Mayor’s response to your report: “Think Night: London’s neighbourhoods from 6pm to 6am”

By June 11, 2019NEWS

RECOMMENDATION 1: The Mayor should put the night at the heart of London policy-making. He should introduce a Night Test for all new policies to rate their impact on London’s culture, sociability, wellbeing and economy at night.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
With 1.6m Londoners working at night, and London’s economy valued at over £26 billion between 6pm and 6am, I agree with the Commission that every policy area must take consideration of the night time. When City Hall and London’s Boroughs develop policy, impact on residents, workers, visitors, businesses and infrastructure between 6pm and 6am must be considered. My Night Czar has convened a 24-Hour London Delivery Group that meets quarterly and involves officers from City Hall’s Regeneration, Economic Development, Planning, Transport, Skills, Communities, Housing, Environment, Health, City Intelligence and Culture and Creative Industries teams. The group will support the City Hall-wide implementation of the Night-Time Commission’s recommendations. They will also explore how a Night Test can be implemented across policy areas.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The Mayor should produce Night Time Guidance for boroughs. This will help them develop holistic Night Time Strategies that go beyond the night time economy and cover all aspect of their town centres and other areas between 6 pm and 6 am.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
I am aware that you consulted my Night Time Borough Champions Network on this proposal. The network is made up of senior leaders who champion night-time policy in their boroughs. London’s councils clearly see value in creating borough night-time strategies and
some are already developing strategies. All boroughs agree that guidance is needed to support their work. I support this recommendation as it will help boroughs develop holistic strategies for their high streets and neighbourhoods from 6 pm to 6 am. It builds on my guidance in the new London Plan for boroughs to develop a nighttime vision as well as town centre strategies that support growth and diversification at night.

My Regeneration Team has recently commissioned guidance on promoting diverse, adaptable high streets, in the day and after 6 pm. My Night Czar will also work with the Night-Time Borough Champions Network to commission further guidance in 2019 that will help boroughs produce holistic Night Time Strategies.

RECOMMENDATION 3: The Mayor should set up a London Night Time Data Observatory. This central hub of data on the economy, transport, licensing, infrastructure, safety and health would help boroughs create their Night-Time Strategies and inform local decision making.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
Evidence-based policy is essential for the good growth of London. That is why the Chief Digital Officer and I committed to using data to support London at night in the Smarter London Together Roadmap. The GLA’s City Intelligence Unit is well placed to build this
evidence base by creating a Night Time Data Observatory. It manages the London Data Store and produced the ground-breaking London at Night report. It also holds relationships with boroughs, TfL, the police, the health service and business data providers. The observatory
can, therefore, draw on a wide range of data to build a holistic picture of London at night. It will be created in consultation with my Night Czar and the Night-Time Borough Champions
Network. The Night Time Data Observatory will be developed as part of the London Data Store. This is an existing hub of London data that is widely used by boroughs. It will pool existing health and policing data together with useful contextual information including town centres, strategic areas of night time activity and transport services. The observatory will contain existing data from my annual cultural infrastructure audits and maps including pubs, music venues, clubs, theatres, community spaces, cinemas and more. Development of the observatory will also include looking into how the gaps in night-time data, identified by the Commission, can be addressed.

RECOMMENDATION 4: The Mayor should publish an annual report on London at Night. It should include a series of night-time metrics that show his progress in implementing the Night-Time Commission’s recommendations and achieving the ambitions of his 24-Hour City Vision.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
Publishing the London At Night report was a major milestone in ensuring that night-time policy is evidence-based. This compendium of in data was the most comprehensive research ever produced on a city at night. It took over a year to produce and provides vital insights that we can build on, helping us plan better for London at night. Whilst this cannot be repeated annually, the City Intelligence Unit will further develop this evidence base by setting up a Night Time Data Observatory. It will aim to provide boroughs with the key data they need to create their Night Time Strategies. The City Intelligence Unit will also look into establishing a set of night-time metrics that provide a city-wide health-check on London from 6 pm to 6 am. This work is monitored via the GLA’s internal reporting systems and progress is scrutinised by the London Assembly. My Annual Report will show my progress in implementing the Night-Time Commission’s recommendations and realising my Vision for London as a 24-Hour City.

