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Fri September 18 2020

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Utility firms asked to accelerate London programmes

30 Jul Utility companies in the capital have been asked to explore what planned investment they can bring forward to help stimulate economic revival.

The London Recovery Board has been set up as a collaboration of the London boroughs and the mayor’s office. It has asked companies including Cadent, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), SGN, UK Power Networks and Thames Water to accelerate future investment where possible.

The Recovery Board said that where projects require additional regulatory approval, local authorities will look favourably upon any project helping to boost London’s economy. 

A press release from the Mayor of London said he had “announced a package of infrastructure works worth up to £1.5 billion to help kickstart London’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis”.

In fact, there is no new money here, but the utilities are grateful for political support since they are usually castigated for digging up roads.

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Ian Marchant, interim executive chairman at Thames Water, said: “As we embark on an ambitious programme to invest £1bn over the next two years to improve the water and wastewater services Londoners rely on, it is a real boost to have the backing of the London Recovery Board.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating for our economy and we face a long road ahead, but the London Recovery Board has made great progress in working with companies to deliver infrastructure projects that will help to stimulate our economy, create green jobs and support Londoners who have been affected the most by the economic crisis.

“It is essential that infrastructure initiatives are utilised to serve all Londoners as we work to recover from this pandemic and to build back better with a fairer and greener economy.  By working together with the major utility companies to progress and bring forward these projects, we have a valuable opportunity to improve the diversity of the sector and to help create new jobs for those who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.  This will help us to ensure nobody is left behind in London’s recovery.

“I am really pleased to work with the utility companies to support the city now and in the weeks ahead at the same time as reaching out to all Londoners to hear their long-term aspirations for the capital.”

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