London Councils say invest in suburbs

Ensuring people spend time and money in their suburbs will maintain their image as attractive places for residents and businesses, said London Councils in a report released yesterday.

Improving suburban high streets, providing more modern office space and improving public transport links would also help, researchers found.

Outer London is home to 60% of London's population, and provides jobs that account for a third of the capital's economic output, but that they were feeling the pinch. "Suburban communities in London are being hit particularly hard by the recession," said Mike Freer from London Councils.

"But investing in their untapped resources, skilled workforce and potential to contribute more to London's economy will be vital in helping the city emerge from the recession and move towards a stronger and more balanced economy."

The report also recommended more investment in hospitals, schools, parks and cultural facilities as well as reducing the suburbs' carbon footprint by reducing people's reliance on cars, cutting air pollution and making buildings more energy efficient.

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