On 18 March 2018, the Policy Institute at King’s College launched a report entitled, London 2030 and Beyond. The report was compiled by the King’s Commission on London which examined two under reviewed issues that are central to London’s civic life – namely: health and skills (further education and training). The Commission was jointly chaired by Director of LSE London Tony Travers, and Lord (Andrew) Adonis, Visiting Professor at King’s College London and former Transport Secretary.
The Commission considered four possible scenarios involving different factors in global and national policy shifts (see Figure 1) that will affect deeply London’s future. Brexit is one of these most obvious and immediate factors. In so doing, the report focuses on the most optimistic and beneficial scenario, i.e., London as ‘Super City’.
In order for London to keep up with its present economic and population growth and success, the report argues it must achieve an open trading system, with flexible migration rules and provisions for London’s thriving service economy. The Commission believes that London-specific challenges must have London-specific responses. To this end, accelerating devolution of decision-making and funding powers to a city level will make London more capable of providing such responses, especially when it comes to health and skills.
Specific recommendations regarding the critical and often overlooked issues of health and skills, the Commission makes several recommendations:
The Commission believes that better integrated care is necessary across the board, with specific emphasis on improving primary healthcare provision in the city. The Commission’s recommendations focus on the ways in which the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Mayor and the boroughs, and ‘London partners’ (the Mayor, the NHS in London, Public Health England, and London councils and the boroughs) can all work together to improve primary healthcare delivery. One key recommendation for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is to reintroduce deprivation funding to incentivise better primary health in deprived communities, paying close attention to London-specific factors. For more of the Commission’s specific recommendations on health, click here.
While London shares many of the challenges in the area of skills with the rest of the country, the Commission identified several factors that are specific to London’s geographic make-up (economy, demographics, etc.). In the works there is devolution to London in the area of skills provision, by way of Adult Education Budget. While this devolution is welcomed, more can be done in this regard, the Commission believes, specifically when it comes to Advanced Learner Loans, further education colleges, apprenticeships, and construction. The Commission makes specific recommendations for the national government as well to the Mayor of London and the boroughs. Chief amongst these recommendations for the national government is to press ahead with the unconstrained devolution of the Adult Education Budget to London in 2019/20. For more of the Commission’s specific recommendations on skills, click here.
The Commission also considered the relationship between London and the greater South East, a geographic and geopolitical relation often overlooked by academics and government alike. Further analysis is required but some ground work was initiated and was annexed to the report and can be accessed by clicking here. LSE London has conducted research in the geographic area in relation to migration and its impacts; click here to access that report.
Click here to access the full-length report.