The London Anchor Institutions’ Network brings together organisations to enable them to work collaboratively and leverage their status to support the capital’s recovery from COVID-19. Since its inception, the LFB has been an active participant. The Anchor Institutions’ Network is supporting three core recovery missions: support Londoners into good work, implement a Green New Deal, and support opportunities for young people. To help support Londoners into good jobs, the LFB has made a commitment to recruiting, retaining, promoting and upskilling Londoners from underrepresented backgrounds. It has been working to identify and engage with small diverse organisations and working alongside the GLA, the LFB is identifying opportunities that can be ring fenced specifically for this market.
To help deliver a Green New Deal for London, the LFB is in the process of revising its Net Zero Strategy, which will set out how it plans to achieve decarbonisation for its estate and for its fleet, including by trialling the UK’s first electric hybrid fire engine later this year. To provide support for London’s young people, there are now fire cadets units in every London borough, supported through £1.1 million of funding provided by my Young Londoners Fund. Hundreds more young people are now able to develop their personal and professional skills while gaining qualifications, improving their career prospects and helping their community. The LFB is currently consulting on its Community Risk Management Plan called Your London Fire Brigade, which details its plans to continue supporting Londoners over the coming years throughout this period of recovery from the global pandemic.
Thank you, Mr Mayor, good afternoon and thank you for your comments earlier about the bravery of the fire brigade in this last heatwave. I was just thinking about what you have said and about COVID-19 pandemic recovery. One thing that really struck me last night, when I was looking at the news and they had a heat map of London -- and actually I know because I live in an area where we were badly impacted by COVID, disproportionately, and also disproportionately it was hot, and it is an area where people do not have access to outdoor spaces. It is the disadvantaged that seem to continue to be disadvantaged, which is very unfortunate. In terms of the LFB maximising employment opportunities of these groups of people who are, frankly, poor, how are they going about that?
What you are articulating are the structural inequalities that I often talk about in relation to our city, unfortunately. It is the poorest Londoners who suffer the worst consequences from the heatwave we have just seen, and probably from the flash flooding we may well see and other issues: air quality, crime and so forth. What the LFB is doing as part of the [London] Recovery Board when it comes to the new recruits that we are now recruiting is they particularly target diverse communities. To give them credit, it has key performance indicators to make sure it is taking on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Londoners and other Londoners who are underrepresented in the LFB. There is a piece of working taking place from the LFB, being done by Nazir Afzal [OBE], the leading expert, in relation to the culture within the LFB. Are there things in the LFB that are deterring women or people of colour from joining the LFB, staying once they have joined, or not making the progression? Question. The response from Nazir Afzal [OBE] will help the LFB develop its thinking and its practices so it can be the employer of choice for all Londoners, particularly BAME and women Londoners.
It is unprecedented. There are very few silver linings from the awful, awful pandemic. One of them has to be the greater working across London in relation to councils, LFB, the MPS, TfL and the NHS, you have mentioned some of the really good names from the private sector, the voluntary and community sector, and faith communities. We have to keep it going, even though the pandemic is behind us, in relation to recovery going forward.
Every time I meet the NHS and they tell me another trust has become a Living Wage employer, that means the lowest-paid people are getting decent pay for a hard day’s work. Film London, working with Hollywood, is creating jobs that are wow jobs for Londoners who otherwise would not have access to some of the wow jobs being created, and many of these Hollywood films are made in London because of our commitment to culture and the other issues we do in our city as well. One of the things that really frustrates me when it comes to poverty is the poverty of aspiration. We have to make sure that every Londoner thinks that they can achieve anything. By working with these great private sector companies and the public sector then giving a helping hand - because not everyone is match fit to get their job - with the right ethos and values, we can get more and more Londoners who are having their potential fulfilled.