London, the South East and East of England together account for just under half the UK’s economic output. Their economies and populations are highly integrated and interdependent, with commuting and supply chains binding them closely together. The three regions also share significant challenges – in meeting housing need, infrastructure for current and future growth, and providing a good quality of life for all residents.
As the new draft London Plan is published, politicians and council officers across the Wider South East are increasingly aware of the importance of collaboration in tackling shared problems. Enabling the Wider South East to meet its needs without compromising those of the rest of the UK will require stronger partnership arrangements; a clear shared understanding of evidence, challenges and opportunities; and central government support for devolution and collaborative working.