Our new All Party Urban Development Group held its first inquiry this week, on how to improve private investment in Britain's cities and towns. Clive Betts MP (Sheffield, Attercliffe) chairs the cross-party Group. Witnesses this week included Tony Travers (LSE), Ian Bromley (Sheffield Creative), Lesley Chalmers (English Cities Fund) and Chris Leslie (New Local Government Network).
We provide the research for the Group, and have identified a major infrastructure funding gap in our towns and cities. The current financing system is too centralised, but also too fragmented. Britain's cities and towns need greater devolution and additional financial powers to fund their local transport projects.
See the Group's latest press release, on the Government's "borrowing obsession" - http://0301.netclime.net/1_5/0/J/Z/Government%20borrowing.pdf
The Group will publish its final report in January. Its second inquiry, in Spring 2007, will look at business investment in deprived areas. See the Group's website for more details http://www.allparty-urbandevelopment.org.uk/