Cutting the number of London councils could improve efficiency, according to a new report by international firm Addleshaw Goddard.
The proposal is one of nine reforms suggested in the firm’s Planning Manifesto, which was launched today.
‘Too many boroughs replicating functions is inefficient,’ the report says, highlighting the fact that New York, a city of a similar size and home to over 8m people, only has five boroughs compared with London, which has 32, plus the City of London Corporation.
The authors insist the re-drawing of the London council map would ‘pool resources, improve economies of scale and reduce bureaucracy when delivering schemes and services that affect multiple districts’.
‘We are already seeing local authorities in London sharing legal and other services,’ the report says, citing the tri-borough arrangement between Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster as an example.
Marnix Elsenaar, partner and head of planning at Addleshaw Goddard, said: 'Reorganising the London government map could make it far easier to push through projects of city-wide importance - not just for housing, but for health, transport and other infrastructure - to ensure London has the framework in place it needs for future growth.
'A top-down approach would lead to more coordination, with recognition that the provision of services crosses current borough boundaries.'
The firm convened a roundtable of planning experts from local government, FTSE-listed housebuilders, developers and planning consultants.
Other proposals include re-aligning the UK council map ‘to coordinate development for metropolitan regions and their surroundings, creating metro-regional planning bodies that can plan strategic infrastructure not just for cities, but the commuter watershed around them’.