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Thursday 31st January 2013

Welcome to the latest issue of London Leading

We hope that 2013 is getting off to a good start for you!  In this issue we focus on 3 of our 2012 London Leaders, some updates from previous years, plus some news on the latest report from the Commission.  Our 2012 London Leaders will be continuing with their projects to the middle of 2013 so look out for more news in the next issue of London Leaders.

Martin Jones, Sustainable Development Policy Officer at the GLA, has been manaing the London Leaders programme for nearly 2 years.  He's now moving to the London Plan team at the GLA and Nusrat Yousuf will be leading on the programme for the time being.  Nusrat can be contacted on Nusrat.Yousuf@london.gov.uk.
Martin says 'it's been great working with such an inspiring group of individuals who give up their time to make London a better place - their energy amazes me!  I wish all London Leaders the best of luck in the future and look forward to seeing how the programme develops."

London Ground to Ground

Since September 2012, London Leader Deborah Rothenberg has been walking, talking and cycling the streets of London getting coffee shops onto the Groundtoground map, so that customers know where they can get their used coffee grounds.

Deborah’s initiative, to get used coffee grounds out of landfill and into London’s soil systems, has succeeded in getting over 30 coffee shops to commit to actively giving their grounds away to customers.  Deborah also spends her time visiting plant growing communities to discuss how used coffee grounds can be utilized as a mulch, a worm feed, a filler for raised beds and as a rich green component in compost.  Her biggest successes are when café owners develop direct relationships to local growing communities.  Examples include To The Jungle Café linking up with Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Capital Growth’s Meadow Orchard with the café at Hornsey Medical Centre, and Bankside Open Spaces Trust with Bermondsey Street Café.

Deborah’s project is changing the way that cafés think about managing their waste.  The Haberdashery (pictured) in Crouch End and Vagabond’s in Stroud Green have both created displays to encourage customers to take home small amounts of their packaged used grounds. 

Deborah has also been giving talks on how to make use of used coffee grounds at home, not just for plant growing but also including a make-your-own bodyscrub session.  Venues include the London College of Communication, Petersham Nurseries in Richmond and the Jewish Community Centre.

All a café needs to do to sign up to the map is to email groundtoground@gmail.com.  Posters and postcards are available for display to let customers know about the project.

Deborah’s map is available at bit.ly/LONDONG2G

More information on London GroundtoGround is available at http://groundtoground.org/2012/07/24/london-ground-to-ground/

The Good Wardrobe goes live!

In November, 2012 London Leader Zoe Robinson launched www.thegoodwardrobe.com, London’s free style-sharing community hub.  Currently in beta (the website development stage before full release), the site mixes the best 'conscious' fashion with services that prolong the life of clothes.

Zoe celebrated by launching Sew It Forward, an initiative which encourages people to share sewing skills.  Whilst many Londoners frantically geared up for the biggest shopping day of 2012, Zoe and her guests celebrated a project that aims to slow consumption.  The event was held at Henrietta Ludgate’s Workshop in Bayswater – sponsors included Ecover, Green People, Divine Chocolate and Squid and Pear.  The launch was one of the Ethical Fashion Forum's 'top headlines in sustainable fashion for November 2012'

The Good Wardrobe has received impressive media coverage from the likes of Eco Age, Do the Green Thing, Urban Times and Oxfam’s blog.  On 4th January, Zoe was featured on the front page of the Guardian Money section in an article by consumer affairs correspondent Rebecca Smithers.

Zoe has lots of exciting developments in the pipeline: “soon you'll be able to earn credits for helping on the forum and use them to donate to one of our charity projects.  Review shops, sites and services in the directory and help grow our community.  We would love your support so please do join us and share your wardrobe wisdom!”

Can fun and games save the planet?  eco action games at the Science Museum, 6 March 6-9pm

The idea of using fun and games to help educate and change behaviour is the brainchild of 2012 London Leader Paula Owen.  Paula’s London Leader project is testing the potential for using games and game-like techniques to help inform and educate Londoners on what they can do to help mitigate climate change and lessen their environmental footprint. 

As part of Climate Week, Paula is delivering an interactive, engaging event at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre.  It will immerse participants in an evening of educational ‘fun and games’ - all games are linked by an environmental theme and will range from the simple: variations on traditional, well-known and well-loved games such as ecotrumps, eco bingo and play your carbon cards right, to the more complex, creative, physical and thought-provoking. 

The purpose of the evening is to engage audiences who can be turned off by the typical ‘doom and gloom’ messaging often used when trying to inform, influence and change people’s behaviour.  Issues such as global climate change can seem so big, scary and daunting that people feel helpless about what they themselves can do to help the situation.  And being made to feel guilty about what they are not doing, or indeed what they are, is a sure-fire way to alienate them.  Paula believes this novel way of connecting with people is the way forward for environmental messaging and engagement, and the event officially launches the ‘fun and games to save the planet’ campaign run by eco action games, a social enterprise.


The big idea behind this event is to test out the rapidly growing theory of gamification. This is the idea of using the concepts and mechanics of games design to educate and inform, and ultimately, change people’s attitudes, behaviours and habits in non-game situations. 

