I went to a lecture tonight by Michael Heseltine at Queen Mary University on the subject of ‘The Forgotten People:  the consequences of over centralised power’, which was the title he would have given to lectures he was planning to give throughout the country had he become Prime Minister in 1990, instead of his friend, John Major.   I was particularly interested in the answer he gave to a question about the reasons for the success of docklands.   He said that he had been careful to structure it in such a way that its first chairman, Nigel Broackes, came from the private sector, while the deputy chairman came from local government;  and reckoned that much of the succcess of the LDDC was owing to the character of its first Chief Executive, Reg Ward.   He said that it was important that government was not necessarily able to predict the outcomes of its initiatives.   He then told the story of the origins of Canary Wharf:  how he had been disappointed that Nigel Broackes had not done much more than buy some cranes and restore the Hawksmoor churches;  how G. Ware Travelstead had come up with the idea of a new city which could accommodate the appropriate scale of trading floors;  and how Mrs. Thatcher herself had rung up Paul Reichmann in Canada inviting him to invest in the development of Canary Wharf.


One thought on “LDDC

  1. The intelligent lamination of Public and Private expertise is often at the heart of the success of Grand Projets like Canary Wharf. Richard Rogers always stressed that the Lloyds’ Building resulted from having a highly intelligent Lloyds CEO who had the flexibility to respond to the problems of the building as they emerged.

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