This includes oversight of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the Mayor’s powers through the London Plan, which he can use to promote particular areas for regeneration, and the Mayor’s regeneration funds. This report follows the Committee’s review of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund, which the Committee carried out in the 2013/14 Assembly year. In 2014/15, the Committee’s work programme will include investigating stadium-led regeneration, a site visit to the Royal Docks, and follow-up reviews of the GLA’s regeneration funds, and the LLDC. Further information about the Committee’s work is available on the GLA website. Three years on from the 2011 riots, the London Assembly has found that of the 70 million Mayor's Regeneration Fund (MRF) allocated to fund regeneration in areas most affected by the riots, just 16 per cent has so far been spent. Out of the ashes. The Mayor's Regeneration Fund, a new report by the London Assembly Regeneration Committee examines how the MRF has been spent to improve the quality of life for Londoners living and working in riot-affected areas.
In an already revised spending profile, the Mayor had indicated that the planned spend would be 35.5 million of the 70 million by April 2014; however the Committee found 11.4 million had been spent by this point. This could be seen to undermine the Mayor's commitment to ensure these areas are regenerated quickly and transformed into safe and attractive places to live, work and invest in.
Gareth Bacon, Chairman of London Assembly's Regeneration Committee said,
The 2011 riots left many already deprived areas of London facing even bigger economic hurdles and challenges after such wanton destruction. The Mayor's Regeneration Fund was a welcome recognition that these areas would need help on the path to recovery.
These projects must be delivered in a timely and effective manner, so Londoners who have experienced long-term decay in their communities can live in a safe environment, with access to jobs and economic growth.
The Mayor needs to work closely with boroughs to get regeneration projects back on schedule and demonstrate how these significant sums are achieving real economic gains for London.
The MRF has been used to revamp transport links and public spaces. But some local businesses in riot-affected areas expected improvements to happen more quickly, such as upgrades to shop fronts on London Road in Croydon.
The Committee has called on the Mayor to refresh his efforts to deliver the MRF, and to do more to explain to affected residents how the money will be spent in future years. It also asks the Mayor to update Londoners on the progress of MRF programmes by the end of the year.