Liam Fox MP met Bexley councillors to discuss opportunities for economic growth

PUBLISHED: 14:20 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 24 January 2018

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox in the House of Commons

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox in the House of Commons

PA Wire/PA Images

Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade and resident of the Board of Trade, met councillors and council officers at the Civic Offices, Bexleyheath, last Thursday (January 18) to discuss two significant opportunities to stimulate economic growth in the south-east.

Council leader Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE invited Mr Fox to discuss the case for C2E, which will provide a change in connectivity for Bexley and West Kent, and stimulate significant economic growth with modest public investment.

She said: “I was delighted that the Secretary of State accepted my invitation to visit Bexley and talk about these important issues.

It was clear from our discussion that he is interested in their potential to stimulate investment and growth.”

The team from the council, which also included cabinet members Cllr Linda Bailey and Cllr Alex Sawyer, also briefed the Secretary of State on the proposal for a Place and Making Institute in south Thamesmead, to help tackle the south-east’s growing skills challenge.

Mr Fox said: “I was very interested to hear about the work the council and its partners are doing to create new opportunities and improve the transport infrastructure in Bexley and north-west Kent.

“The area’s unique position as our gateway to Europe makes it attractive to both national and international investors and means it is ideally placed to contribute to the country’s future economic growth.”

Abbey Wood is currently the most easterly Crossrail station in south London, with full services connecting it to Canary Wharf, central and west London due to start in December.

Cllr O’Neill added: “Given the scale of investment in Crossrail to date, C2E represents a fairly modest investment that can release valuable housing land and connect growth areas along the Thames with fast, reliable metro-style services.

“It is inconceivable that Bexley and West Kent will not be served by Crossrail services in the way that Essex and Berkshire will be - particularly given the region’s critical role as the country’s gateway to Europe.”

The C2E campaign will be submitting its latest proposals to meet the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission in early March.

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