractiveness of the UK, and London in particular, as a place to work for skilled professionals.

2012 – We actively campaigned for two years for the immigration cap to be more business-friendly, and to be set at a level that allows businesses to employ the best talent, irrespective of their country of origin. In April 2012 the Government announced it will hold the cap at 20,700 for two years and not place any further restrictions on intra-company transfers.

2012 – A radical overhaul and modernisation of the regulation of Heathrow and London’s other major airports to put the needs of passengers first with a new flexible licensing regime and greater resort to competition.

2012 – A Lane Rental pilot for London charging Highway Authorities (including Transport for London) and utilities for time taken to dig up London’s roads, as part of a range of measures to cut congestion.

2011 – Major public realm improvements in the West End with legible London signage throughout Westminster, Piccadilly’s revamp and two-way working and Leicester Square ahead of the Games.

2010 – Funding for the £6bn Thameslink upgrade programme – the ‘north-south Crossrail’ – which when delivered in 2018 will bring a doubling of precious capacity through central London for hard-pressed commuters beyond London’s boundaries and extending the benefits of London’s growth.

2010 – A £10bn transport funding settlement for London in the last Comprehensive Spending Review, ensuring the Tube’s modernisation programme continues to increase quality and capacity and caters for growing demand.

2009 onwards – Our Tube User Forum secured changes to the programme of closures for the Tube upgrades to avoid sensitive periods for business in London and where possible to accelerate the investment programme with quicker, block closures.

2007 – Having campaigned for Crossrail since our inception in 1992, we were delighted that the Government gave the go-ahead for the project in October 2007. We were heavily involved in funding talks with the Treasury and Department for Transport ministers in the final weeks and days leading up to this announcement and we will keep up the pressure until the first train travels the route in 2017.

2006 – Skills for jobs – London First advocated a single London body to address the urgent skills needs of businesses in the capital. The London Enterprise Panel (formerly called the London Skills and Employment Board) was established by Government in late 2006 and is co-chaired by the Mayor of London and former London First chairman Harvey McGrath.

2005 – We developed the New West End Company, the Business Improvement District that manages the improvement and promotion of the West End.

2005 – We ran the largest ever vocational careers fair in London – SkillCity 2005 – which attracted 160 exhibitors and 26,000 visitors. Following on from this success we ran similar events in 2008 and 2010, and we will continue to support London’s employers and unemployed in Skills London 2012.

2005 – Medal-winning – London First galvanised business support for London’s successful Olympic Bid, as a catalyst for regeneration.

2005-2012 – Safer business – In partnership with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, we have developed booklets on business continuity and counter terrorism, endorsed by Government and now distributed by local authorities UK-wide. Thanks to London First, working with the Metropolitan Police, over 500 businesses have benefited from business continuity training.

2003 – Tackling central London gridlock – London First proposed Congestion Charging as a means of tackling central London congestion and as an alternative funding stream to deliver vital investment in the capital’s transport system. Congestion Charging was introduced in 2003. We have since persuaded the Mayor to make the original scheme more user-friendly, including introducing next day payment, extra pay points and a 6pm finish.

2002/03 – London First’s proposal for a Local Tax Reinvestment Programme, based on our study in Barking and Dagenham, was influential in the creation of the current Local Authority Business Growth Incentive schemes.

2001 – Teach First – London’s schools have benefited from the teaching skills of over 1,000 exceptional graduates, placed by Teach First, a scheme pioneered by London First and BITC in 2001.

2001 – Over 250 partnerships between senior police personnel and business leaders have arisen from London First’s much praised Leadership Exchange programme, which encourages the sharing of leadership and management expertise to improve operational effectiveness of London’s police services.

2000 – Devolution for London – As part of our work to ensure the capital has the tools to manage itself effectively as a world city, our lobbying was influential in creating the Greater London Authority and office of Mayor of London in 2000.

1995 – We established Think London to promote London to business audiences worldwide and encourages foreign direct investment to London. In 16 years, our sister organisation helped over 1000 companies from 36 countries to expand into London. On 1 April 2011 Think London was merged with Study London and Visit London to form London & Partners – a single promotional organisation for London.

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