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Changing London: A Rough Guide for the Next London Mayor

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9781907994470: Changing London: A Rough Guide for the Next London Mayor
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Almost 9 million people live in London and its Mayor holds the UK's biggest directly elected mandate. London is a wonderful city, diverse, rich and full of talents but is it the best that it could be? More than a third of its citizens fear crime on the streets, 28% are in poverty, and the richest can expect to live 20 years longer than the poorest. The next mayoral election will be in May 2016 and the primary contests to choose the candidates will be in summer 2015. By voicing their ideas, hopes and aspirations for the new Mayor at this time Londoners have the opportunity to set a different agenda and to break new ground. To that end, the authors set up a Changing London website in November 2012 and invited contributions. This was to be a platform for generating and debating ideas, drawing on the experiences of other cities but also on the creativity and innovation of Londoners. The ideas and the discussion flowed freely. This book brings it all together under five big visions for London. Changing London didn't start with mayoral candidates and nor does it finish with them.The authors believe the business of change is a concern for us all, all of the time, and this book describes a new way for people to engage in the very real politics of their own environment.The ideas here, and the way they were captured, should inspire others way beyond London.

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About the Author:

David Robinson is a community worker and a father of three. He has lived in east London all his life and been involved in social change in lots of different ways, but mostly he has worked for Community Links (www.community-links.org), a charity he set up many years ago. David also co-founded Shift (www.shiftdesign.org.uk) and the Children’s Discovery Centre (www.discover.org.uk).

Review:

'London has it all, but underneath the surface our city faces an inequality crisis. We are becoming a city of the rich and the rest, living together but growing apart. We are building more luxury flats than ever but fewer than half the homes we need; we are home to more millionaires and billionaires than anywhere else in Europe yet more than 70,000 children have no home at all; and we are officially the number one city for opportunity on the planet yet hundreds of thousands of our young people can't find a job. The next mayor of London has to address the inequality pulling our city apart, there's no question about that. This book helps show the way.' - Tessa Jowell; 'Politics in modern society is more than casting a vote. The electorate have a voice, views and experience of life in Britain's capital city that have little room to germinate let alone be heard and discussed in the traditional format of the hustings. Changing London breaks that mould. For eighteen months, Londoners, in all their diversity, have contributed in a collaborative, radical process, via the internet, to offer fresh ideas and a robust different vision of how London ought to be - and can be. Every mayoral candidate should take heed. This is the new politics.' - Yvonne Roberts, Chief Leader writer, The Observer; 'For Londoners, and for all those who care about its future, the mayor plays a decisive role in shaping the kind of capital we live in and love. This new book collects together the ideas and experiences of people who care about London's diverse and disadvantaged communities without whose help the city simply would not function. David Robinson became an East London community worker before he left school and has stuck at it ever since. No one has more experience and insight than David into the huge challenges and opportunities of London. This book will open eyes for all those struggling with the complexities and contradictions of London's government.' - Professor Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, LSE; 'This is an amazing publication. Not just because the ideas fill me with the hope that London can become a home for our shared humanity but also because it was created out of a caring, collaborative, inquiring and imaginative spirit - which are exactly the traits we need for London to become the city of our dreams. Please read it, share it, critique it, build it and make it happen.' - Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass; 'Changing London has shown how politics should be done. David and the team have produced a wide range of bold and radical ideas for making London a city that actually works for Londoners. The focus on tackling inequality and building stronger, fairer communities is exactly what our city needs. Most importantly, they have done it through collaboration with real Londoners. Working with ordinary people to hear about how they live their lives, the problems they face day-to-day and what help they need to build a better future for themselves and their families. This is a hugely exciting project.' - Sadiq Khan

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