CLF BLOG to the recession – How Connecting Communities supported central London residents into work post-pandemic – Delivered by eight central London local authorities and by Ingues, our Connecting Communities programme supported 17,000 residents.

Jayne Cox – Contract Manager – 29.01.2024



Meeting future skills needs in central London – the Local Skills Improvement Fund  Colleges and FE providers in central London have been awarded £6.7m to deliver the priorities set out in the Local Skills Improvement Plan. 

Aleyna Prokudina – Policy Officer – 18.12.2023



Central London Works - Work and Health Programme

Work and Health Programme Pioneer Support – Tackling economic inactivity and helping disabled residents into decent work. Central London Forward has secured £2.9m to provide ‘place and train’ support through our devolved Work and Health Programme.

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 13.09.2023


Meeting Central London’s Skills Needs – The Local Skills Improvement Plan. Over the past 9 months, Central London Forward has been working with BusinessLDN to develop London’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which aims to ensure the post-16 technical skills system better meets employer skills needs.

Aleyna Prokudina, CLF Policy Officer – 14.08.2023




Government must trust councils to get London working You don’t have to look far to see our capital’s economy has bounced back post-pandemic.  However, look beyond those crowded streets and the gaps in that recovery are all too easy to find.

Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council and Chair of CLF – 7.3.23

Levelling Up and London – Has the capital received more than its fair share Yesterday the government announced how it would spend over £2.1 billion of Levelling Up Fund money, perhaps expecting that for them it would be a good news day.

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 20.1.23


Out of office: How we keep central London working for businesses, visitors and residents  As we launch our latest research on the future of the office in central London, here are some of Arup’s suggestions for how we can help London’s office market to thrive and maintain its attractiveness for both businesses and workers.

Alison Murray is Associate Director at Arup – 6.12.22


Driving inclusive and sustainable growth in central London – Central London Forward Strategy 2022-24

Today, we launch our strategy for the next two years. Our focus is on inclusive growth because the success of our capital does not inevitably benefit all of our residents. 

Joe Dromey is Director of Central London Forward – 29.9.22



Borough Voice – It’s time for Oxford Street to lose its addiction to Candy

The pandemic changed the West End to a far greater extent than any other part of the UK. Whatever the impact of new working and shopping habits, the importance of central London to the UK economy is undiminished.

Cllr Geoff Barraclough is Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development at Westminster City Council – 28.9.22


Better connected – Driving digital connectivity across central London

High speed connectivity for businesses and homes is crucial to driving productivity and keeping us connected.

Nicola Egan, CLF Digital Champion – 06.9.22


The Central London Integration Hub – Helping disadvantaged Londoners access the support they need to move into decent work

Londoners who need help looking for work or improving their skills often struggle to understand the system, and to access the support which could best meet their needs.

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 28.7.22


Levelling the playing field – What an Online Sales Tax means for central London and how we get it right

The growth of online retail has led to growing concerns about an imbalance of taxation between online and in-person businesses.

Efa Gough, CLF Policy Officer – 13.6.22


The future of the office in central London – new research project launched

CLF are working with ARUP to explore the impact of hybrid working patterns on the use of and demand for offices in central London.  

Georgina Brightwell, CLF Policy Officer – 09.6.22


Crossrail and beyond – Investing in London’s infrastructure   This morning, 15 years after Crossrail was approved and after more than a decade of construction, the Elizabeth Line opened to the public for the first time.

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 24.5.22

Leader’s Voice – Why culture is an important driver of London’s social and economic recovery 

London is a global city steeped in history but full of new ideas.

                                                     Damien Egan is Mayor of Lewisham – 28.2.2022 

Leader’s Voice – London’s new urban quarter is poised to drive recovery

As 2022 gets underway, London is looking ahead to new opportunities emerging from the pandemic crisis.

Cllr Ravi Govindia was Leader of Wandsworth Council – 28.1.2022


London infrastructure needs shouldn’t be forgotten 

Infrastructure plays a vital role in underpinning central London’s economic success. Central London’s infrastructure keeps the city and its people moving, connected and productive.

Georgina Brightwell, CLF Policy Officer – 18.1.2022

Local government finance settlement does not go far enough to address growing financial pressures on councils

Government funding for local authorities has reduced significantly over the last decade.

