Despite growing financial pressures, Londoners continue to band together

  • By jourdanwongmuhammad

Londoners still feel they live in respectful, cohesive communities, in the face of growing concerns over job security and their ability to afford their rent or mortgage in the coming 12 months, according to an exclusive survey commissioned by London Councils.

Independent researchers Ipsos MORI conducted a poll of over 1,000 Londoners on behalf of London Councils, with a particular focus on housing, public health, financial resilience and devolution.

Twenty-seven per cent of Londoners who responded to the survey are concerned about being made redundant and/or becoming unemployed during the next 12 months. Participants aged 35-44 and those with children were most likely to raise this concern.

One quarter of survey participants are also concerned about falling behind on their mortgage or rent payments during the next 12 months. Private renters and social renters were the most concerned about this.

However these challenges have not stopped London communities from working well together. The majority of Londoners agree that they live in a cohesive community, as 80 per cent of those who responded to the survey believe people of different backgrounds live alongside each other with respect in the capital.

Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils said:

““It is troubling to see that a significant number of ordinary people are questioning their financial stability. Yet Londoners are demonstrating their strength of character as our communities remain strong, united and resilient despite the significant financial pressures that many people are facing.

“This survey shows that however significant the challenges that lie ahead, our capital’s communities are capable of standing firm. They are at the heart of our success as a city. London boroughs pledge to continue their support for local communities across the capital for decades to come.”


Notes to editors:

London Councils commissioned independent researchers Ipsos MORI to conduct a poll of 1,004 Londoners over the age 18 living in Greater London using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). Participants were selected for interview at random using random digit dialling.

Fieldwork took place between 14 September and 4 October 2017. Fieldwork was paused over the 15-16 September due to the terror attack that occurred in London.

Download the survey report

Case Studies

London boroughs have been leading commissions into fairness, cohesion, equality and integration that will shape local plans and priorities for years to come. London Councils’ publication Promoting Successful Social Integration in London showcases some of the work going on at a local level, including: Hackney’s work to improve outcomes for young black men; Hounslow’s mapping of community connections to measure resilience; Westminster’s commission on community cohesion; Newham’s Community Neighbourhoods and Faith Conference; Tower Hamlets’ Creative Communities Project and Lewisham’s work on Social Integration and Refugees. Download the report.

Westminster’s Community Cohesion Commission

In 2015, Cllr Nickie Aiken, the then Cabinet Member for Public Protection and now Leader of Westminster City Council, conducted a review of policy and practice relating to community cohesion, with a focus on combating extremism and radicalisation in Westminster.

In order to undertake this review, a Community Cohesion Commission was established. The Commission is chaired by Cllr Aiken and is represented by councillors from both Westminster’s political parties including Cllr Adam Hug, the Leader of the Opposition party.

The Commission was convened to discuss cohesion, radicalisation and extremism in the round. Its aim was to take an evidence based approach to understand any barriers to cohesion within Westminster, engage with key stakeholders to inform recommendations and prepare a report for consideration.

The Commission has used a four tiered approach to gather information and evidence to inform their understanding of cohesion in Westminster.

Hackney: Improving Outcomes for Young Black Men

Hackney Council, the local umbrella for the voluntary and community sector, Hackney CVS (HCVS) and local partner agencies, have worked with young people and parents to launch an ambitious programme to improve outcomes for young black men. This was in response to the fact that young black men (YBM) tend to fare worse than their peers in many ways, from poorer educational results to higher offending rates. This has been a problem for many years and there have been many responses from public bodies and from the community, but they have not had the impact needed. Rather than tackle individual problems, Hackney’s approach involves local people, the voluntary and community sector and the statutory sector in shaping and delivering solutions, with young people at the heart of this.

The work is championed by Cllr Bramble, Deputy Mayor and lead Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and steered by a multi-agency partnership set up in January 2015. The programme seeks to improve life chances for future generations of young men as well as co-ordinating support and opportunities for those who are 18- 25 now. There are many black boys, young black men and black families that are succeeding in Hackney and it is important that this work does not stereotype black men or the black community. The programme sets some clear ambitions to reduce disproportionality over the next 10 years.