Mayor’s foreword 5Executive summary 7Introduction 17 1 Maintaining London’s position 33as a world city for culture

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The importance of transportAnother critical factor in determining how well Londoners can attend and take part in cultural activities is access to public or private transport. London’s transport system is hugely impressive – the Underground alone has 270 stations, and 250 miles of track, making it the longest metro system in the world by route length. However, the transport network in outer London boroughs is less well developed than in central London. The effect is that not only are there fewer cultural venues in outer London with good transport links, but it is also more difcult to travel to the centre of town where venues are concentrated. As outlined in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, Transport for London and partners are undertaking a number of measures to improve the transport system across London, thereby providing better access to cultural events. Central to this is a programme for investing in transport infrastructure to provide more capacity and connectivity. This includes major projects such as Crossrail, the upgrade of the Tube network, longer trains on the DLR, and the development and expansion of the London Overground, Thameslink and longer trains on National Rail services. Many bus services are now more frequent, particularly in the evenings and weekends, with new services introduced and service information improvements making journeys easier. In addition, the iconic design for London’s new bus, based on the Routemaster but with a distinctively futuristic style, is set to become an emblem of 21st century London and will further improve the attractiveness of travelling by bus to cultural events. The Mayor is also committed to encouraging an increase in walking and cycling around London, which will improve accessibility at a local level, and the level of enjoyment and physical activity associated with travelling to and from a venue. The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme launched in the summer of 2010 has already generated a million cycle trips in just ten weeks, while the Legible London system offers a more understandable representation of the way to nd key locations, including cultural and visitor attractions. 2.2 Improving the quality of cultural provision across LondonAt the beginning of 2009 the Mayor established the ‘Outer London Commission’, under the Chair of William McKee CBE, to look at ways to realise the full economic, social and cultural potential of the outer-London boroughs. This made a number of recommendations around clustering together cultural attractions and encouraging the development of cultural quarters, which fed into the draft replacement London Plan and its provisions for culture. In support of this, the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is prioritising the improvement of connectivity to and within metropolitan and town centres. The Mayor welcomes the work being done by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies who are taking steps to address gaps in support across London, and already the benets are emerging, with new or refurbished museums in Redbridge, Brent and Havering, and the initial development of a ‘touring circuit’ between a number of outer-London venues. This does not require instigating an immediate shift in public funding from the centre to outer London, but rather to gradually build up the quality and scale of provision in those areas where it has historically been sparse. A good example is the London Museums Hub that has funded development for smaller museums across the city in a range of areas. By building the managerial capacity, knowledge and skills of those working in these museums, it is hoped that the standards of quality, and levels of investment, in the museums of the outer-London boroughs will improve.Rather than seeing each other as solely competitive, it is clear that organisations and venues based in outer London welcome the opportunity to collaborate in order to reduce costs and raise the prole of their programmes. Organisations have also started to develop partnerships with major cultural institutions in the centre of London who have the potential to extend their reach across London with new touring and partnerships schemes. The London Museums Hub’s initiative, funded through MLA’s Renaissance programme, to facilitate the loan of the British Museum’s iconic ancient Egyptian sculpture, the Gayer-Anderson Cat, to Brent Museum is an excellent example, which saw visitor numbers in Brent Museum increase by 8,000 in the short period in which it was on display. Those working in arts and culture in outer London boroughs would also benet from greater recognition and promotional support for their activities. Cultural institutions in such locations need to work even harder to develop and grow their audiences, but often nd themselves with fewer funds to do so. Cultural campaigns funded at the regional level can therefore be of particular value, and it is clear from GLA evaluations and consultation that there is strong support among organisations in outer London for these to continue. An example of how this can work well is the East festival, developed and run by the GLA since 2007. It emerged from an explicit aim to draw together the cultural organisations in East London and to attract new visits and greater exploration of the area. Since then, East has showcased the work of cultural and creative organisations in East London, created new partnerships and new work in the area, encouraged visits, greater exploration and perception change and been used as a lens to examine themes pertinent to the area. Another instance is the GLA’s support, with Arts Council England, for the London Jazz Festival, which has been partly designed to enable smaller venues in outer London to produce larger-scale events with high quality touring acts. As a result of this, in 2009 the festival held 250 events in more than 50 venues, with hubs of activity in Barnet, Croydon, Richmond, Greenwich, Newham and Kingston-upon-Thames.Activities such as London Jazz