Speaking at Karpasiana Restaurant on Monday 23rd May. LONDON Mayor hopeful Ken Livingstone has thrown his support behind efforts to transform Edmonton into a hub of economic and business development.

Enfield Council is focusing its energies on promoting Edmonton Green and surrounding areas as a vital gateway to London and in need of substantial regeneration.

They, along with Hackney, Islington, Haringey and Waltham Forest, are putting together a Regional Growth Fund bid to tie in north London with development of the Upper Lee Opportunity Plan, and get a slice of £1.4bn of fudns for regeneration.

Mr Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for mayor in 2012, said improving train services and other transport links are vital to drawing in private investment.

He said: “Over the last 30 years, during the Thatcher and Blair years, there has been an attitude of ‘let’s see if we persuade the private sector to do the state’s job’.

“They may do, they may not, but if you get it right, then the private sector will move in and the areas will begin to improve.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, whose staff are in talks with the council about regeneration of the east side of Enfield, yesterday said there are “massive opportunities” on the horizon which he is hoping to take advantage of.

But Mr Livingstone criticised his Tory rival for not taking up the initiative after he was elected in 2008.

He said: “I’m sure in the run up to the election next year, you may find economic zones popping up here and there.

“That’s fine but if you look past the rhetoric, every single scheme, every thing that is due to open, I started when mayor. There is no new scheme underway that’s been started on his watch.”

On Edmonton, he accused the incumbent mayor of failing to take action after taking over the London Development Agency when elected.

Mr Livingstone, who as part of his visit yesterday looked at accessibility options at Edmonton Green rail station, backed the idea of a vastly improved rail system serving the area and the possibility of a tram to link the north and south parts of Edmonton.

The tram would link the emerging Meridian Water development to Edmonton Green shopping centre and town, and help encourage companies from the M11 corridor and beyond to move their business into Enfield.

Ken Livingstone also visited Students and staff at Enfield College, meeting residents in Palmers Green and finished it off with a public meeting at George Spicer School in Southbury Road. Also present was Labour Leader for Enfield Council Cllr Doug Taylor, Labours London Assembly member for Enfield and Haringey Joanne Mcartney, Cllr Andrew Stafford, Cllr Geoff Robinson and Cllr George Savva.

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