Efa Gough, CLF Policy Officer – 17.12.2021

Cost of living pressures put more residents at risk of poverty in the capital

London has historically had one of the most unequal labour markets in the country.

Efa Gough, CLF Policy Officer – 14.12.2021


Good Work Camden

London has long been a centre for enterprise and success, and recent research suggests Camden remains at the forefront.

Cllr Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities, Culture and an Inclusive Economy – Camden Council – 30.11.21


Leader’s Voice – Boroughs working together for a greener future 

The climate crisis is a collective challenge requiring collective solutions.

Philip Glanville is Mayor of Hackney and Chair of London Councils’ Transport & Environment Committee – 1.11.2021


Mind the gaps – The pandemic and inequalities in central London

London is often viewed as a wealthy and prosperous city, with a plethora of well paid jobs, and some of the country’s most important institutions and businesses.

Efa Gough, CLF Policy Officer – 21.10.2021


Leader’s Voice – Reshaping the future of the City 

As we return from our Summer recess and look to the year ahead, it is great to see the life and vibrancy returning to London’s streets once more.

Catherine McGuinness is Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at City of London Corporation – 24.9.2021




Leader’s Voice – Supporting a sustainable recovery and tackling poverty in Islington

Having lived in Islington all of my life, I’ve always been aware that whilst significant wealth and opportunity exists in the borough, too many people are living in poverty.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz is Leader of Islington Council – 20.8.2021


London needs levelling up too

Nearly two years ago, the government was elected on a commitment to levelling up across the UK. The pledge struck a chord with communities who felt like they had been left behind even though our economy had grown.

Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Leader of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Chair of CLF – 30.7.2021



Leader’s Voice – It is time to rebuild our city

On July 19th, I was lucky enough to attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall to mark its 150th anniversary – the first full show at the venue since lockdown in March 2020. The curtain coming up on Freedom Day seemed an apt cue for the revival we hope is ahead.

Cllr Rachael Robathan is Leader of City of Westminster – 27.7.21




Leader’s Voice – Building an economy that works for everyone 

The past eighteen months has been hugely challenging and disruptive on many fronts, not least for our businesses, town centres and high streets across London.

Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of London Borough of Southwark – 6.7.21


Net Zero London – Taking action to tackle the climate emergency 

As we gradually recover from the pandemic, it is clear that the climate emergency is without doubt the greatest challenge that we face. 

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 2.7.2021



Tackling employment and skills challenges in a priority sector: the launch of the CLF Health and Social Care Outcomes Agreement

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how important the health and social care sectors are and the challenges they face.

Chris Haley, CLF Policy Officer – 21.6.2021



Kick-starting the London economy is a vital step in UK-wide recovery

London has been hit hardest by the coronavirus jobs crisis. Supporting a strong and inclusive recovery in London will be vital to driving the UK-wide recovery.

Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Leader of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Chair of CLF – 03.6.2021



Levelling up and London

This week’s Queen’s Speech – which set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming Parliamentary session – has started to flesh out what ‘levelling up’ means in practice.

Joe Dromey, CLF Director – 14.5.21


Safer, supported and sustained – a three-point plan to help central London’s retail and hospitality sectors through COVID-19

COVID-19 has hit retail and hospitality businesses in central London particularly hard. Bars, pubs, restaurants, shops and attractions were forced to close their doors during the national lockdown.

Guest blog by Steve Hughes, WPI Economics – 16.10.2020


Planning reform proposals might risk employment opportunities

While much of the media coverage of the government’s planning reform proposals have understandably focused on what they mean for affordable housing, they will have a significant impact on how apprenticeship and skills support is funded as well.

Chris Haley, CLF Policy Officer – 30.9.2020



Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril: this focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

London, the city of Zadie Smith and Shakespeare’s Globe, grime and the Royal Albert Hall, Steve McQueen and the National Gallery, has long had an enthralling culture, helping to attract attention, visitors, and investment from across the globe.

Guest blog by Jonathan Todd, BOP Consulting – 22.9.2020

Accessing employment across Central London

It’s easy to think about London – and particularly Central London – as a city where everything is accessible; where anyone can get from A to B with a tap of their Oyster card. The reality is much more complex than that.

Guest blog by Helen McKenzie, Steer – 26.8.2020



A London response to the jobs crisis: principles for employment support

Our response to the growing jobs crisis must meet the needs of Londoners and the London economy. The government’s Plan for Jobs is a welcome start, but the measures need to go further to meet the challenges faced by central London’s labour market and economy throughout the crisis.

