New study shows Wandsworth tops London’s economic growth league table

Published: Friday 1st December 17

Nationwide research carried out by think-tank Demos for consultancy firm PwC has found that Wandsworth tops the London league table for boosting economic growth.

The study, published in the PwC’s Good Growth for Cities index 2017 shows that Wandsworth is the strongest performing of the 32 London boroughs.  

Wandsworth: London's strongest performing borough

This conclusion was the result of measuring the current performance of 42 of the largest UK cities against a basket of ten indicators that - based on the views of the public – are seen as critical to economic success and wellbeing.

These included employment, health, income and skills as the most important of these factors, along with housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors, income inequality and the number of new business start-ups.

According to the report’s authors: “The overall London picture …(shows) … boroughs located furthest away from the centre typically performing most strongly. The bottom performing boroughs are concentrated to the East of London, while strong performance is clustered towards both the North West and South West.”

London was amongst the top-10 most improved cities in the UK, climbing from 15th to 12th position relative to the 42 UK cities in the index, but housing affordability was highlighted as a growing problem across the capital.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Wandsworth is a really vibrant borough and a great place to live, work and do business. Many of our residents have great entrepreneurial spirit and an unquenchable desire to improve their lives and the lives of their families. 

“Our job as local councillors is to create and foster a climate in which people can achieve their dreams. 

“We do this by having great schools and great transport links, and by building the homes for people on all incomes, by supporting local business start-ups and by providing great leisure, cultural and sporting opportunities so that their lives are enriched. 

“Our goal is to create a landscape that allows people to thrive and contribute to the economic well-being of this city so I am delighted that this detailed study has highlighted our success in achieving this goal.” 

A copy of the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities index 2017 can be downloaded from

Demos is a charity and leading cross-party think-tank, which has been carrying out public policy research for 20 years. Describing itself it says:  “Demos has always been interested in power: how it works, and how to distribute it more equally throughout society. We believe in trusting people with decisions about their own lives and solving problems from the bottom-up.” 

  • Earlier this week the independent Social Mobility Commission chaired by former cabinet minister Alan Milburn concluded that Wandsworth is among the most highest performing  boroughs in the country for helping disadvantaged residents, especially children and young people, on the road to success. 

In its fifth annual “State of the Nation” report the commission found that Wandsworth was the fourth best place in the country when it comes to helping people overcome deprived backgrounds. It was ranked fourth highest in a comprehensive study of 324 English local authorities, based on an evaluation of 16 separate indicators to assess the education, employability and housing prospects of local people. 

These indicators cover every major life stage, from early years through to working lives, to map the nation’s social mobility hotspots and coldspots highlighting where people from disadvantaged backgrounds are most and least likely to make social progress. 

Cllr Govindia said the study highlighted “all the good work that is being done locally to support all our residents, especially those from lower income backgrounds”. 

Cllr Govindia added “Through our comprehensive Aspirations Programme we are helping to create the right environment to help all borough residents achieve their full potential.

“We are providing good quality homes, including for those on the lowest incomes, we have superb early years services for children and overseeing some of the best and highest performing state schools in the country, while at the same time helping people find employment in places like Nine Elms where the area’s regeneration has created thousands of jobs specifically aimed at local people.” 

“We are delighted that our efforts at helping improve the lives of residents has been recognised in this landmark report, but we won’t be standing still. Though our “Brighter Borough for All” campaign we are determined the make Wandsworth an even better place to live, learn and work.”

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Recent comments

but of course economic growth is bad for the planet and only good for the 1% - who are doing famously in Wandsworth with their safe deposit boxes in the sky while the rest of us suffer with soaring rents, impossible house prices and stagnating wage levels. Meanwhile Alan Milburn and others have just quit the Social Mobility Commission because in fact there is no social mobility. Think PwC might not be counting the right kind of indicators.
Lois Davis

4 December 2017