This has been a worthwhile debate. I hope that colleagues who represent London constituencies will take the time to read some of the interesting, useful arguments put forward on a range of topics and that they, too, will think about how London should develop.
I have thought deeply about this. I have lived in London/Essex my entire life and I care about our great UK capital city, which I want to be a success as a global city that attracts investment, trade and tourism. However, I also want this region of the UK to be seen as a place where people live, based on communities in towns and villages. The identities of those areas are really important to local people. I welcome the Minister’s offer to have a meeting to talk about how we can take this agenda forward. I hope we can organise that soon.
I urge the Government to take this issue seriously. My fear is that if we do not push for change, sit together and work out a new model for how London can be governed, nothing will change, and in years’ time this will be seen as another debate where nothing really changed. I hope this is the start of that debate where we can come together and find solutions, recognising—this is the crux of my argument—that London is not just the central part. What the capital is should be defined, but there is London way beyond Greater London and the existing boundaries. That is what we must focus on. It has all changed since the ’60s, and we cannot carry on any longer with the existing structure.
Let us be radical but also consistent with what local people truly desire for their local towns, local communities and local boroughs in our great capital.
Question put and agreed to.
That this House
has considered local government reform in Greater London.