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Sorensen issues strategic advice to London's mayor

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Public investment in London is being targeted at areas suffering severe loss from industrial decline rather than those with the greatest potential for development, says Eric Sorensen, chief executive of the London Development Partnership.

Speaking last week at a seminar 'Positive Planning for London in a Spatial Context' - organised by Vision for London - he warned that the latest attempts to deal with deprivation may be no more effective than the '40 years of public policy which have produced the deprivation map'. But the 130 Single Regeneration Budget Partnerships will be the main sources of income that London's new mayor will be able to use.

Sorensen spoke of the 'patchwork of institutions sitting on top of 32 boroughs' and warned that two-tier government was difficult to make work successfully. He said: 'We have an interesting opportunity to influence what the mayor will do.' But, he added that, 'it may be swept aside by the exigencies of trying to run this city. A successful mayor will come with a very limited and targeted manifesto.'

Sorensen also warned that the London economy was very volatile, showing exaggerated peaks and troughs compared to the rest of the economy.

He said: 'We think part of the reason is that the London economy is too narrow. There is too much reliance on financial and business services.'

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