I thank Ms Abbott for securing the debate. At the beginning of her campaign to become the Mayor of London, perhaps we need to develop a technique to grow a bigger crowd. It is quite lonely in here this afternoon.
The hon. Lady has picked up on several issues that I will try to answer, although I have limited time in which to do so. Local growth is an essential part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future. By trusting local people, backing businesses and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing we are creating thousands of new jobs. That means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hard-working people across the country. In London, it is the role of the Mayor, working closely with borough and the private sector, to develop sustainable growth. There is no doubt that London is an economic powerhouse and, as the Mayor rightly and repeatedly says, it is a global city that needs to ensure that its economy performs at an international level.
The Mayor has set out a clear vision for delivering growth in London by creating jobs, building new houses and providing the infrastructure that is needed. The opportunity areas, such as Battersea, the Royal Docks, Greenwich and Stratford, are seeing a renaissance, while new business areas, safe leafy neighbourhoods and vibrant town centres are rising from the ashes of former industrial areas.