London Councils’ Business Plan sets out the overarching themes and work priorities for the organisation for the year ahead. These reflect a range of conversations with members across the capital and detailed discussions with Executive Members who lead on specific policy areas.
The scope of the plan reflects the wide range of policy areas we seek to influence as well of course as the ambitions for a range of services, such as the Freedom Pass, Taxicard and others, where Leaders have decided these are best managed and delivered by London Councils on boroughs’ behalf.
The plan gives a strategic overview of London Councils in that it sets out the overall framework, direction of travel and priorities for the organisation, while recognising that the year ahead will inevitably require an agile organisation to be able to respond to events as they occur.
London has, of course, recent tragic examples of the sort of event that fully tests the resilience of our city and its governance.
The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, following on from terrorist attacks at Westminster and London Bridge, remind us all that we must never cease to do everything in our power to bolster our resilience and build upon the network of mutual support and assistance that the capital’s boroughs have worked hard to develop.
And while ‘resilience’ has a very specific meaning in terms of emergency response, it also has a wider meaning for London and for Londoners. It means ensuring our economy grows to support jobs for residents. It means ensuring our schools continue to excel and that our young people are primed to meet the challenges life throws at them. It means that our transport system works to meet the demands of a 21st century world city; that our air is cleaner, our environment greener and our streets are safer.
All of these areas go to the heart of what local government can achieve for residents and these are all areas where we can achieve more for London when we all put our
shoulders the wheel.
It would be impossible to look at the political, economic and social environment ahead and not consider the possible impacts of Brexit for London as a global city. Leading members have been meeting with London business leaders to discuss how best, working with the Mayor and others, we can come together to protect London’s communities from some of the adverse consequences of Brexit and clearly this work will be increasingly important for our member councils over the coming months.
Equally we have been seeking to ensure that London Councils is up to the task of meeting such tests. That was why the London Challenge team was asked to explore ways in which London Councils could best reflect the ambition of London local government. The Challenge team’s report, in July last year, set out a number of proposals around how London Councils can best utilise the contribution of London local government more broadly in its work. These have both influenced and been reflected in the Business Plan set out here and will further influence the development of London Councils’ work over the coming year.
I look forward to working with you all on achieving the objectives outlined in this plan.