How the South West was won – Khan shifted his own backyard to Labour

Khan Goldsmith 2-2.jpegIn his campaign to become Mayor Sadiq Khan seldom missed an opportunity to drop into his speeches that he was a bus driver’s son from Tooting.

The detailed breakdown of votes from the election shows how that ‘local boy’ status helped him secure the job by taking traditional Tory territory in South West London.

Merton and Wandsworth are boroughs that could previously be relied upon to vote for a Conservative Mayor.  They helped form the doughnut of outer London Conservative blue around the Labour red of central London on the political map.  But in last month’s poll, the jam squirted out of the political doughnut in this corner of London.

The borough of Wandsworth proved an intriguing backyard battleground for the local boy from Tooting.  His Conservative opponent, Zac Goldsmith, managed to win 11 of the 20 wards and was ahead in postal votes from the borough.  But Sadiq Khan took 9 wards compared to the 5 won by Labour’s Ken Livingstone in 2012. In his home neighbourhood of Tooting he increased the Labour share of the vote from 53% to 66%.  He did the same in the Graveney ward, and in Furzedown took the share up to 69%.

Although taking fewer wards, Khan won the battle for votes taking 42% of first preferences to Goldsmith’s 40% in the borough.  But Wandsworth demonstrates not just how Khan increased the Labour vote but how Goldsmith lost the broader contest.

The Conservative candidate lacked the popular appeal of Boris Johnson, who in 2012 managed to win 53% of first preference votes in the borough.

In the neighbouring borough of Merton there was a direct turnaround in political fortunes.    In 2012, Johnson won the borough and secured 44% of first preference votes with Ken Livingstone scoring 37%.   Last month, Zac Goldsmith’s share sank to the Livingstone level, 36%, against 42% of first preferences for Khan.

The battle for Mayor was largely won through the large Labour vote in central area, as previously reported by Urbs. But the switch in the South West shows how the local boy factor may have helped some Conservative inclined voters to lean left.

Source data

See also

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

The election in numbers

The election in numbers

City Hall and Tower Bridge-22,596,961  The total number of votes cast, the largest ever for Mayor of London

1,310,143  Sadiq Khan’s winning number – the biggest haul by a winning candidate

468,318  Second preference votes for Sian Berry.  The Green Party candidate established herself as the Becks beer of politicians – the default second choice for most people

381,862  The people who forgot or decided against a second choice.  There’s also the 220,311 who were so certain they voted for the first choice as their second choice too

4941 London couldn’t find the love for the One Love Party and its candidate Ankit Love trailed in last with the lowest vote recorded by a candidate since mayoral elections began in 2000.

45 The percentage turnout, matching the record set in 2008

Source data

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

A last verdict on Boris shows satisfaction at its lowest ever level

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

look left-2The election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London proved some general truths about the way London votes but also suggests that as the city grows it will lean more to the left.

On the political map of Britain, London has long been an island of Labour red in a South East sea of Conservative blue.  London has traditionally been Labour at its centre and Tory on its fringes.

The mayoral elections underlined that pattern, with some significant additional wins for Sadiq Khan in previously Conservative ground of Merton and Wandsworth, and Ealing and Hillingdon.

The other significant change is the increase in Labour support in the central areas that have seen the fastest population rise.  The constituency of City and East is a good example.  It contains Tower Hamlets and Newham, the boroughs forecast to grow fastest in the coming decade. In these areas Sadiq Khan achieved 60% of first preference votes and the greater population and high turnout delivered nearly 20,000 more Labour voters than in 2012.

It was a similar story in the North East constituency which covers Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Khan again achieved a 60% share and added 36,000 votes on 2012.

Zac Goldsmiths best performance was in the Bexley and Bromley.  He out-polled Sadiq Khan here by two votes to one, but his number of votes was down on Boris Johnson’s haul in 2012 and his share was 51% compared to 62% for the Conservatives four years ago.

In Havering and Redbridge, and his home South West constituency, which includes Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston, he increased the number of votes, but not in Croydon and Sutton or the West Central constituency covering Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

In all 5 areas won by the Goldsmith, the Conservative share of the vote was down on 2012.  This might be attributed to the success of Boris Johnson as a larger-than-life character who worked across traditional party loyalties. Many, including leading Conservatives, have criticised the Goldsmith campaign, with its attacks on Khan, as negative and off putting for voters.

