The Mayor of London has drafted a plan for London. The public are able to feedback until 2 March 2018. At present there are only 4 specific mentions of LGBT people, and these aren't in the policy but just the notes. A group of LGBT people have got together to ensure that LGBT+ needs are considered and specifically mentioned within the plan. UCL Urban Laboratory along with Queer Spaces Network are coordinating tre response.
The publication of the draft plan marks an important opportunity to influence the capital’s strategic plan. This is a powerful document – all planning decisions should followLondon Plan policies, and it sets a policy framework for local plans across London. However, this 500-page document is not easy to navigate.
The group require as much evidence as possible around LGBT people in London. Evidence helps to be able to show why it is important to be more specific about LGBT+ people in particular. Evidence can be in many forms, research papers, data, articles, stories.
I attended the recent meeting of LGBT+ people to discuss the areas of the London Plan that are relevant to the LGBT+ community. It is clear that there are a lot of opportunities, but not a lot of time. We heard from Rob McNicol at the GLA and it was interesting to see that there are a lot of people who care about this issue - and I'm sure there are many more of you out there too!
If you know of any data available around LGBT+ mental health, LGBT+ homelessness, LGBT+ housing needs, LGBT+ access to accessible queer spaces, LGBT+ alcohol and drug needs - it needs to be London-specific but it will all help to build on the case.
- The current London Plan: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/the_london_plan_2016_jan_2...
- The draft London Plan that is open for consultation: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-pla... (500 pages!)
The current draft, only mentions LGBT people 4 times, and these are in the notes, and not the specific policy
Example of the types of changes that we are hoping can be proposed:
The Greater London Authority’s Culture Team commissioned UCL Urban Laboratory to develop independent research on LGBTQI nightlife infrastructure in London. This work will help inform the Mayor’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan. In making this commission, the GLA note the 'significant work' published in the report LGBTQI Nightlife in London: from 1986 to the Present.
The report was informed by research conducted by Dr Ben Campkin and Laura Marshall from the UCL Urban Laboratory between May and October 2016. This initial research focused on the period 1986 to the present. 1986 is significant as the year that the Greater London Council was disbanded, marking a shift in urban regeneration policy. It ended in 2016, at a time of wide reporting and activism around the closure of commercial LGBTQI spaces, with a number of ongoing high-profile cases in the media.
LGBTQ Cultural Infrastructure in London nightlife venues 2006 to 2017: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urbanlab/docs/LGBTQ_cultural_infrastructure_in_Lon...
What can you do?
If you have any evidence that contains data, facts, information that can be used to support the evidence that LGBT+ issues need more weight then please send them through to Urban Laboratory, with the title 'evidence for the London Plan'. In particular, anything that compares the LGBT+ position to the wider London position.
LGBT people made up almost a quarter of the young homeless. Given that a government survey the same year found that only 3.3 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, this means that they are seven times over-represented among the homeless.
About UCL Urban Laboratory
UCL Urban Laboratory is a cross-disciplinary centre for critical and creative urban thinking, teaching, research and practice.
About Queer Spaces Network
The Queer Spaces Network was established following a round-table meeting of LGBTQI+ (queer) community members affected by the spate of venue closures in London at the Greater London Authority in December 2015.
The QSN was established as an open and inclusive forum for members of the queer community to come together and discuss issues relating to the protecting, promoting and supporting queer spaces in London and feed into relevant consultations and requests for information.
The group has since met quarterly and its members have fed into several consultation events from the GLA and other groups.
Queer Spaces Network (QSN) is made up of around 60 members from a very wide range of organisations interested in Queer Spaces.