16 December 2009 Inclusion London: representing deaf and disabled people.
London Plan Consultation Workshop
Tuesday 8 December 2009, at City Hall
Feedback and next steps
This briefing note provides information following Inclusion London’s consultation event on Tuesday 8 December. The meeting discussed key Mayoral draft strategies – the Draft Replacement London Plan and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Both of these are out for public consultation until 12 January 2010.
The meeting was very well attended, participative and vibrant. It was the first such event held by Inclusion London. The very strong response was testament both to concerns held on these issues and the support that exists for a London-wide organisation championing equality for Deaf and Disabled people in the capital.
Inclusion London thanks everyone who contributed to ensuring a very high level of discussion and representative involvement. The discussion will help shape Inclusion London’s submission to these consultations and future work.
This briefing aims to help ensure you are informed about the discussion that took place and encouraged to respond to these two important consultations.
Other resources include:
- Inclusion London press release (circulated separately).
- Inclusion London briefing, circulated for the meeting on 8 December
- Mayoral strategies can be found at: http://www.london.gov.uk/shaping-london/
The meeting was held to find out what Deaf and Disabled Londoners thought about key proposals in these plans that will have important implications for their lives. We looked in particular at proposals on housing, transport and lifetime neighbourhoods.
Around 75 people attended from 18 different boroughs (both outer and inner London) as well as from pan-London organisations. The level of participation made for a great first outing for Inclusion London.
The meeting was chaired by Andrew Little (Inclusion London) and jointly introduced by Andrew and Kirsten Hearne (Inclusion London). Panel speakers, who addressed particular aspects of the draft plans, were Anne Kane (Inclusion London), Caroline Ellis (RADAR), Faryal Velmi (Transport for All), Peter Lainson (London Access Forum), Julie Fleck and Andrew Barry-Pursell (GLA London Plan Team) and Jenny Jones (London Assembly member and Chair of the Assembly’s Planning and Housing Committee).
It was noted that there were a number of positive proposals in the documents, particularly where they retain and extend policies in the existing strategies – such as on the standards for lifetime homes and wheelchair accessible homes. However, overall participants considered the draft replacement London Plan and Transport Strategy were not good enough for disabled people. Strong concern was expressed at a number of new policies or changes introduced into the draft proposed strategies. Participants called for a number of actions and amendments. We have identified relevant parts of the Draft Replacement London Plan (LP) and/or Draft Mayor’sTransport Strategy (MTS) under which these could be raised or amendments proposed (see text in bold below).
Key issues the meeting called for included:
- The Social Model of Disability to be explicitly and centrally present in all Mayoral strategies and therefore reinstated where it belongs in the Mayor’s equality strategy, in particular – London Plan policy 3.1.
- The Mayor to recognise and act on the basis of the principle ‘nothing about us, without us’ and therefore fully involve Deaf and Disabled people – LP policy 3.1 and paragraph 3.2, 3.3, 3.4.
- Reversal of the decision to defer a number of plans for step-free access at tube stations, i.e. to make the tube more accessible. Draft MTS Chapter 5.9 and Proposal 40 and LP Chapter 6 and Policy 6.1.
- Reversal of announced fare rises – which will disproportionately impact on disabled people. Draft MTS Chapter 5.23 and Proposals 119 and 120.
- Action to improve the delivery of Dial-a-Ride and protect the Freedom Pass. Many accounts of deteriorating practice and delivery were cited. Better and more consistent eligibility criteria and service delivery across London were needed and an end to borough variation. MTS Chapter 5.9.4 and Proposal 44.
- A stop to so-called ‘shared surfaces’ or ‘shared space’ or ‘better street’ plans that actually exclude many disabled people – and action to agree a better and agreed definition and a universal concept of shared streets which was inclusive for all. Particular concerns were expressed about Kensington and Chelsea’s plans for Exhibition Road.