But the voting patterns indicate something more than personality politics and suggest an underlying sentiment.  A breakdown of all first preference votes into blocks representing broad party positions shows that parties of the left out-performed the parties of the right.

London's political balance-2

And the second preference votes also tell a story.  In the final run off Khan and Goldsmith were awarded the second preference votes of all the other candidates. Khan won convincingly here.  But we can also see from the data how the second preferences of Khan and Goldsmith voters would have been deployed if either had not made the final round. A quarter of Goldsmith voters marked Khan as their second preference.  Only 14% of Khan voters put a second cross next to Goldsmith. The main beneficiary of second votes were the Greens, who sit on the left.

After two terms of a Tory mayor the capital has a Labour politician as leader again.  The city population is forecast to be over 9 million by the time he is up for re-election.  The evidence from this election is that a growing number of people is central London is good news for Labour and Sadiq Khan.

Source data

See also

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

Election Issues: Balancing economic success with green ambitions

A last verdict on Boris shows satisfaction at its lowest ever level

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

Khan Goldsmith 2-2.jpeg

A large Labour vote from a growing central London population gave Sadiq Khan a resounding win in some constituencies and helped propel him into office.

In the large City and East,  and North East constituencies Khan’s first preference votes outnumbered Conservative Zac Goldsmith by three to one and he added 56,000 votes to the Labour performance in 2012.   In both these areas Khan won 60% of the first preference votes. On a similar turnout in 2008 Ken Livingstone only managed 52% and 49% of first preferences in these London Labour heartlands.

In Greenwich and Lewisham, and Enfield and Haringey Khan beat Goldsmith by roughly two votes to one.  Goldsmith only managed to fight back with that degree of margin over Khan in Bexley and Bromley.

Khan also managed to reshape the traditional election map that has Labour support in the centre of the city and Conservative areas at its edges. He won Merton and Wandsworth, which includes his home ground of Tooting, and Ealing and Hillingdon.

Mayor How London voted-2

The election saw a record-equalling turnout of 45% and more people voting than ever  thanks to the growing population. This has given Sadiq Khan the most votes secured by any winning candidate since the city began electing mayors at the start of the century.

Mayor London result-2

Sadiq Khan secured victory with the biggest share of the vote since Ken Livingstone swept into office as the first elected mayor in 2000. He won 56.8% of the vote compared to Livingstone’s 57.9% in 2000.

He did well on first preference votes winning 44%, matched only by Boris Johnson in 2012. But in the end the contest was decided on second preferences and Khan had a clear advantage here winning 161,427, almost twice the number cast for Goldsmith by those giving their first votes to the other candidates.

The full data on second preferences shows the Green’s Sian Berry as the most favoured second choice candidate.  She won 468,318 second choice votes, beating Sadiq Khan.

Berry came third overall in the poll, and secured third place in 10 of the 14 London Assembly constituencies.  The Liberal Democrats Caroline Pidgeon was fourth but picked up third place in 2 areas – West Central and South West. UKIP’s Peter Whittle managed fifth place overall but came third in Bexley and Bromley, and Havering and Redbridge.

It was an uncomfortable result for George Galloway and his Respect Party.  The former MP managed only seventh place behind Sophie Walker and the newly formed Women’s Equality Party.  Even in his old London stamping ground as an MP in the east of the city he managed only sixth place.

Source data

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Economy and Jobs

Mayoral Election Issues: The homes affordability crisis

The shifting population story of the fall and rise of inner London

Mayoral Election Issues: The homes affordability crisis

Flats Tom Gowanlockshutterstock_134424665-1-2-1-2-2

Photo: Tom Gowan ┃Shutterstock

London may like to see itself as a forward looking and progressive city but when it comes to property it is heading back to the 70s. Owning your own home is a long-held aspiration for millions of people that was realised in the property booms of the 80s and 90s, assisted by the Right to Buy scheme where tenants were allowed to purchase their council-provided property.

But the data on property tenure across London reveals that trend is being rapidly reversed and the pattern of ownership, private rental, and social housing now resemble London in the 70s.

After climbing to its peak in the 90s owner-occupation had fallen to 50% by 2011.   For the majority of younger Londoners, buying a home is no longer an option and those in their 30s appear resigned to belonging to what has been labelled “generation rent”.  In 1990 nearly 60% of people aged 25-34 owned their own home, by the end of 2014 that had dropped to 26%[1].

