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Suburbs ‘task force’ to be established for outer London

Words: Laura Edgar
London / Shutterstock_68997331

A suburbs task force will be created to investigate key issues and opportunities facing the ring of outer London boroughs.

Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for London’s Planning and Built Environment voted to establish the task force with support from across the political spectrum.

This move comes in response to a parliamentary debate on the suburbs, secured by Dr Rupa Huq MP in January 2020.

At the time, Jake Berry, the former local growth minister, invited Huq to form the task force and committed the government to considering its recommendations.  He suggested that the task force could tackle the “significant pockets of deprivation in suburban areas”.

A statement accompanying the taskforce announcement focused on the “pressing need to rebalance the historic focus away from the city centre to better reflect the everyday challenges facing Greater London”. Increased crime and poverty, alongside a rise in the number of high-rise developments, has “challenged the perception of the suburbs as places of low density and good lifestyle”.The APPG for London’s Planning and Built Environment, chaired by Huq (Ealing Central & Acton), will be responsible for collating and reviewing evidence and then publishing the task force’s first report, due in 2021.

Huq said: “For generations our suburbs have been places which people have aspired to call home and which have balanced town and country. Today, however, they risk being overlooked and neglected at precisely the moment when the pressures of growth and austerity are challenging both that balance and those aspirations. There are those who champion the inner city and the countryside, but a call to arms is needed for our suburbs as well. They too need champions. The launch of this cross-party task force is a rallying cry for our suburbs and an important step forward in helping to shape their future.”

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