Norris on business and tourism

Steve Norris promised today to boost London’s attractiveness as a place for business and tourism – and make the city safer than New York. The announcement coincides with the release of a London Business Survey, conducted by You Gov, which found crime was the most important issue facing London.

Steve also published a series of manifesto pledges on how he will tackle the loss of tourist income and competition with other cities in the UK and abroad. These include backing a “Proud London” campaign, hosting an Annual Business Conference and funding skills training for unemployed youngsters.

In recent years, London has come under increasing competitive pressure from cities in the UK and abroad as well as suffering a major loss in tourist numbers. The manifesto highlights the potential dangers to London’s position as a major international business and visitor centre as the result of the rise in violent crime and inadequate public transport. Steve is concerned that unless steps are taken to improve the current situation both tourists and companies alike will “vote with their feet”.

Steve’s Manifesto commitments on business and tourism include:

· Launch a “Proud London” campaign to make Londoners feel as proud of their city as New Yorkers do of their city. The initiative will include a discount card for Londoners and working with councils, businesses and community groups to make the city safer, cleaner and brighter

· Zero tolerance for commercial crime as well as backing retail crime partnerships that allow shops to exclude known offenders – a recent IoD survey found two thirds of businesses had been affected by crime

· Hosting an Annual Mayor’s Business Conference as a showcase for inward investment

· Providing skills and language training for unemployed youngsters funded by the London Development Agency

· Negotiating a deal with the private sector to agree their contribution to Crossrail to pressurise the Government to fund the project

· Replacing the Congestion Charge that is damaging shops, restaurants and theatres inside the zone with a ban on lorries in the morning rush hour and charging utilities for road works

· Delivering a 21st century tube with a no strike agreement with the unions, extended Underground operating hours at weekends and air conditioning in the stations. Transport delays cost business in the City alone over £230 million every year.

Steve said: “I want to make Londoners feel as proud of the capital as New Yorkers do for their city. And the best way of boosting London’s position as a world city is to make the city safe for people to live and work in. Rising crime is not just bad for London's reputation with tourists, it also hits businesses across the capital. Failing public transport does not just delay and annoy commuters, it also costs London's economy billions every year in lost jobs and opportunities.”


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