For those under 25 the picture is even starker.  Just 6% of this age group own their own property. In 1990 it was nearly a quarter of them.

The data shows that the only group where home ownership is climbing is the over 65s.  These people mostly own their own home outright, having paid off their mortgage.

Property ownership by age

The proportion of homes owned outright now exceeds those owned with a mortgage across England and Wales according to the English Housing Survey carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government[2].  According to the figures collected in 2014/15, 33% of homes in England are mortgage free compared to 30% households that are still paying the mortgage.  61% of those who own their home outright are over 65.  London is the only place where this tipping point is yet to be reached and mortgaged homes (27%) still outnumber wholly owned ones (23%), but the gap is closing as the number of properties owned with mortgage falls.

The problem for young Londoners seeking a mortgage is not just one of meeting the monthly payments but in raising the funds in the first place.  The median property price in the capital is now 11 times average earnings, compared to 7 times across England.

The price to earnings ratio is at the national average in Barking but in Wandsworth it is 17 times earnings, in Hackney nearly 15 and in Kensington and Chelsea 38 times earnings[3].

house to earnings map

This situation is worsening more rapidly in London than elsewhere in the UK.  In 1997 the median house cost 4 times the median salary. That ratio has since more than doubled across the country, but nearly tripled in London.

The reduction in home ownership in London, particularly for under 35s has fuelled the growth in the private rental sector.  The most recent English Housing Survey revealed that 1 in 4 of the private rented houses in England are in the capital and the private rented sector increased from 14% to 30% in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014-15[4].

As the population of the capital grows, demand is outstripping supply and the affordability of rent has become a problem for people who were already priced out of the ability to buy a property.

For these people, rent takes up a very large proportion of their income. The English Housing Survey revealed that London households were paying 72% of their gross income in rent. This was reduced to 60% when housing benefit was included. By comparison, rent accounts for 52% of income for households across England.

The plight for young people under 24 was worse. The survey found that they were handing over 88% of their income in housing costs when benefits are excluded.

The latest data from the Valuation Agency Office[5], a body that advises the government on property prices, shows the high level of London premiums in the private rental sector.

We looked at median prices to iron out the highs and lows that affect averages.  The proportion of the price difference between London and the rest of England is biggest for 2 and 3 bedroom houses – the types of property that families need.

Median monthly rental
London England
Room only £550 £350
Studio £875 £500
1 Bedroom £1,200 £540
2 Bedroom £1,450 £595
3 Bedroom £1,750 £695
4+ Bedroom £2,700 £1,200

Across London there are distinct variations with the highest median rate for all properties in Westminster, and only 4 boroughs – Sutton, Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, where it is below £1,000.

Rental all prop map

The rise in rents seems relentless. Data from the ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, a quarterly index that tracks the prices paid for renting from private landlords shows a 4% rise in Feb 2016[6] compared to the same period last year. Over a 10-year period prices in London have risen by 35% compared to 17% for the rest of England.

Faced with high costs in the private sector there has been a growing demand for Londoners for rental property at an affordable price.  Previously this fell into the category of social housing – property provided by a council or a housing association with long, secure tenancies and rents at around 50% of the market rates.

In 2010 the government introduced a new category, which it confusingly called Affordable Rent.  This aimed to give social landlords a route to maintaining or increasing the amount of lower cost rental while relying less on public funding. It allows them to charge more and have less restrictive tenancies.  Affordable Rent properties can charge up to 80% of the market rate.

The problem for London is that for many, Affordable Rents are not affordable.  Let’s look at the numbers if we apply the social and affordable rent rules to the median monthly market rates we saw above from the VOA.

Market Rate Affordable Rent (80%) Social Rent (50%)
1 Bedroom £1,155 £924 £577.50
2 Bedroom £1,400 £1,120 £700
3 Bedroom £1,695 £1,356 £847.50
4 Bedroom + £2,500 £2,000 £1,250

A family that needs a 3 or 4-bedroom house would require a substantial income to afford an Affordable Rent and in many areas of central London the cost will be much higher.

Some families may be able to claim Housing Benefit to bridge the gap but the Benefit Cap introduced in 2013 means that the total claim for all benefits for a family is £500 a week – the amount needed just for rent of a 4-bedroom house in these calculations.