Festival, Big Dance, Story of London and the Thames Discovery Programme, which is the largest community archaeology project in London, or national celebrations such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Diamond Jubilee in 2012, can become the starting points for further strategic relationships and sub-regional collaborations. The West London Alliance, for instance, a consortium of West London boroughs have been in discussions with the GLA around developing plans around cross-borough cultural activities and events, and ensuring that culture can play a role in their economic development objectives. Such initiatives are to be welcomed, as ultimately, for culture to flourish across London, and to unlock more regional funding, boroughs need to play a vital supporting role; whether through their planning frameworks, willingness to make sites and buildings available, revenue funding or simply providing advice and guidance.Technology also has a role to play in expanding cultural provision across the capital. The successful launch of NT Live, the National Theatre’s project funded by Arts Council England that broadcasts plays live into cinemas across London and the rest of the world is one example of how technological infrastructure can widen the enjoyment of high quality cultural events. Other institutions such as the Royal Opera House and Royal Shakespeare Company have embarked on similarly bold projects. Such experiments by the major cultural institutions are to be encouraged, and while some will always feel that there can be no substitute for a live event, as producers become more knowledgeable and skilled at making use of digital tools and delivery platforms, there is the potential to bring world-class arts and culture to many more audiences in London.Policy Action 2.2 In partnership with local authorities and sector bodies, the Events Team at the GLA is supporting high-quality festivals, campaigns and cultural events across London, both existing and new, developing and widening audiences and participation in the capital. Social barriers to participationDespite the uneven distribution of funds and provision across London, and between inner and outer London, spatial patterns do not solely account for differences in cultural engagement. To give an obvious example, 63 per cent of residents in the outer London borough of Richmond upon Thames engage with the arts three or more times a year, compared to only 41per cent of residents in the inner London borough of Tower Hamlets28. As well as geography then, it is clear that a number of other factors help to explain variations in engagement. The GLA’s survey research into barriers to participation produced a range of responses, see table below, of which by far the most common were issues of cost and lack of time. However, there are signicant variations between groups, with women much more likely to cite costs as a barrier, and also the need to look after the family (11 per cent compared to only four per cent of men), while lack of time is cited by 60 per cent of 18–24 year olds, but only 36 per cent of those aged between 55–64.Research from a number of organisations and funding bodies has demonstrated different levels of engagement between demographic groups. At a national level, Arts Council England have tracked participation in the arts, and shown that factors such as ethnicity and educational level are likely to be correlated with different levels of engagement, as the table below shows.Figures from Taking Part, the national survey of culture, leisure and sport have similarly shown variations across the population. Signicantly higher rates of participation have been found among female respondents, those without a non-limiting disability, and those from white backgrounds. Other factors are also important, with considerable variations depending on socio-economic group, religious afliation, educational level and age, with both the young (16–24 year olds) and elderly (over 65) having signicantly lower levels of participation29.These general ndings have been echoed within specic cultural sub-sectors and amongst Londoners. For instance, the table below shows responses to the question ‘Have you visited a London museum in the last 12 months?’ broken down by different demographic segmentations. Those from a black minority ethnic (BME) background, a lower social group or with a disability are all signicantly less likely to answer in the afrmative, while age groups also seem to vary considerably.Issues around barriers to participation are myriad and complex, and as such are frequently the source of much debate and conjecture among academics, sociologists, and cultural policy makers. Developing the evidence base for such policy making in this way is therefore critical, in order to understand in as much detail as possible exactly what the causal factors are and making the appropriate interventions. For instance, the LDA has recently completed research into the needs and expectations of disabled visitors to London,30 and on the basis of this is planning to implement a support programme for tourism businesses, including cultural attractions, in order to increase understanding of issues and improve the level of service for disabled visitors. By making the effort to develop more sophisticated metrics and research exercises, London’s cultural sector has the potential to build up useful forms of market intelligence. This can be invaluable for informing programming, undertaking more targeted marketing and other activities intended to reach out to new audiences. The Mayor welcomes the work undertaken by MLA London and the London Museums Hub, Arts Council England and CLOA in this regard. There are certain limitations on what the GLA can do to increase cultural participation and engagement. As a strategic rather than a delivery or funding body, it is not in a position to address some of the most common barriers, such as cost or lack of interest, by for instance subsidising the price of tickets or reforming the school curriculum. However, there are a number of strategic interventions, which the GLA working in partnership can undertake to address barriers. Many of these are described throughout the Cultural