- A change to the consultation question on shared space: a particular complaint was made that the question on ‘Better Streets’ in the online and short version of the consultation form was a leading question. It asks if people support ‘Introducing shared space schemes to improve the look and feel of streets and make them safer’. A more ‘open’ question would ask people about what things would make streets better, safer and inclusive, and would provide a definition of what the Mayor’s policy of ‘shared space’ is. LP Policy 6.10 and MTS Chapter 5.17 and Proposal 82.
- The Mayor to increase not decrease, as the Draft Replacement London Plan proposes, the target for new affordable homes to be delivered by boroughs. LP Chapter 3 and Policy 3.12 and Table 3.1.
- The Mayor to retain or increase, not decrease, the targets for social housing (for rent) within the affordable homes target. Participants stressed that the London Plan’s proposed reductions in the quota of affordable housing and in social housing to be delivered directly penalizes Deaf and disabled people who, because of discrimination, are less likely to be employed, more likely to be in lower paid jobs, more likely to be living below the poverty line, and more likely to need social housing and affordable housing. The draft London Plan proposes a 10 per cent reduction in the target for new (from 40 per cent of new housing to 30 per cent) social housing. LP Chapter 3 and Policy 3.12.
- Vigorous implementation of the Draft Replacement London Plan’s proposal for Lifetime Homes and Lifetime Neighbourhoods. This concept was strongly supported but participants pointed out that its delivery required joined-up policies (on housing, streets, transport, crime, etc) as well as detailed standards, targets on boroughs involvement of disabled people. LP Chapter 7 and Policies 7.1 and 7.2.
- Continued implementation of the proposals on Lifetime Homes and wheelchair accessible homes that have been carried over from the previous London Plan – but action to ensure these are better implemented by boroughs. LP Chapter 3 and Policy 3.8.
- More definite, ambitious and measurable targets for delivery.
- Funding for local groups of disabled people to be able to monitor and work around access issues – and better guidance for local council access officers so that they are in touch with and involve disabled people.
- More centralised coordination and action to stand up to bad practice by boroughs – e.g. to stop boroughs retrofitting housing and to insist that homes that have been provided for or adapted for use by disabled people are always re-used for disabled people.
- Investigation into the apparent disappearance of disabled parking spaces in some boroughs and action to defend Blue Badge parking spaces and the use of the Blue Badge in central London. MTS Chapter 5, paragraph 420.
- Much better enforcement – standing up to bad practice where necessary and promoting good practice.
Feedback was very positive. You said:
“I am really pleased I attended as it provided me with the chance to take a closer look at each issue.”
“Best event of engaging deaf and disabled people. Keep up the good work.”
“Highly informative, extremely useful. Perhaps could be scheduled a little earlier so could give longer to respond.”
- More than 90 per cent of you said you were more likely to participate in the consultations as a result.
- 95 per cent of you said that you would recommend Inclusion London events to others.
- The vast majority of you rated the speakers as ‘excellent’.
- When asked if the information presented was ‘valuable and useful’ two-thirds of you said ‘totally’.
- No one felt their access requirements had not been met and most people felt they had been ‘totally’ met while the rest felt they had been ‘partly’ met.
Thank you to everyone who completed evaluation forms – more than 50 per of those registered did so. Your feedback is very important to us – please feel free to feedback if you have not done so already.
The consultation continues until 12 January and anyone – individually or from an organisation – can make a submission. The consultation documents and process information is at: http://www.london.gov.uk/shaping-london/
You can respond by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (putting ‘Replacement London Plan’ in the title), or by post (no stamp required) to:
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
(Replacement London Plan)
GLA City Hall, post point 19B
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2BR
Inclusion London encourages Deaf and disabled people’s organisations in London to engage with the consultation and to support the policies needed to ensure that we are fully included in London’s future.
Inclusion London is happy to provide further information and assistance as far as possible.
For further information contact:
Tower Bridge Business Complex
100 Clements Road
London SE16 4DG
Telephone: 020 7237 3181
London Deaf and Disability Organisations CIC
Company registration no: 6729420