Letter: The real reason London can't compete in Europe

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The Independent Online
YOUR leading article 'No longer the place for clever Dicks' (23 August), highlights many of the problems which have befallen London and the South-east.

The neglect of public transport and the glut of office space could be dealt with more effectively if London had an elected authority which could plan strategically.

In your interesting history of the Eighties in London, you ignore the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986, whose former headquarters still lie empty awaiting an end to Government indecision on its future.

Since the Government seems unable to sort out such a small (though important) aspect of London life, what hope is there for the greater issues?

If we are to avoid the economic drain you predict to Paris, Berlin, Milan or Barcelona, which all have city authorities, we must ensure that London is promoted abroad. A small but effective elected authority could do this best, while co-ordinating transport and land-use planning.

Steve Bullock

Vice-chair, Association of London Authorities

London SW1