Summary of the Mayor's Economic Council


A few people have requested a summary from the Mayor's economic council meeting this morning. It's worth noting that a full report is coming out in May.

However, it was nice to hear today from the various different pillars of the community and what the collective agreement is on how to move London forward as a culturally diverse economic powerhouse (my words).

There are several themes that emerged from all sectors - in my opinion these are key things to look at as if we're hearing the same thing from health care as we are from technology and the arts world, then it's an obvious need.

  1. A chance to celebrate our successes as a city - there's a sentiment that lots of great things happen in this city but we do not acknowledge or celebrate them. Several groups blamed the local media (and especially the Free Press apparently) for this but I also think there is an element of not wanting to toot-or-own-horn that comes from London organizations
  2. The need to "clean up" the downtown core and more specifically, the need for large institutional players such as Fanshawe and Western to put anchor tenants into the down town core as part of the revitalization efforts. Many groups felt a vibrant core was critical to our long term success.
  3. The City of London needs to be known both internally and out as "Open for Business"; reduce red tape and bureaucracy and make the city of London more accessible / easier to operate. There's a frustration within the business community that when a business is growing it is often held back by city hall - which is detrimental to both the city and the organization looking to expand.
  4. Implement a single point of access to make it easier to navigate the complexities of dealing with the city - follow the Service Ontario model to make it easier to go to one spot to do whatever it is that you need
  5. Several groups mentioned needing an industry liaison between city hall and businesses, one group even calling for the city to employ Account managers to assist businesses - the same group had the idea that these account managers would be also responsible for tracking interested leads/prospective accounts in a more traditional sales role
  6. We need to break down silos within the city and have all industry sectors working together to promote the city of London
  7. We need to be Ambassadors for London and ensure that in our day to day life we're talking about the city that we live in, it's potential and the fact it is "Open for Business"

I also learned that the real estate developers seem to think that the entire department at city hall in charge of dealing with land developers need to be sacked, and if I can read undertones, they also felt that they should be tar and feathered as well.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this report and how many action items are actually implemented because of it. I can say that I believe Mayor Fontana is doing a good job at getting people motivated and passionate about their city and even if that is all this process does it will be a worthwhile exercise.



Posted via email from David Billson's Posterous