Housing minister Yvette Cooper has rejected Lord Rogers’ call to create a single body to oversee the regeneration of the Thames Gateway.
Lord Rogers’ urban taskforce report, published last week, recommended the creation of an overarching body to direct the gateway’s development.
Speaking at last week’s Thames Gateway Forum, Cooper said: “To have a single delivery board with control of everything that happens in the Thames Gateway is not the best way forward. We need lots of delivery bodies in different areas, but we need better co-ordination.”
Judith Armitt, Medway council’s chief executive, backed the minister. She said: “It [the Gateway] is not going to be a single drawing board. We must get used to the differences. It will have to be a more organic process.”
Cooper said the government had asked the Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership’s executive to draw up a strategic framework, pulling together efforts by existing agencies to provide housing and green space.
She added that the government would take a fresh look at the membership of the executive to ensure it is “properly balanced and properly representative”.
Niall Lindsay, Thurrock Urban Development Corporation chief executive, has criticised moves by London mayor Ken Livingstone to bring the Essex unitary authority under his control. He said: “The idea of Thurrock falling within the Greater London Authority is misguided. I have yet to meet anybody who lives there who thinks it should be part of London.”