London’s Boroughs at 50

5 Jan


From Dave Hill’s review of Tony Travers’ new book, London’s Boroughs At 50:

In the east we find a cluster of very different boroughs all trying to contend with the consequences of London’s lost industrial past in various ways. Newham is perhaps the most conspicuous example. Travers describes the Tate and Lyle plant there as “one of the most important, enduring industrial icons” of London – it was, after all, one of the few major companies based in Newham that didn’t move out as part a calamitous economic decline between the mid-Sixties and the Eighties. Today, Newham is a regeneration crucible, one “increasingly linked into the post-industrial growth of inner and central London.”

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, of course, has become a huge part of that: “The regeneration undertaken was on a scale that might otherwise have taken decades.” Bringing a successful modern Games to London was the triumph primarily of Ken Livingstone and Tessa Jowell, but they weren’t the first to try. Travers mentions that Conservative GLC leader Sir Horace Cutler had a go back in the late 1970s.

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