The new Mayor for London, Sadiq Khan, has published his vision for London: A City for All Londoners, which is now out for consultation. In this he outlines the top challenges and opportunities in the capital, and the changes that City Hall wants to deliver over the next four years.
At this event hosted by the 4in10 child poverty network, Engage London and Children England, we will explore what the Mayor's strategy must deliver for children, and the key priorities for London's children for the next few years.
Speakers will cover London's high rates of child poverty, as illustrated by the recent End Child Poverty coalition figures, the difficulties for low income working families and the impact of welfare reform on these families, the challenging context for children's services in the capital, and how we can build a family friendly city together. The discussions between our networks will be used to inform our priorities and respond to the consultation, and we hope will also be useful in informing the priorities of the voluntary sector across London.
Some key areas and priorities which participants may like to bring to the discussion include:
Income poverty: There are more children living in poverty in London than in Scotland and Wales combined. New figures from the End Child Poverty coalition show that London’s high rates of child poverty continue.
School places: There is an estimated shortfall of 35,000 secondary school places in London between now and 2020, which is over a fifth of the entire national estimated shortfall.
Affordable childcare: A nursery place in London is around a third more expensive than the UK average and prices are rising faster than in the rest of the country, while half of boroughs in the capital do not have enough free early education places.
Housing: With house prices and rents soaring, 8% of London’s households are overcrowded, three times more than in the rest of England.
Child obesity: Linked to malnutrition, London’s child obesity rates are higher than in the rest of England, with the highest rates found in deprived areas and amongst black African children.
Welfare reform: The benefit freeze, cuts to in- and out-of-work support for families, funding formula changes, and cuts to local authorities and support services have hit families in the capital particularly hard.
A networking lunch and refreshments will be provided at the end of the event.