More information and the opportunity to secure a ticket to this event will be available on the Dana Centre website in a few weeks.  It is expected that demand will be high, so be sure to book your ticket quickly.

What makes London a GREAT City to live in?

Launch of the London Sustainable Development Commission's 'Quality of Life Indicators Report 2012'

The overall quality of life for Londoners is getting better despite the recession and record population growth over the past 10 years, according to the London Sustainable Development Commission's new Quality of Life Indicators report.

The report looks at 33 indicators of London’s quality of life from energy use, air pollution and traffic volumes to life expectancy, happiness and employment levels and found that the majority had improved in the past three years.

The capital is the only major world city to produce such a comprehensive report examining all aspects of life across the three main themes of environment, economy and social progress.

Despite London’s population increasing by more than  850,000 people in the last decade, carbon dioxide levels fell by almost one tonne per capita since 2009, traffic volumes dropped by 7% between 2003 - 2010 with 1.5 billion fewer vehicle journeys between 2009-2012, and total household waste fell from 3.4 million tonnes in 2006-7 to 3 million tonnes in 2010-11.

In education, the proportion of pupils obtaining at least 5 GCSE passes at A*-C or equivalent has increased by 29% since 2004. Life expectancy has also improved for both men and women with males’ life expectancy increasing to 79 years from 77.4 and females up to 83.3 years from 82.

Despite the economic downturn, employment levels have stabilised at around 69% during the last three years and there is evidence that the employment rate for London has been increasing since mid 2009. However one-year and three-year business survival rates are unsurprisingly down. 60% of London businesses started in 2007 were still trading three years later. London however has more new business start-ups than the UK average, despite falling survival rates.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the report. He said: “This snapshot of London life underlines that despite the economic difficulties of the last few years, the capital continues to thrive and can justifiably lay claim to be the best big city in the world to live, work and do business in. London is a great place to invest - air quality is improving, we’re one of the greenest capital cities and we have a well educated and highly-skilled workforce.”

However not all areas of life have improved for Londoners during the past decade. The cost of childcare has risen whilst its availability has decreased. Between 2009-2011 the number of childcare places for under eights per 100 children has declined by just over 4% and London has the highest childcare costs of all regions in the UK.

The affordability of housing continues to be a problem - affordability has more than halved in the capital since 1997 and London homes were also 37% less affordable than the national average.

Meanwhile, London leads the way when it comes to ‘green jobs’. The capital has a 19% market share in the sector in the UK and 0.7% of global market share. Jobs in the green economy sector rose slightly between 2008-09 and 2009-10 despite the economic downturn.

It’s also an incredibly creative city. In 2012, 22.9% of firms in London reported introducing product innovations, a rise from 20% in 2009. In the same year, 13.2% of London firms reported introducing process innovations, also a rise since 2009 when levels were at 9%.

The Report is launched at City Hall on 30th January and is now available on the LSDC website

London Community Energy gives advice to community groups

London Community Energy staged a very successful event in November 2012 at City Hall.  “Getting Finance Ready” was a training event aimed at community energy developers seeking to raise capital to get their projects off the ground.  30 delegates from communities across the capital and beyond participated with projects including urban hydro, biomass and solar schools.  The event looked at a range of areas including business planning, risk management, and building investor confidence.

London Community Energy founder, and 2011 London Leader, Mary Walsh says “This was the first event of its kind that we’ve run in London and it was heartening to see so many exciting community energy projects taking part”.  Mary has spent the last ten years working on energy projects across the UK and internationally - from small community developments issuing local shares to major projects requiring international bank finance.  Mary has the dual-perspective of having been a director of a community enterprise as well as currently being a member of the credit committee of a community finance fund.

Run in collaboration with Carbon Leapfrog, a charity that aims to accelerate the growth of low carbon projects, the event built on the success of previous Leapfrog training sessions.  Sarah Hayward of Carbon Leapfrog says “There is so much value in these events, not least as it brings together organisations that can share learning and experience.  This can really help move projects forward.”

London Community Energy has also recently recruited environmental management expert Alex Beckett, previously an advisor with Ealing Council and Power Perfector.  Alex kicked off his new role advising a social housing trust in North West London on how it could incorporate renewable energy into its existing and new developments. Hopefully 2013 will see these plans become a reality.

For more information see www.londoncommunityenergy.org.uk    Twitter@LDNCommEnergy/

Getting to know...PIP - Learning Event 

2010 London Leader Lee Healey, a regular commentator on welfare issues for BBC TV & Radio, is hosting this learning event on Monday 29th April 2013 at City Hall.

In 2013 the government will introduce the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), a brand new disability benefit for disabled people aged 16-64.  Affecting millions of disabled adults across the UK, PIP will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). 
'Getting to know... PIP' is the essential learning event for anyone wanting up-to-date, usable, practical information which they can then use to help their customers/clients/service-users.

TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE VISIT https://pipevent.eventbrite.co.uk  

For more information call 0300 777 7772 or email info@incomemax.org.uk

Lloyds Banking Group supports
London Leaders 2012



More information on the London Leaders and the LSDC can be found on the website at http://www.londonsdc.org/ London