 

RECOMMENDATION 5: The Mayor should establish a Night Time Enterprise Zone fund that boroughs can bid into, starting with a Pathfinder Zone in 2020.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
Research shows that 92% of councils believe that increasing night time economic activity can help save the high street from its current decline. I, therefore, welcome the idea of setting up a scheme to help boroughs develop thriving night time areas, attract entrepreneurs, help younger start-ups and provide space, employment, skills and opportunities for new talent. I have made £75,000 funding available immediately to run a Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot scheme. The aim will be to carry out action research that will involve consultation with communities and businesses, testing new ideas and informing how future activity across London could be carried out. The new fund is open now and I invite all London boroughs and their key delivery partners to apply. Full details, including grant funding guidance, are available on the GLA website. The successful borough will be announced later this year.

RECOMMENDATION 6: The Mayor should carry out research to establish the case for longer opening hours across London.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
My London Plan (Policy HC6 Supporting the Night-Time Economy) encourages boroughs to use their strategies and planning decisions to diversify the range of night-time activities and extend the opening hours of existing daytime facilities. Extending opening hours, for a wide range of businesses, has the potential to boost the capital’s economy and support our high streets. Being able to access cultural activities, go shopping and run errands later in the day could take the pressure of Londoners’ busy lives. The later opening could also improve the availability of healthy, affordable food for people who work at night. My Regeneration Team have commissioned research into how high streets are adapting to meet future needs. This will include a focus on the use of high streets after 6 pm. In addition, I am hosting the 10th International Public Markets Conference in June. This will be a key opportunity to share best practice on later opening hours for public markets and build on the success of London’s growing night market scene. The GLA will commission research into the case for longer opening hours. The research will create an evidence base to show whether longer opening could benefit Londoners, and if so, how. It will consider the challenges, for example the health impacts of shift working or increases in community safety costs. It will also identify any groups that are disproportionately affected by longer opening hours. The research will assess what levers boroughs could use to encourage later opening whilst mitigating any negative impacts.

 

RECOMMENDATION 7: The Mayor, should help establish new partnerships across the capital to improve safety, reduce violence and make London welcoming for everyone at night. He should map partnership schemes across London in 2019.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
The safety of Londoners around the clock is my top priority. Whilst there is less recorded crime, including violent crime, at night than during the day, one-in-five Londoners say they feel unsafe in London at night. This figure is higher for women, people living in low-income households and disabled Londoners. Partnerships between businesses, councils and the police have proven successful in coordinating resources and making places feel safer. They have also proven successful in bringing effective management to night time activity areas across the capital. My Regeneration and Economic Development Units support the creation of new Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across London and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) support the creation of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships. I support the call to map partnership activity, identify areas where there are gaps, and promote new partnerships in those areas. The GLA has mapped London’s BIDs and the

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime will provide a map of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships across London. These will be included in the Night Time Data Observatory. The Night Czar will seek partner organisations to work with the GLA and boroughs, mapping a range of partnership schemes and adding them to the Observatory. I will continue to invest in my Night Time Borough Champions Network which shares good practice on making London safe, welcoming and accessible for everyone at night. I will also champion schemes that have proven effective in managing areas of night time activity, such as Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, voluntary street patrols, Community Safety Partnerships, Local Alcohol Partnerships and various accreditation schemes that recognise good practice in licensed premises. I will also continue to encourage organisations and businesses to sign up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter. I have recently invested in the creation of the new Safer Sounds Partnership. It is led by the live music industry with the support of police and local authorities. It will help music venues and promoters to make London’s music scene even safer for music fans. It will also help to bring greater consistency to licensing practice across London, address concerns about unfair treatment of BAME artists, provide training and intelligence sharing and disseminate best practice between the partners.

