WPA at Party Conferences 2017


5 October 2017

Over the past couple of weeks WPA representatives attended Labour and Conservative party conferences. This included attending conference fringe panels and one-to-one meetings with politicians, to promote our Manifesto for Growth: Post Brexit, specifically calling for:

  • A business friendly planning framework in the emerging London Plan and Westminster’s City Plan
  • A pan-London approach to affordable housing funding and delivery
  • Government approval of Crossrail 2, a vital project for the West End which will bring benefits to London and the wider country
  • Closer partnership between London and other UK city regions

Our activities for both party conferences are detailed below.

Labour Party Conference, 24 September – 27 September 2017

Olivia Harris, WPA Board Member and Chief Executive of Dolphin Living and Rosie Day , Assistant Director of Westminster Property Association attended the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. They held meeting with:

  • Cllr Peter John OBE, Leader of Southwark Council and Executive Member for Business, Skills & Brexit at London Councils
  • Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of London Councils and Leader of Haringey Council
  • James Murray, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing & Residential Development
  • Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council

Olivia and Rosie also attended a NWEC lunch with Rajesh Agrawal (Deputy Mayor of London for Business) and a London First reception with Val Shawcross (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) and Andy Burnham (Metro Mayor for Greater Manchester).

Conservative Party Conference, 1 October – 4 October 2017

James Cooksey, WPA Chairman and Director for Central London at The Crown Estate, Charles Begley, WPA Executive Director and Olivia Harris attended  the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Meetings were held with:

  • Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster Council
  • Stephen Hammond MP, Vice Chair of London Conservatives

Furthermore, WPA supported various Westminster City Council fringe events, including:

  • WPA Chairman James Cooksey spoke alongside Cllr Aiken on a panel about ‘Growing the National Economy: how cities power the UK’
  • Feedback from a WPA workshop on 18 September contributed to the City Council’s Air Quality Manifesto, which was launched at conference by Cllr David Harvey (Cabinet Member for Environment) and Val Shawcross
  • WPA Board member Olivia Harris spoke alongside Cllr Nickie Aiken and James Murray at a fringe panel on ‘Securing affordable home ownership’

The Association also hosted a private dinner on Monday 2 October about Crossrail 2. Attendees of this roundtable discussion on the business case and major challenges to the project, included James Heappey MP (PPS to the Secretary of State for Transport), Michèle Dix (Managing Director of Crossrail 2), Cllr Robert Davis DL (Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council) and the Deputy Leaders of the London Borough of Wandsworth and Hertfordshire County Council.

James and Charles also attended an NWEC lunch with Jake Berry MP (Minister for the Northern Powerhouse & Local Growth); Rosie Day made a special trip to attend the  City of London Corporation dinner with Andrew Jones MP (Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury); and Charles took part in a Reform roundtable on infrastructure investment (also attended by Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury) as well as a business leaders’ reception with Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, Andy Street, Metro Mayor for the West Midlands and Ben Houchen Metro Mayor for Tees Valley.

As part of WPA’s public affairs engagement programme, meetings are being arranged back in London with:

  • Clive Betts MP (Labour), Chair of DCLG select committee
  • Suella Fernandes (Conservative), PPS to Chief Secretary to the Treasury
  • Stewart Jackson, special advisor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU
  • Alok Sharma MP (Conservative), Housing & Planning Minister