Strategy, but they include: improving local cultural services, which are an important factor in people’s experience and access to cultureinvesting and promoting affordable or free local events through pan-London cultural campaigns and festivals such as Story of London or Big Danceimproving links between schools, families and cultural institutes to encourage better awareness of the opportunities available, and to give young people from all backgrounds the condence and ability to understand cultural formsundertaking research and policy work to further understanding of barriers and reasons for differing rates of participation, in order to inform GLA and partners’ investments and programmesFinding transport solutionsThe Mayor is continuously working to improve London’s transport system, and to meet his overarching objectives of ensuring that it can provide London’s residents and visitors a safe, flexible, affordable and environmentally sustainable system, which can accommodate a range of choices and travel options across the capital. Through Transport for London, the Mayor is pushing through the biggest programme of investment seen in 50 years. This will include the upgrading of several tube lines, with the introduction of air conditioning on much of the network, an expansion of the Docklands Light Railway by 50 per cent, the continuation of Crossrail, which will increase London’s rail capacity by ten per cent and new investment in cycle lanes and energy efcient buses.These major infrastructure projects are ambitious and long-term in their nature but will deliver enormous benets for the cultural sector and wider public. Alongside this, there are also more specic issues that affect cultural organisations in particular, such as coach parking. London has a long-standing coach parking problem, especially in relation to non-scheduled, or charter, services. These coaches are a vital means by which many come to the centre of London to visit some of the country’s best known cultural attractions – our national museums, national institutions and, of course, West End theatres. Nor is it just tourists – coaches enable school children and the elderly from across London to be taken directly to and from cultural venues. There are currently around 200 parking spaces for coaches in central London but it is estimated that up to 500 charter coaches come into the capital on a daily basis. The difculties in dropping off and parking are adding to central London’s congestion and also inhibiting coach parties from visiting London.The GLA is exploring the development of a scheme for London with TfL that would better facilitate the use of bays reserved for tourist coaches and in doing so minimise any negative impacts for residents and benet the city’s cultural and visitor economy. A feasibility study has been initiated and will report back with a costed solution that has the potential to greatly benet the sector.Policy Action 2.3 In partnership with TfL and sector partners, the Mayor is seeking practical solutions to the specic transport problems facing the cultural sector, and which require leadership and co-ordination to address. 2.3 Strengthening local cultural servicesArguably, the most important factor in determining the range and quality of cultural services in any part of London is the commitment of the local authority. This is reflected in survey results which show that, when Londoners are asked why they think the quality of cultural activity is low, the overwhelming reason given (67per cent) is that ‘there is not much going on/no interest by the council to invest’. This is despite the fact that, in general, London local authorities deliver a huge variety of services, programmes and events locally with a large number of partners. Collectively, London boroughs are the biggest funders of cultural and activities in London, making a revenue investment of over £400m in 2008/09 amounting to £53.90 per London resident or £1.04 per week. The diagram below gives an indication, in broad terms, of how this is spent.Local authorities, in London and elsewhere, are currently under unprecedented budgetary pressure and facing difcult decisions over future funding, with non-statutory services, which includes most cultural provision, likely to be particularly vulnerable. Furthermore, while there may be a greater focus on corporate support and philanthropy for culture in the future, this is unlikely to take place to the same extent at the local level. It is London’s arts and heritage organisations with a national prole that are likely to most benet from this type of giving.Many cultural services are delivered directly by the boroughs themselves – libraries for instance. But methods of provision vary widely across authorities, and it is now common for certain services such as leisure facilities or parks management to be externalised to commercial operators or trusts. In particular, London boroughs tend to work closely with small third sector organisations and voluntary groups that are embedded in local communities and neighbourhoods, and hence in a good position to provide the kinds of cultural services that are most needed by residents. In this respect, much cultural provision can be thought of as being in line with national government’s flagship ‘Big Society’ policy.Policy Action 2.4 The Mayor is working closely with London Councils and individual local authorities, advocating the importance of cultural services in terms of their offer to residents and the role it plays in contributing to people’s quality of life, and where relevant, encouraging greater cross-borough partnerships in order to deliver innovative and high quality services. London boroughs tend to place a particular emphasis on the contribution that culture makes to the quality of Londoners’ lives, and the potential it has to meet wider local government priorities. In so doing, boroughs recognise the broader role that culture can play in improving community life in a number of different ways. This is supported by GLA survey results indicating that 84 per cent of Londoners think that the city’s cultural scene is important in ensuring a high quality of life.Cultural activities can bring communities