MP hits out over London tech park delays

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Minister cites $500m commitment from Cisco as evidence of progress

An East London politician has hit out over the lack of progress on the much-trumpeted East London tech park.

According to Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, there has been little progress since David Cameron launched the scheme to create a rival to Silivon Valley in the London's East End last November.

“It's very disappointing that we don't seem to have made any progress,” Abbott told PC Pro. “There have been a couple of vague offers of help from Google and Vodafone, but there have been no direct results.”

It's very disappointing that we don't seem to have made any progress

Last week, Abbott raised the issue in a parliamentary debate, asking the Government for an update on progress on London's version of Silicon Valley.

Minister for State David Willetts highlighted ongoing discussions with major companies, such as Google, but was Abbot wasn't happy with the lack of action.

“We in the East End know that talk is cheap," Abbott said at the time. "The sooner that ministers can come to us with dates, facts and figures, the happier we will be.”

Willetts, however, claimed to have had a commitment from Cisco to spend $500 million expanding its presence in London, but admitted the details remained vague.

“We do not know exactly what the time scale will be or exactly what the allocation will be, but the decision has been made by Cisco's CEO to commit $500 million,” Willetts said. “That key decision was taken by the CEO and discussed with the Prime Minister, and work is now under way in Cisco to allocate the funding.”

Abbott also said companies were not liaising with either central or local government, so could not be in a position to make sure the money would benefit the local communities.

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