Committee of Public Accounts Press Notice

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: Thames Gateway: Laying the foundations

Bold, large-scale schemes which are not backed up with detailed planning, proper coordination of all the different bodies involved and strong management are likely to end up wasting billions of pounds of public money. The hugely ambitious project to regenerate the Thames Gateway region threatens to illustrate this point to perfection.

At the moment the department in charge, the Department for Communities and Local Government, simply doesn’t have an overall programme plan and clear objectives to make sure all the local partners in the scheme are pushing in the same direction. Central leadership is weak and uncertainty is widespread. 

High quality, sustainable building developments with low carbon footprints sound fine - but the government must get a grip on how much they will cost, and clearly set out how it is going to create these developments and the transport infrastructure to service them.

This is a programme that will have an impact on the area for generations. The DCLG must take matters in hand now or the Thames Gateway regeneration scheme will go the way of other ambitious but ill-planned projects.

At the moment this ambitious vision is looking more and more like an expensive daydream.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488 488.