House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library is accessible at https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/commons/commonslibrary/   and it is one of the most valuable trade secrets I know. The Library produces reports on almost any topic that is under consideration by Parliament in formats ranging from weekly briefings and briefing packs for debates to deeper research papers often covering the history of legislation in a particular field and an analysis of its economic impact.   Because of its status, the Library has no choice but to produce reports that are authoritative and unbiased, so it provides the best and most reliable summaries of relevant topics.  Would that Wikipedia was so trustworthy.

It is with some sense of vindication that we can report that the Library recently (10 February 2017) published a briefing paper on “Property Taxation and Revenue Incentives”. This paper used a detailed statistical analysis of local authority behaviour following the introduction of 50% Devolution of Business Rates to show that it has had no discernible incentive effect at all.

We help make things happen

2016 was memorable for having too much news; we are still adjusting to the new world, like everyone else. But in the middle of upheaval, it was good to see some of our work take physical shape.

There are now housing developments under way at North Walsham, Loddon and Little Plumstead in Norfolk assisted by loans from New Anglia LEP and Greater Norwich Growth Board.  The New Anglia Enterprise Zone – for which we helped  bid – already has developments under way at Norwich Research Park and Ipswich as well as a first tenant announced at Suffolk Business Park in Bury St Edmunds. The Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre at University of Suffolk is now open for business.

In Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough, Trinity College’s Sir John Bradfield Centre in Cambridge is almost finished as is the Fletton Parkway road scheme in Peterborough. The EZ site at Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely has new road infrastructure and a major new tenant while the Agritech grant scheme has several completed small rural projects.

In Hertfordshire, the South Oxhey town centre regeneration is on site; road infrastructure has been put in at the Watford Health Campus and Elstree Studios has opened the George Lucas stages.

Local Economy

The Local Economy Policy Unit at London Southbank University was started in the 1980s. LEPU is responsible for publishing “Local Economy” a peer-reviewed academic journal. Dominic Williams is a member of the editorial board of Local Economy and has contributed a number of articles including “Spatial Dimensions of Social Mobility”, the article that was awarded the 2010 Sam Aaronovitch prize.  Continue reading “Local Economy”