Deputy mayor for government relations Ian Clement has reiterated the Mayor’s commitment to regeneration of the East End and the Thames Gateway at the Thames Gateway Forum today.

Clement rejected the idea that the mayor Boris Johnson's recent decision to revise the transport programme for the area would damage growth in the region and highlighted transport improvements already underway or scheduled to start in the near future.

He also said that local authorities should have more control over how funding is spent in the area.

Johnson recently announced that development of an 'Economic Recovery Action Plan for London'.

Clement said: 'In ‘planning for a better London’ Boris Johnson has reiterated his commitment to regeneration of East London and the Thames Gateway. We believe that the Gateway is essential to a successful London. It will provide housing to support a growing city and new businesses and jobs for those moving to, and already living in, the area.

'Much has been made of the Mayor’s decision to revise the transport programme for the area. It is important that these decisions are seen, firstly in the context of the huge amount of expenditure already invested, by the Mayor, in transport projects in the area such as Crossrail and the East London Transit scheme and also as part of a process of hard-headed and rational planning that the Mayor wishes to promote in the area.'

'But there is a need for local authorities in the inner and outer Gateway to be given more freedom to spend regeneration funds on projects that will improve the quality of life in their areas. Too much funding has been tied to specific housing and employment targets when in fact projects such as Town Centre renewal or anti-social behaviour reduction may be more welcome and be of greater benefit to people living in the area.

'It is critical that we continue to work with the boroughs and central Government to progress and promote all these projects that are vital to economic health of London and the wider UK economy.'

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