London's most disadvantaged communities

MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The London Development Agency and the Greater London Authority on a regular basis deal with a number of established organisations which work in, and represent, the third sector. However, there is another level of organisation below this which does not conform to the 'normal' way of working, which requires form-filling and box-ticking. Often these organisations and people work in unconventional ways with the most disadvantaged and disengaged parts of society, doing fantastic work, but they do not appear on anyone's radar. What are you and the London Development Agency doing to find these people and to engage with them?


Answer for London's most disadvantaged communities

Answer for London's most disadvantaged communities

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The role and contribution of voluntary, community and faith groups cannot be over-emphasised and I have seen first hand the positive impact they are making in the lives of Londoners. As part of my vision to empower communities and promote social inclusion in the city, both myself and Richard Barnes (Deputy Mayor of London) have been meeting with community groups and the organisations that serve and support them. I value the vital contributions made by these groups and organisations in addressing the specific needs of some of the most disadvantaged and disengaged parts of society through innovative solutions that are based on community action and engagement.

The GLA offer these organisations tailored support as they implement my equality policy (Equal Life Chances for All). However, it is important to manage their expectation as the GLA isn't necessarily a fund granting authority. It is also worth pointing out that occasionally the governance around funding are necessary to protect tax-payers money.

The LDA seeks to reach out to these groups in two ways:

Firstly, through its strategic engagement process with the Third Sector organisations; based on a requirement that larger third sector representation organisations provide a real and credible voice for the concerns and needs of small community groups that would not have the resources and ability to lobby key funders and political stakeholders effectively on their own. In this context, the LDA works with representative organisations on equalities, thematic issues (e.g. recycling and carbon reduction, youth, skills), geographic base (e.g. borough level CVS's) and with other pan-London partners (e.g. Toynbee Hall, Bassac).

Secondly, through its new commissioning process, the LDA is keen to ensure that new projects and contracts are structured in a way that delivers the best services to target groups. It is developing a structured stakeholder engagement process to drive the early design and subsequent delivery of projects. *