It seems that whoever winds up in Boris Johnson’s hot seat next year will have plenty of ways to get London’s business community on side – at least according to a survey by ComRes, conducted on behalf of Londonlovesbusiness.com, which took the views of more than 760 London business leaders.
While improvements to public transport and transport links were cited as the ‘single most important thing the mayor could do to promote London as a world class place to do business,’ the survey found that only 14% support a new Heathrow runway or a new Thames Estuary airport. Best ditch them then. Indeed, 57% were more fixed on events on more earthly matters, demanding that the new mayor do something about the amount of day-to-day disruption to business caused by road works.
We can imagine those vote-conscious candidates are scribbling down these ideas furiously as we speak. And there are more clues how they could nab some extra support: 60% of business leaders would vote for a candidate who took a strong line on public sector strikes in London.
That strength would apply to the handling of Whitehall too: business leaders are keen to see a rebalancing of regional spending so that more of the taxes that are raised in London are spent there. 57% of business leaders think that ‘Londoners are unfairly subsidising other parts of the UK’, while 70% argue that ‘government money spent in London benefits the whole of the UK because of the surplus tax generated by the London economy’.
All of which is decent fuel for thought for Ken Livingstone as he peddles one of Boris' bikes around, praying that he screws up the Olympics...