Latin Elephant has made progress in promoting the contribution that migrant and ethnic communities make to London’s diverse economies and cultures.
Latin Elephant’s advocacy for inclusion of migrant and ethnic economies took a positive turn when one of our recommendations was adopted in the London Plan 2015. Not all we asked for was acknowledged, and more is needed to fully address the needs of migrant and ethnic economies in London, but this is a step in the right direction.
What we argued:
Latin Elephant’s Chair, Patria Roman highlighted a gap between urban policy and migrant and ethnic economies in the London Plan. Large proportion of regeneration programmes in London are triggered by existing and proposed opportunity areas in the London Plan. This in turn is happening in London’s most deprived boroughs where the proportion of migrant and ethnic businesses is high.
This disconnect between urban policy and migrant and ethnic economies trickles down to borough level where the mechanisms to manage change are not robust enough to ensure that existing small migrant and ethnic economies remain viable and vital.
The London Plan comes short of mentioning or even acknowledging migrant and ethnic economies in equal terms with other economies: e.g. technology, creative industries are explicitly addressed in the London Plan.
Recommendation to policy 4.8:
POLICY 4.8: SUPPORTING A SUCCESSFUL AND DIVERSE RETAIL SECTOR AND RELATED FACILITIES AND SERVICES
Clause g ‘manage clusters of uses having regard to their positive and negative impacts on the objectives, policies and priorities of the London Plan…
What we asked for:
We asked for an acknowledgement of the importance of migrant and ethnic clusters in promoting social and community cohesion by adding an extra point to policy 4.8 g viii (page 171-172).
Policy 4.8 g viii (page 171-172) acknowledges the ‘potential to realise the economic benefits of London’s diversity’ by making reference to paragraph 3.3 in Chapter 3: London’s People which highlights the Mayor’s commitment to ensuring that London ‘provides equal life chances for all its people, enabling them to realise their potential and aspirations, make a full contribution to the economic success of their city – and share in its benefits – while tackling problems of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination that impede them’.
Supporting specialist ethnic and migrant retail is relevant for regeneration schemes across London and a pertinent policy aspect at borough level.
Regeneration offers opportunities for growth and with the right mechanisms in place existing migrant and ethnic economies and small and micro enterprises in boroughs across London can continue to thrive and contribute to London’s economic growth, vibrancy and cultural diversity.
We will continue to advocate at Borough levels for the adoption of measures and mechanisms in support of migrant and ethnic economies and highlight that these need to be in line with the London Plan 2015.
Link to London Plan, March 2015: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/london-plan/further-alterations-to-the-london-plan