With the extraordinary financial climate the country is in, now more than ever, people might be asking themselves: Who runs my city?
Operation Black Vote will be holding an event titled “Who Runs London” on 31st March to answer this very question.
People have repeatedly been told what an awful financial mess the country is in and how cuts need to be made, but what has not been made clear is what they can do as citizens and how they can affect the way London is run.
This is vitally important – it has been estimated, nationally, that out of the 1 million jobs likely to be lost as a result of the cuts – 250,000 to 350,000 will be black workers.
This will have widespread socio-economic ramifications in black communities, compounding existing disparities, e.g. the likes of child poverty ranges from 50% in the Afro-Caribbean community to 70% in the Bangladeshi community.
People in London could well find themselves being some of the worst affected by the seismic changes being carried out by the Government.
Research has shown that the recent cuts to the housing benefit, in effect from April, would immediately reduce the area of London affordable to low-income tenants from 75% to 51%, which would fall even further to 36% by 2016.
A City Hall report estimated that the cuts could well force around 9,000 London households and over 20,000 children to leave their homes. Some 6,500 of these 9,000 households will not only be forced to leave their homes but also the actual area in which they live.
Nearly half of the country’s BME population lives in London. In addition, over half of all people in poverty in London are from BME backgrounds.
Therefore, it is very likely that these cuts, whilst hitting London hard, will also have a disproportionate impact on black Londoners, as well as lone parents and women.
Londoners must be therefore involved in how these cuts will shape their communities.
At the event Londoners from communities across London will hear from and engage with high profile civic leaders from national charities and the BAME third sector as well as leaders from across the political spectrum.
Together they will answer the question ‘How can I make a positive contribution to my community by influencing and shaping the decisions being taken?’
Mr. Ashok Viswanathan, Deputy Director of Operation Black Vote said: “Londoners have had a lot to deal with recently…they’ve been told the way of life for so many of them – multiculturalism – has failed and they have had to come to terms, fast, with millions of pounds worth of cuts to their local areas. WHO RUNS LONDON is about people reclaiming their London and making sure that those who run London run it fairly, inclusively and in the interests of all citizens.”
WHO RUNS LONDON?
6.30pm start time
Thursday 31st March 2011
173 Euston Road,