Latest Event Updates
The London Fairness Commission has today published it’s Final Report, following the first inquiry into ‘fairness’ in the capital for 125 years. The release of the Final Report is will be marked by an event at the Deck of the National Theatre and will include a ‘job interview’ for candidates for Mayor of London.
The London Fairness Commission report considers a ‘ticking time bomb’ – how London’s future success will be undermined if current problems are not resolved – and presents recommendations, including ones relating to the cost of living and housing.
Chair of the London Fairness Commission, Lord Victor Adebowale commented:
‘London’s future success is at risk if we do not address the cost of living for modern day Londoners – costs, such as housing, transport and childcare, are higher in London. Londoners on average salaries spend nearly half their pay on rent, compared with a quarter for those on average salaries outside the Capital. While Londoners do earn more on average, that extra sum goes nowhere near bridging gap. There is now a danger that London will become a playground for the super-rich, a treadmill for the middle-classes and a workhouse for the poor.’
London is a global city, yet compared to other cities of its standing the cost of living in London is high. Londoners on average salaries spend 49% of their pay on rent, compared with 26% for those on average salaries outside the capital. The average extra costs for householders who are renting and using childcare is £6,000. Would-be homeowners in London need to earn £77,000 a year to get on the housing ladder. Across the UK, a first-time buyer needs a minimum income of £41,000.
The London Fairness Commission’s recommendations include:
- Immediate introduction of a London minimum wage of £9.70
- The Mayor should delay issuing the Freedom Pass from 60 to 65 years and means test it
- Action to make employers help more with childcare costs
- Public disclosure of pay ratio data from companies and public sector bodies based in London
- Ensure that companies registered offshore declare details of property ownership
- The Mayor of London to be given powers of compulsory purchase on land/properties owned by offshore companies who are unwilling to declare the name of the ultimate beneficial owner
- Suspension of right to buy for five years while supply is increased and provide a portable discount for those who have lived in social housing for 15 years
- Reduce or control the average cost of letting agents’ fees and charges
Set ‘affordable rents’ to 30% of household income rather than 80% of market rent
- Tax land owners in London with planning permission for new homes who refuse to develop their land for longer than 3 years.
The London Fairness Commission would also like to see the start of a new ‘philanthropic age’ and believes that the time is ripe for London’s wealthiest residents and businesses to come together in an exemplary social philanthropic effort – a ‘Peabody’ moment for the 21st Century.
This is the first time in 125 years – since Charles Booth mapped the levels of wealth and poverty across London in 1889, coining the phrase ‘the poverty line’ in the process – that a special commission has analysed the ‘fairness’ of London.
“Recommendations to the London Mayoral Candidates
The Commission has published its first paper download here with recommendations for the London Mayor 2016. Consultation with Mayoral candidates is underway. Further papers will be published by the Commission over the next three months.”
“LCC Launches first report of evidence
The evidence gathered by the London Communities Commission from leading London community practitioners is set out in this report. The evidence will inform a series of policy papers to be published over the next three months by the Commission. See here for the LCC report of evidence.”
This session will have a speaker from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who will be talking about Neighbourhood Planning and your area, and will be able to answer any questions you might have as well as chatting about how things are looking for the future.
What do Paddington, Tottenham and Newham have in common?
All three are in the bottom of the London rich list. All three are home to vibrant but vulnerable communities, London’s precariat, those who do the low paid jobs the Metropolis relies on, but who have to make ends meet despite zero hours contracts, rising rents, disproportionately poor health, and an increasingly incapacitated state support system.
However, all three neighbourhoods, like scores of others across the city, have been quietly doing something extraordinary for London communities through long established enterprise that has made a tangible difference to Londoners. Where it has been most successful this often voluntary initiative has been supported by little-championed locally-run backbone organisations.
In light of the deep changes affecting disadvantaged communities and households, and the increasing difficulty in meeting growing need, these local backbone organisations, Paddington Development Trust, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Community Links have joined up to support a London Communities Commission. Here is the commission in action in Paddington in October 2015:
Here they are in Tottenham, at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre
Here they are in November 2015 in Newham at Community Links
The London Communities Commission heard from local community services, community activists and volunteers in each area, as well as experts in the field of public service commissioning and social funding. The Commission has gathered hundreds of pages of written evidence from groups across London. Summaries of the three sessions and the written evidence received can be found in the downloads section of this site.
The evidence is being considered in December and a report will be published in early 2016 with recommendations for policy to support London communities to thrive despite the social and economic challenges facing the capital.