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I agree. I am a localist in these matters. I had the privilege to serve under the Financial Secretary when he ran the Conservative party’s policy unit, and he probably did more than any single person in our party to push that localist agenda. What he has achieved in planning, and in getting agreement for a planning system that boosts the economy and regeneration in this country yet allows local needs to be reflected and gives proper powers to the local democratically elected councillors, has been exemplary. The more we can work to get the economy moving through investment in infrastructure where both communities and the nation want it, the better.
I ask the Financial Secretary to take this agenda forward and to look in particular at giving a further boost to the economy with an extension of Crossrail. I urge him to ensure that the Treasury, as well as the Department for Transport, looks at the case that has been made for a Crossrail spur from Stratford to Stansted.