together and drive social cohesion, they can inspire and motivate people of all ages to actively participate in their community and have a positive impact on all areas of people’s lives including promoting lifelong learning, reducing crime and fear of crime, instilling condence, and encouraging good health and well-being. Many boroughs also support the sector for economic reasons, for instance through the development of creative quarters that can encourage business growth, employment and regeneration, or else through tourism, recognising that cultural assets and services can be an important factor in making areas distinct and attracting visitors. In the course of his regular engagement and work with London boroughs, the Mayor will continue to advocate the importance of investing in culture and emphasise the benets it brings at a local level.Of course, not every initiative or service will achieve these objectives, and the success of individual projects will very much depend on local conditions. But a general evidence base is emerging of the correlation between levels of engagement with culture and sport and people’s overall satisfaction with a place to live, as measured by National Indicator 5, and in London this correlation has been found to be even stronger. This seems to be the case with all levels of cultural provision, but is particularly so with local authority run or supported museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls, which have a higher correlation with council performance and resident satisfaction than bus services, refuse collection or doorstep recycling31.The Mayor strongly supports the commitment that London local government has made to work in partnership to deliver and improve cultural services, and thereby improve the cultural lives of Londoners across the entire region. Much of this is being led by the Chief Leisure Ofcers Association (CLOA) London and the London Cultural Improvement Programme (LCIP), two partnerships comprising the local authorities themselves, as well as London Councils through their Culture, Tourism and 2012 Forum, Arts Council England London, MLA London, Sport England London, English Heritage, Government Ofce for London. The LCIP is leading the way in terms of driving efciencies and improvements, and is starting to have a signicant impact in terms of building a network of committed professionals across London local government who have been able to learn from one another, share best practice and improve the quality of the cultural services they provide. As a consequence, two of the participating boroughs have already improved their ‘star’ rating for culture. This success has been recognised with the awarding of further programme funding from Capital Ambition, London’s Regional Improvement and Efciency Partnership (RIEP), as a result of which there is now scope to further improve cultural services and explore new ways of collaborative partnership working in the key areas of heritage, events, fundraising, tourism and working with children. For instance, it has recently developed a new programme strand, working with Film London to enable boroughs to better attract lm productions. The GLA is engaging closely with LCIP and providing strategic input on priority areas such as tourism and alignment with cultural and children’s services. Through the London Events Forum, it is assisting those ofcers in local government with event responsibilities to help them achieve improvements in their borough, and on cross-borough activities. Across a range of policy areas, the Mayor has championed the role of local authorities as democratically accountable bodies that should maintain their freedom to provide both the level and types of infrastructure and services that are most wanted by their electorates. Nevertheless, the work of CLOA (London) and LCIP has already shown the benets of greater collaboration and learning between the boroughs, and London Councils’ policy document Playing their Part: Culture and Sports Contribution to Local Life in the Capital is therefore welcomed for providing common principles and priorities for culture and sport in London, to which all of the boroughs can endorse. The GLA is also working with London Councils to explore the feasibility of introducing a ‘Londoners’ Card’ to the capital, to complement local schemes being developed by boroughs. This would harness new technology to create incentives and mechanisms for Londoners to participate in a range of activities and local services, including culture. It is a complex project to realise, and a range of stakeholder workshops and interviews have been held with representatives from TfL, local governme

t, cultural providers and relevant agencies. It is anticipated that the project would be developed in stages, and the rst programme of development could begin in 2011.London’s public librariesLibraries account for approximately 40 per cent of all London local authority spend on culture, and are also one of the few forms of cultural provision to be found in approximately equal numbers across the capital. Since 1964, with the advent of the Public Libraries Act, local authorities have been required to provide a library service free at the point of use. The result is that, according to the government’s National Indicator 9, which measures the percentage of adults who have used a public library service in the past 12 months, the performance in outer and inner London boroughs is almost identical – 52 per cent in the former, and 51per cent in the latter. Today, London’s public libraries are usually portrayed as being in a state of crisis – crumbling buildings, continually vulnerable to budget cuts, and forever being relegated in local authorities’ priorities and spending plans. The true picture is very different and also much more complex. While there is no doubt that many libraries have experienced strong nancial pressures in the last year, and will undoubtedly face even tougher ones ahead, many London libraries continue to run a service that is highly regarded by its users. According to the latest data from the Public Library User Survey, more than 87 per cent of respondents in London described their library service