Efa Gough, CLF Policy Officer – 14.8.2020


The jobs crisis in London is gathering pace – and it will need a London response

The public health crisis over the last four months is now fast becoming a jobs crisis.  Nationwide, the latest official figures show that there were already a million fewer people in paid work in June than in March, while the number of young people out of work is the highest that it has been since 2015.

Guest blog by Tony Wilson, IES – 27.7.2020



Digital exclusion is a barrier to our Coronavirus recovery

Seven percent of Londoners are digitally excluded. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics show that despite a large reduction in “internet non-users” over the past ten years, 5.3 million adults nationally have never used the internet or not used it for the past three months,(ONS, 2019).

Chris Haley, CLF Policy Officer – 16.7.2020


COVID-19 Impacts on London’s Public Transport Network

It is clear that life won’t be returning to normal for some time, with the government stating on Monday (11th May) that all those able to work from home must continue to do so until at least July. The impact on London’s public transport services has been significant with ridership on the tube and bus network reported as being 95% and 85% below normal levels at the end of April (BBC).

Alison Noehrbass, CLF Policy Officer – 14.5.2020


Do people experiencing deprivations face a quality-of-life dilemma?

Measuring levels of deprivations is often based on the Office of National Statistics’ Index of Multiple Deprivations (IMD). This index brings together 14 separate measurements of deprivation factors, relating to rates such as income- and employment-related benefits claims, health outcomes, and quality of the environment.

Guest blog by Dr Jamie O’Brien, UCL – 27.3.2020

Using demographic data to drive change

Supporting our member boroughs to drive inclusive growth is a key aim for Central London Forward, but what does this actually look like in practice? One of our approaches to this is using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to highlight areas within the sub-regional partnership that would benefit from increased activity from our programmes.

Aaron Ayling, CLW Project Officer – 31.1.2020

How fair are London’s faresconcessionary schemes and transport affordability 

Earlier this month, the Mayor announced his intention to  introduce a companion pass that would provide free travel across the TfL network to carers of disabled peopleThe announcement sets the tone for Mayoral election that is likely to focus heavily on the capital’s various transport challenges. 

Alison Noehrbass, CLF Policy Officer – 15.1.2020


Skills in central London – what next for 2020? 

Improving skills provision is a key priority across the central London sub-region, and this has been a key theme throughout 2019, with the launch of our Skills Strategy for central Londona new programme of work focused on improving skills outcomes in the health and social care sector, and our Employment and Skills Board examining apprenticeship provision within our local authorities, and working on ways to introduce more, higher-quality apprenticeships.  

Meghan Meek-O’Connor, CLF Policy Officer – 06.1.2020

Reflections on what the Queen’s Speech means for London

The dust has settled somewhat on last week’s general election, and Londoners may be wondering what this means for their city. Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech confirmed the language favoured by the Conservatives during their campaign of ‘levelling up’ and commitments to invest in the infrastructure outside the capital, with promises such as ‘significant upgrades to urban commuter and regional services outside London’ and a focus on job-creation beyond London and the South East. 

Ellie Mitchell, CLF Graduate – 20.12.2019

An increase in higher-level apprenticeships – but only for older learners 

A recent Department for Education Publication has provided up-to-date information on apprenticeships started over the 2018-19 academic year. There are some great statistics in there, which are unfortunately not currently available at regional level. For this piece we will have to assume that the statistics in London broadly map onto the national picture – not necessarily true, but until the DfE gathers this data at a regional or sub-regional level it’s the best we can do. 

Meghan Meek-O’Connor, CLF Policy Officer – 16.12.2019

Transport poverty challenges in central London

Transport poverty impacts on peoples’ lives more than we would think. Whilst the conversation around poverty in London is often in relation to housing costs and food security (and rightly so), transport poverty is a lesser-considered part of life for many people in the capital.

Ellie Mitchell, CLF Graduate – 11.12.2019




Reflections on the launch of the Inclusive Growth Strategy

The challenges of delivering inclusive growth and opportunity for boroughs to work together was the focus at the launch of the Inclusive Growth Strategy on Monday 18th November at the London Connectory. 

Alison Noehrbass, CLF Policy Officer – 28.11.2019