Londoners demand a Social Compact with the next Mayor at launch of ideas for a Community-led London Plan
On 4 February a conference of London community groups and resident/business campaigns launched their demands for a genuinely sustainable London at City Hall, publishing a tabloid which is both a manifesto and an agenda for a more open, more democratic, debate on London’s future. Download here.
The conference organized by Just Space was attended by 200 people who called for the new Mayor to sign up to a method of genuine involvement in London’s policy-making from an early stage: London’s community groups and organisations working in partnership with City Hall.
Many different perspectives were heard from people involved with estate demolition, private renters, food growing, alternative energy and the loss of employment land – but the common thread was a fundamental lack of trust in the systems that currently govern planning and development and which are not delivering for Londoners.
The Just Space network’s demands and ideas for debate are set out in a tabloid paper Towards a community-led Plan for London which will be used to lobby Mayoral candidates.
The paper calls for a city in which Londoners on normal wages can afford to live and where existing communities (who are also the voters) can sustain themselves, not be priced out or bulldozed. Participants are all for treasuring and expanding the stock of non-profit housing, improving security and controlling rents for private tenants.
They want an economy which is much more diverse, able to sustain the intricate economies which make London unique and serve all its diverse communities – not just corporate giants and big brands – and stop property speculation from destroying industries, workshops and affordable offices.
They want a plan which pays real attention to the environment – making a big contribution to cutting global warming, addressing London’s illegal air pollution as a health emergency and greening the whole economy.
They want citizens and enterprises to be in from the start in forming the strategy of the next London Plan and demanding that candidates for Mayor and the Assembly commit themselves to this new process.
Just Space is a network of community, voluntary sector and activist groups, some local and some London-wide, influencing plan making and planning policy to ensure public debate on crucial issues of social justice and economic and environmental sustainability. About 50 groups, many themselves federations, have taken part n preparing for today’s debates and will be continuing the work, to produce a Community-led London Plan for the new Mayor in May.