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Action plan launched to address inequality in London

8th Jul 2022

Hamed Chapman

A strategy to tackle social inequalities in the British capital has been launched by the London Recovery Board, chaired by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Chair of London Councils, Cllr Georgia Gould, to improve the quality of life for citizens across the city. Khan is urging as many organisations, institutions, and allies from as many sectors as possible to adopt an action plan to “not only amplify work already being progressed but to give momentum for more to happen.”

“Long-standing, socially embedded inequalities made many people’s experiences of COVID-19, and life afterwards, significantly worse. Those who were hit the hardest by the pandemic were Londoners, already familiar with hardship and unequal living standards,” he said. The Fairer Action Plan lays out 14 actions to address inequality, with leaders in London’s government, as well as figures in business, civil society, health and education sectors, trade unions, and the police, working together to accomplish the goals laid out.

The aim includes tackling workplace discrimination, by ensuring fair access to jobs, promotions and training and addressing pay inequality. Organisations and institutions are also being encouraged to become accredited London Living Wage employers, so everyone has access to basic pay rates. The British capital currently has the worst wealth inequality in the UK, with poorer citizens owning just 4% of total household wealth in the city, according to government data.

Gould said London is a city “filled with diversity and dynamism, but also with deep-rooted, structural inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.” This action plan provides a “real opportunity for positive change.”

“Working together, we must redouble our efforts to tackle those inequalities and to build a fairer, more inclusive city for all Londoners,” she said.

To improve access for discriminated groups, communities will be given a say in how local services are run, in data collection and in eligibility for services. The Board will also work with debt organisations and charities to improve financial and welfare advice for struggling households and will improve accessibility to digital services.

Jake Ferguson, Strategic Advisor at the Black Equity Organisation, said that structural racism is a “global problem and has its history in centuries of White superiority” and that everyone “needs to do more collectively to understand the impact that structural racism has on people’s everyday lives and to empower communities.”

The Director of Practice at The Ubele Initiative, Michael Hamilton, said: “The impact of racism leaves Black individuals and communities without the ability to live our lives to our full potential. Racism leaves our community traumatised by the drip, drip, of societal violence.”

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