as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, and only 1.6 per cent described it as ‘poor’. However, there is undoubtedly room for improvement, and the service varies across London on a number of metrics, including loans and visits per resident, and running costs.Ironically, the funding cuts that threaten London’s libraries come at a time when in other ways they are thriving. Initial evidence suggests that, possibly as a result of the recession, people are turning to public libraries in greater numbers for careers and employment advice. Demand for career development literature, free access to computers and the internet have all been reported. For instance, at the beginning of 2009, Westminster Libraries reported a ten per cent rise in visitor numbers and 33 per cent in membership on the previous year, with particular increases in demand for books on CVs, letter writing and nancial advice.A popular misconception is that libraries are static institutions, providing much the same service as ever. Certainly, the fact that so many of the UK’s library buildings were built in the 1960s and 1970s can give that impression, but the truth is that many of London’s libraries are constantly evolving, and have successfully pioneered a number of new services, improving the quality and range of their offer. Recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of libraries open in the evenings and weekends across London, greater availability of WiFi internet access, the roll-out of library-based adult learning and literacy programmes which has provided basic skills support for nearly 10,000 residents, and a MLA London pilot investigating how libraries can support local businesses and entrepreneurs. Perhaps most encouraging of all, iconic new library buildings and refurbishments in places such as Pollards Hill, Peckham, Barking, Hillingdon and Shepherd’s Bush are not only major new assets for their local communities, but also symbolise the continuing vitality of London’s libraries.CASE STUDY: Shepherd’s Bush LibraryThe autumn of 2009 saw the opening of London’s newest library, Shepherd’s Bush, in the heart of Westeld Shopping Centre, one of the largest inner city shopping centres in Europe. Located over two floors, it holds many of the features and services expected of a modern library: books and DVDs of course, educational resources for children and computers for public use, but also a dedicated ‘chill out’ space for teenagers and young people, with music and games software.In addition the library is home to a Work Zone facility. Hammersmith & Fulham Council in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and Ealing Hammersmith & West London College provide a recruitment service designed to t the needs of Westeld’s retailers and other local employers. The Work Zone provides advice on job interviews and the kinds of work training, such as food hygiene certication, which are most needed to work in the restaurants and other outlets in the local area that are generating jobs. As a further aid to initially getting employment, the library can help to arrange nancial assistance for local residents’ childcare costs. Already, the library has proved highly popular with the local community, with almost 1,500 people joining the library in the rst month of its opening, compared to just over 200 a month at the old library branch on Uxbridge Road which it replaced.The library was paid for and built at no cost to the local taxpayer, but rather was funded as a result of the community benets negotiated under a Section 106 agreement following planning consent. As such it is a vivid demonstration of the vitality and continuing value of London’s libraries – both in terms of its capital funding, but also the means by which it delivers a range of services that are as tailored as possible to meet the needs of local residents and can also be applied to reduce costs as well as provide new services, and already library services managers have demonstrated that through working in a smarter and in a more coordinated fashion, it can be possible to make savings without necessarily impacting on the quality of the services. Through better use of digital technologies, jointly procuring and developing software systems, and through a greater willingness to collaborate on a cross-borough basis in terms of back-ofce arrangements and minimising duplication, administrative and management costs can be kept low while still providing a seamless, high quality service to library users. As well as this, recent technological innovations in the private sector, such as Bloomsbury’s Public Library Online, a publisher-led online library supply initiative open to all publishers, point the way to new models and partnerships as a means of delivering new and better services for users.The Mayor strongly endorses the efforts that library staff, local authorities and others are making to continue to innovate. In recent months, MLA London in conjunction with the London Cultural Improvement Programme has overseen the London Library Change Programme (LLCP) to assist this process and to address many of the strategic and resourcing issues. It is also looking at different governance models, exploring how services can be made more efcient through possible sharing or contracting out, while still preserving local democratic accountability. It is important that the LLCP delivers tangible, long-term outcomes for customers, such as improved stock, more flexible opening hours, improved use of digital technologies and greater convenience. To achieve these, it is clear that the programme will have to also deliver savings across London’s library services in order to allow reinvestment and modernisation. Those working in the sector must be given the support and encouragement needed to make bold and timely decisions, and ensure that libraries can continue to have an important role in the lives of Londoners in the years ahead.
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Mayor’s foreword 5Executive summary 7Introduction 17 1 Maintaining London’s position 33as a world city for culture iconForeword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

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