Increasing the supply of housing is one key to solving the affordability crisis. All mayoral candidates in the election are promising to do this but after years in which house-building failed to keep pace with demand this will be a mammoth task.

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Housing Shortage

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/ratio-house-prices-earnings-borough/resource/122ea18a-cb44-466e-a314-e0c62a32529e

[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[6] http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/indexofprivatehousingrentalprices/february2016

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

Mayoral Election Issues: The Economy and Jobs

Bike work-2London’s economy has changed dramatically in the last 30 years, and the incoming mayor will need to balance the ongoing boom in jobs with concerns over wages, affordability and equality.

The London jobs market has grown by 28% in 30 years. There are an estimated 5.3 million people working in London, up from 4.1 million in 1984.  In that time London has seen a massive expansion in professional roles and the collapse of manufacturing[1].

In 1984 manufacturing accounted for 11% of the jobs in London and was the biggest sector of the workforce. By 2013 it was just 2% of the workforce, and had seen a fall in job numbers of 74%.

Meanwhile the expansion of the professional, scientific and technical sector has seen 500,000 new jobs created. This sector includes jobs in real estate and shows an overall growth of more than 150%. Construction in the same period grew by just 20%. There are, it would appear, more jobs in selling houses than building them.

Other big growth sectors underline the changing nature of the workplace. Information and communication roles grew by 85% while admin and support jobs more than doubled. Sectors that have shrunk include those covering the public sector, down by 21% and transport and storage, which has fallen by 13%.

These trends are forecast to continue over the next 20 years[2]. In that time London will experience a 16% growth in the employment market creating nearly a million new jobs. This growth in employment to 6.4 million by 2036 will be driven by the professional sector, real estate and scientific and technical roles.

Demonstrating the shifting nature of work in the capital some sectors will see a decline. The reduction in manufacturing, will fall further, by 54%. That’s around 72,000 posts. Finance jobs are also forecast to shrink by around 9,000.

Economy 1-2

The figures come from the GLA’s Employment Projection for 2015 which forecasts that jobs growth will be concentrated in inner London. Tower Hamlets stands out with an estimated 74% employment growth, adding 200,000 new jobs. That’s nearly a quarter of all the new posts in London for the period.

Economy 2-2

But, as the map shows, many boroughs are predicted to show very low levels of job growth. And two, Croydon and Barking and Dagenham are expected to see a decline in employment, in line with current trends.

Eonomy 3-2

These trends take place against the backdrop of a very mixed picture for skills and wages across the capital.

The continuing boom in professional and technical jobs requires a highly qualified workforce.  In general, London is well equipped to supply this, with better skills than the rest of the UK. Nearly half the working-age population has a degree-level or equivalent qualification[3].

The proportion of people educated and trained to this level (so-called level 4+) has been rising over recent years and remains consistently above the UK average.

Data from the Annual Population Survey from the Office for National Statistics shows London reached 49% with level 4+ qualifications by the end of 2014.

Economy 4-2

However, this qualifications map varies across the capital. 9 boroughs in the centre and South West have more than 60% of the workforce with qualifications at level 4+. These include Wandsworth, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, City of London, Richmond and Lambeth.  However Havering, Barking and Dagenham, and Bexley have levels below the national average and half the level of the best-qualified boroughs.

economy 5-2

Conversely, these boroughs have high numbers with no qualifications.  In Barking & Dagenham it is twice the national average

economy 6-2

From qualifications flow wage levels.  Full time pay in London is, not surprisingly, the highest in the UK at £16.61 per hour compared to £13.36[4].  However, if you live in Newham or Barking and Dagenham you are likely to earn less than the national average. The hourly full time median rate is Newham is £12.90, yet across the river in Greenwich it is £3 higher.

Economy 7-2

This pattern is repeated among part time workers.  A quarter of London jobs are part time, and average pay plummets from the £16.61 for full time posts to just £9.22.  Again, for part time workers in East London boroughs many are earning below the national average.  Workers in Newham are earning less than any of the UK’s regions, including the North East, despite far higher living costs.

Economy 8

The current Mayor has been an advocate of the London Living Wage, a voluntary pay level currently set at £9.40 and not to be confused with the Government’s recently introduced National Living Wage for over 25s of £7.20 per hour.