 

RECOMMENDATION 8: The Mayor should develop guidance to help boroughs, landowners and developers create a welcoming, safe and vibrant public spaces at night.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
London’s public spaces are where the public life of the city is played out and the identity of our neighbourhoods is defined. A city that is attractive to everyone offers a better quality of life and long-term economic growth. Guidance on creating safe, welcoming and vibrant public spaces at night will be included in my guidance on the creation of Night Time Strategies. In addition, a number of policies and initiatives are already underway to help create better public spaces across London. Policy D7 – Public Realm seeks to ensure that the public realm creates a sense of place, is well-designed, safe and accessible. Development plans and proposals should be based on an understanding of how the public realm in an area functions during different parts of the day and night. The policy states that new developments should create an engaging public realm for people of all ages, with opportunities for social activities, formal and informal play and social interaction activities during the daytime, evening and at night. My forthcoming Public London Charter aims to maximise access to public space whilst minimising the rules governing the space to those required for its safe management. It is important that public space is free to use and designed in an inclusive way. We aim to publish the charter alongside the new London Plan and it will include guidance on the management of public space at night.

As the Commission has noted, lighting and festivity are important elements of a safe, welcoming and accessible public realm. I support Illuminated River, a major project to illuminate up to 15 Thames bridges, with the first four being delivered this year. It will be a permanent artwork that can be enjoyed for free by all Londoners. I also support festivals that extend activity across the 24-hour day. Art Night is London’s largest free contemporary art festival that puts art into extraordinary locations around London for one night a year. It will be part of my inaugural London Borough of Culture programme in Waltham Forest. The Sharing Cities project is a proving ground for new technology that helps cities to become more sustainable. The GLA, in partnership with 19 London boroughs, is working with cities across Europe to increase knowledge and scale-up innovative projects such as the installation of smart lampposts. Infrastructure such as this can provide CCTV, wayfinding and improved phone signal which helps to create public spaces that are safer and more welcoming.

 

RECOMMENDATION 9: The Mayor should set up a Late-Night Transport Working Group to ensure that workers, visitors and customers can get around London quickly and safely at night. The group should consider extending night services, introducing a ‘Night Rider’ fare that allows workers to move between bus, tube, train, DLR or tram in a single fare, and encourage more use of TfL’s land and buildings at night.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
I am committed to ensuring that night workers, visitors and customers can travel around London safely, quickly and affordably at night. My Deputy Mayor for Transport and the Night Czar will establish a new Late-Night Transport Working Group with involvement from Transport for London. This group will meet from mid-2019 and will identify the top challenges to be addressed. It will ensure that the transport needs of London’s night workers across all modes of transport are considered in an integrated way. My Hopper fare and my commitment to freeze TfL fares to 2020 have already impacted millions of customers and helped them to save money, no matter what time of day. Off-peak fares already apply across TfL’s network between 7 pm and 6.30am, making transport more affordable for those travelling at night. As a result, Transport for London will not be considering a Night Rider fare. However, the Late-Night Transport Working Group will consider other initiatives to help night workers get to and from their jobs safely, quickly and affordably, on all modes of transport at night.

RECOMMENDATION 10: The Mayor should extend the remit of London & Partners so that they can promote London’s night time offer to Londoners.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE:
London & Partners is my promotional company for London. They support my priorities by promoting London internationally as a leading world city in which to invest, work, study and visit. In Spring 2019 they ran a promotional campaign in partnership with my Night Czar. It was designed to support night-time activity areas on the Night Tube outside Zone 1. The aim was to increase awareness of the Night Tube and London’s diverse night time offer amongst overseas visitors. My Night Czar, Economic Development Team and External Relations Team will work with London & Partners to understand the impact of this campaign and seek partners to deliver future activity that promotes London’s diverse night time offer to Londoners. Through the VisitLondon channels, London & Partners guides audiences to make the most of their time in London. This includes promoting London’s rich night time offer. The VisitLondon channels are widely used by London audiences, with an estimated 30% of visitors to the VisitLondon website coming from London. I have provided London & Partners with £600,000 to bring together a consortium of Business Improvement Districts and London attractions to promote London to domestic audiences. The campaigns that come out as a result of this collaboration will promote London’s 24-hour tourism offer including night time culture, entertainment, food, drink and shopping opportunities, targeting Londoners and other UK visitors.

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