Archives for June 19th, 1997

New Director takes forward Government’s agenda for London

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 June, 1997

Genie Turton has taken over from Robin Young as the new Director of the Government Office for London. The Office brings together the London regional offices of the Departments of Trade and Industry, the Department for Education and Employment (Training Enterprise and Education Directorate) and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Robin Young becomes Head of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat at the Cabinet Office.This is a critical time for London as the finishing touches are being made to the Government’s plans for a new strategic authority and mayor. Both initiative will be watched closely to see how well the two pronged approach to creating greater coherence succeeds. The proposal for a mayor is seen as a threat to local government by many, but others view it as an opportunity to expand democracy and accountability at a local level across a wide range of services. The challenge for London is to find a way in which the mayor could operate across all agencies: councils, quangos, and national government departments. The Director of the London Government office has a vital role to play in responding to this challenge.

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Departments get together to tackle environment issues

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 June, 1997

The Government has signalled a further move to addressing issues which span administrative boundaries with the announcement of the new Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said: “The challenge is to search for solutions which combine social and environmental improvements while promoting economic growth, employment and regional competitiveness. I want care for the environment to be at the heart of all the Government’s policies.”An early task facing the new Department is to draw up a comprehensive integrated transport policy to address the issues of congestion and pollution. It is more than two decades since this was attempted and Mr Prescott said: “For too long, there has been an uncoordinated approach to the provision of transport infrastructure and services. Transport decisions need to be integrated with the wider planning system. My aim is to produce a White Paper early next year which will provide a sustainable framework for decision-making during the remainder of this parliament and the years beyond that. Critically it will set interim objectives for the remainder of this Parliament, against which we may be judged.”

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