The Commission will have up to 12 members which will be announced early in 2009 as will its terms of reference. It will advise the Mayor on the London Plan and other policies to ensure outer London realises its full potential.
The Mayor has fulfilled a manifesto pledge to look at ways of working more closely with businesses, local government and other stakeholders with interests in our suburban centres, which he says "had long been neglected despite their significant contribution to London’s economy".
His announcement continued: “For too many years the focus of the previous Mayoralty has been channeled towards inner London and a few favoured areas. The vital role played by our town centres and communities in the suburbs has been overlooked, if not ignored, to the detriment of all Londoners. I am determined to redress that imbalance and tap into this rich source of business and planning expertise to create an even stronger and more vibrant outer London which will ensure the capital remains an economic force to be reckoned with for generation after generation.”
The new Commission will identify up to five areas to become outer London growth hubs. The aim is to pinpoint successful town centres with the potential to improve further and support their development through the Mayor's London Plan and other policies. This will ensure existing vibrant town centres play their full role in guaranteeing the continued success of London’ s economy.
The Commission will also showcase examples of town centre excellence, by looking at best practices which have contributed to the success of our existing outer London town centres, to inform the Mayor’s future policy development. It will report back to the Mayor in 2009.
William McKee, a former Director General of the British Property Federation and former Chief Executive of Merton Council is currently Chairman of Tilfen Land and the Urban Exposure Group and chairs the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. He commented: "I am delighted to be offered this crucial challenge to build a team that will examine and change the way we develop our great city. We will work hard to identify these new hubs and the ideas that have built outer London’s successful town centres so that they can be applied across the capital."