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Small businesses ask to be at heart of plans for economic growth

Business leaders are calling on the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) to put small businesses at the heart of plans for economic growth. A report by the Federation of Small Businesses says local growth opportunities could be increased if there was more consultation with small businesses.

"The LEP is crucial to delivering local economic growth across London - but there is still plenty that needs to be done. It is important that the LEP has greater teeth and is able to filter in ideas to the Mayor and not simply be a sounding board that responds to the plans set. The LEP will be handling millions of public money between now and 2021 and it is important to understand how it is being spent. Because the sums of money involved are so large it is vital that the LEP is more accountable so local authorities in the Capital, businesses and the public can be confident they will deliver for the London economy."

– Steve Warwick, London Regional Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

The Royal Mail to trial new hours

The Royal Mail to trial Sunday opening hours Credit: PA Images

The Royal Mail is set to trial new Sunday opening hours starting this weekend.

Around 100 delivery offices across the UK will be open this Sunday and parcel deliveries will be made within the M25 area.

The move comes as the Royal Mail is experiencing higher than ever parcel volumes attributed to the rise in online shopping across the country.

The company says extended trading hours mean many of those who aren't able to collect their parcels during the week will now have the flexibility to claim their goods.

The trial will begin with opening hours between 12pm and 4pm.

Housing market in London shows signs of cooling

Credit: PA Images

The housing market in London is showing signs of cooling as the gap widens between asking prices and the amount buyers are prepared to pay. Figures from property analysts show just 11% of London postcodes recorded increases in values in August, compared with 19% of areas outside the capital. The typical time it takes to sell a London property has almost doubled since February, from just over two and-a-half weeks to nearly five weeks. However, this is still around a week less than the average across England and Wales, where the time it takes to sell a home has edged up to just over six weeks.

High streets in London could be boosted by £23 billion 'purple pound' by attracting disabled people and their families

High streets in London could be missing out on £23 billion worth of so-called 'purple pound' business because they are not accessible enough to disabled people. Government research revealed shopping is the most difficult experience for accessibility, followed by going to the cinema and theatre. The Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, wants businesses to think more about how they can make their services more inviting for disabled people.

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London's £14.8bn Crossrail scheme could be extended

The government is considering a major extension to Crossrail to cut journey times for commuters from Hertfordshire.

Crossrail worker Sam Agyeman, inspects the first completed section of Crossrail tunnel Credit: PA

Trains from Tring, Hemel Hempstead and Watford would be diverted on to the new £15bn high speed commuter line due to open in 2019.

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