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Does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers?

Does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers?

In leading Economist Paul Ormerod’s recent article for EA magazine he discusses the merits and pitfalls of behavioural economics. It appears in EA Magazine’s Autumn Edition, a publication by the Institute of Economic Affairs, that is distributed to thousands of students throughout the UK studying either A Level or IB Economics or Business Studies. It features the work of eminent economists from around the world - including Nobel Prize winners and leading experts– and is getting rave reviews from students and teachers alike. Teachers have commented that the magazine provides great stimulus material and they regularly use the articles as the basis for schemes of work. You can read Paul’s fascinating article Best Behaviour: does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers? here. The full Autumn EA edition can be viewed here.
Bridget Rosewell speaks at RGS event: Is London too big to succeed?

Bridget Rosewell speaks at RGS event: Is London too big to succeed?

Last week leading Economist, Business Woman and Volterra’s Senior Advisor Bridget Rosewell spoke at the Royal Geographical Society’s 21st Century Challenges event titled ‘London: Too big to succeed?’. Chaired by City Hall Editor for London’s Evening Standard Pippa Crerar; Bridget Rosewell, Lord Adonis and Jules Pipe discussed London’s ever growing economy and population and the toll of this on its infrastructure. 250 attendees listened and participated in this lively discussion about the increasing pressure on housing, transport and public affairs in London; is it time to rethink growth in the capital? Bridget Rosewell commented that “The housing market and the labour market are linked and if the housing market problems are not fixed, London’s economy will experience neither flexibility nor growth”. Bridget’s opening speech and analysis of the situation received very positive feedback and were identified as contributing to the events success. You can read other comments from the discussion here. LONDON, UK - 15 SEPT: 21st Century Challenges lecture at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). In London, on 15 Sept 2015. Image © Nando Machado.
strong case for Light Rail integration with HS2

strong case for Light Rail integration with HS2

Volterra partner Paul Buchanan was invited to give a presentation during this year’s 10th Annual UK Light Rail Conference in Nottingham, discussing the opportunities for light rail integration with high-speed rail. Norman Baker, former light rail minister; David Ralph, chief executive of D2N2; and Martha Grekos, partner and head of the planning and infrastructure team in London at Irwin Mitchell were also on the panel. Paul Buchanan’s views were that whilst LRT would be a good way of linking an out of town station to a centre it was still a poor substitute for a city centre station location in the first place. The main market for HSR is city centre to city centre, saving cost by putting stations in outlying areas only undermines the case for HSR.  You can read more about the debate and Paul’s view on the subject here.
Volterra in the news: ‘unions are standing against progress’

Volterra in the news: ‘unions are standing against progress’

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, spoke out against last weeks tube strike stating that by striking against the Night Tube 'unions are standing against progress'. In an article for City AM Jo Valentine discussed the need for London to remain competitive on the global stage and refers to Volterra's report for TfL in supporting the argument and need for a Night Tube in London.  You can read the City AM article here. In the report Volterra states that a Night Tube will create 265 new, permanent jobs through the direct operation of the service, and nearly 2,000 in total when the knock-on effects in the economy are included.
500 additional FTE jobs and over 1,200 new homes at Cherry Park development

500 additional FTE jobs and over 1,200 new homes at Cherry Park development

Volterra recently supported Westfield’s application to build a mixed commercial and residential scheme at Cherry Park. The proposed scheme is to the south of Westfield shopping centre in Stratford and adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, falling within the London Legacy Development Corporation area (LLDC). The scheme comprises of retail and flexible commercial floorspace as well as approximately 1,200 residential units. Volterra have estimated that the commercial floorspace generated at Cherry Park will support at least 500 additional FTE jobs onsite once operational. Volterra Senior Consultant Lucy Dean says “The proposed scheme will contribute to the regeneration of the LLDC area, playing a crucial role in furthering the legacy of the London Olympics.”
Volterra provides economic assessment for new luxury West End Hotel: Peninsula London

Volterra provides economic assessment for new luxury West End Hotel: Peninsula London

Volterra supported the joint venture partners, Grosvenor and The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) Ltd in their application to build a luxury hotel (the Peninsula London) and prime residential units at 1-5 Grosvenor Place. The new building will replace the existing 1960s offices at the site. HSH aim to operate one Peninsula hotel in every global city and have been looking for a suitable location in London for over 25 years. Volterra Partner Ellie Evans says “This represents a unique opportunity for London: the hotel will be one of its kind here in London. The development will support around 2,800 jobs in the wider economy, and it will help to retain and enhance London’s reputation as one of the world’s best cities to visit, ensuring that the Capital’s visitor economy continues to be an engine for UK growth.”  You can read more information about the venture here.
Charter for Growth backed by Mayor of London

Charter for Growth backed by Mayor of London

Volterra has been in the news this weekend for the research they provided to the Charter for Growth campaign by the New West End Company. West End & Knightsbridge retailers pledge 2,000 jobs for Londoners with flexible Sunday Trading Hours. This move marks the launch of New West End Company’s Charter for Growth, backed by Mayor of London and the UK’s retail heavyweights. New West End Company chairman Sir Peter Rogers talks about this report and the Charter for Growth in City A.M, read article here. Proposals to extend Sunday trading hours in the West End and London’s major shopping hubs are supported by policies in the Mayor of London’s overall planning strategy for the capital, the London Plan. New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in the West End, launches its plan for additional jobs to coincide with the release of its manifesto, the Charter for Growth. In addition to modernising Sunday trading laws, the Charter calls for immediate action on air quality, a brave approach to new infrastructure and a planning system that advances the West End’s global competitiveness. Sir Peter Rogers, Chairman of New West End Company, said: “For years we have been urging the Government to create a more flexible Sunday trading environment, just one of a number of measures in our Charter to ensure the West End continues to grow and thrive."
Volterra gives speech at Annual Transport Practitioners Conference

Volterra gives speech at Annual Transport Practitioners Conference

Partner Paul Buchanan and Senior Consultant Lucy Dean recently spoke at the Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting (TPM) Conference. Their presentation ‘Can you change government's mind on major infrastructure projects’ was based on work produced by Volterra on HS2, Crossrail and, topically, the London Airport expansion. They discussed the factors that affect government decision making  on major projects, how the importance of these factors changes over time and how best to influence government decisions at different points during the planning and implementation of a project. A summary of the slides presented are available here.
Volterra provide expert witness at Kent planning inquiry

Volterra provide expert witness at Kent planning inquiry

Volterra partner Ellie Evans was recently an expert witness at a planning inquiry into the Gallagher Group’s proposals to create an industrial and warehouse development, Waterside Park, at Junction 8 of the M20 in Maidstone, Kent. Ellie’s evidence on the economic benefits of the scheme – which had previously been refused planning permission by Maidstone Borough Council and was therefore the subject of an appeal – was unchallenged by any of the opposing parties. Ellie’s evidence showed that the borough had underestimated demand for industrial land and over-estimated the availability and suitability of alternative sites for development. She expressed her opinion, supported by previous analysis commissioned by the borough council, that there is both a qualitative and quantitative need for additional employment land within the borough of Maidstone, and expressed concern that without this capacity economic growth would be hindered and the borough would continue to fall behind the wider region. The inquiry has been in the news again this week due to the controversial announcement that Maidstone Council have now adopted a new Economic Development Strategy which specifies the need to allocate the land at Junction 8 for employment use ahead of the planning inspector’s decision, thereby seemingly contradicting their arguments against the development. Read news coverage of the inquiry hereand this week’s developments here.
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