Data from the most recent ONS Annual Survey on Hours and Earnings[5] revealed that more than three quarters of a million jobs in the capital were paying below the London Living Wage.  Women and the Under 24s are more likely to be in jobs that pay below the LLW, and many are in the sectors that are growing rapidly – food and accommodation, social care and cleaning.

10% of Londoners were still earning less than the National Minimum Wage, rising to 21% in Newham[6].

When it comes to the economy and employment the new Mayor will be dealing with two Londons.  At one end of the scale, a growth in highly skilled, well paid professional jobs placing pressures on the availability and cost of housing.  At the other end of the scale, a low skill, low pay workforce struggling to afford to live in the city.

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-s-sectors/resource/d1295586-bfe3-4539-a522-4403b0b692bb

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/gla-employment-projections

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-labour-market-indicators/resource/877e7afb-adf2-445f-b8ea-7486db267a35

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/earnings-place-residence-borough/resource/1686ef1c-b169-442d-8877-e7e49788f668

[5]http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/regional-trends/london-analysis/estimates-of-employee-jobs-paid-less-than-the-living-wage-in-london-and-other-parts-of-the-uk/art-london-analysis.html

[6] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/percentage-people-low-income-borough/resource/f83b860c-147a-4fe6-988d-5325a87b4983

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

Mayoral Election Issues: Crime and Policing

Police_sagar simkhada shutterstock_333009221-2Like any major city, crime is a big issue for London and one of the key areas of responsibility for the capital’s new Mayor.  The Mayor sets the strategic direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police though a body called MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime).

Since Boris Johnson was re-elected in 2012, fear of crime among Londoners initially fell, but has started to gradually rise since 2014.  At the same time, confidence in the police has moved in the opposite direction – initially rising then falling more recently, according to the Met’s own survey data[1].

Policing 1-2

This fear of crime varies widely across the capital – from almost 50% of the residents of Newham, Hounslow and Brent to just 20% in Richmond.

Policing 2-2

The data shows that there can be a disconnect between fear of crime and the reality. Analysis by Urbs shows that at borough level there is little relation between citizen’s perception of the threat of crime and the actual level[2].  Barnet and Bromley, for example, have similar crime rates, but Barnet’s fear of crime level is over 40% higher than Bromley’s[3].

At city wide level crime has fallen in recent years. Crimes identified by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime as priorities (these include murder, violent assaults, muggings, burglary, theft from cars and criminal damage) are down from a high of around 35,000 crimes to around 25,000 a year. Breaking it down we can see a steady decline from 2008 to 2014, but, despite monthly fluctuations, the line has been stubbornly flat since then.

Policing 3-2

But a flat London-wide trend does not mean the same across the city.  Comparison of the latest 12-months with the previous shows some London boroughs, especially those close to the centre of the city, experiencing quite significant growth in these serious offences while many outer boroughs have enjoyed falls[4].

Policing 4-2

Although the Mayor sets the budget and strategic direction, the job of policing London falls to the Met, one of the biggest police forces in the world.  The force employs 46,000 people – of which 32,000 are police officers – that’s 4 times bigger than any other English police force, and the best resourced in the country by officers per head of population[5].

While police numbers across England and Wales have been cut in recent years, the Met has managed to maintain its resource – with only neighbouring Surrey and Thames Valley having a better trend[6].  These 32,000 officers are not evenly spread across the capital.  Almost 14,000 work in London-wide and specialist operations, including those combating terrorism.  The remaining 18,000 are allocated across the 32 London Boroughs (The City has its own police force)[7].  However, this is not an equal allocation.

Westminster, with its high number of commuting workers, shoppers and tourists, not surprisingly has the largest number of officers out on the streets.  Westminster has 5.4 officers per thousand residents while Barnet has just 1.3. That’s not because Barnet requires little policing; on a measurement of priority crimes per officer, North London looks under-resourced, with 23 crimes per officer in Barnet and Islington, and similar numbers in neighbouring boroughs, compared to just 13 in Kingston or 17 in Merton.   

Poicing 5-2

Keeping London safe has been a mantra for most candidates during the campaigning.  In the wake of attacks in Paris they have talked about ensuring the Met is equipped to meet the threat posed by terrorism.  The strategic balancing act for the Mayor will be to combine this requirement with the public demand for more neighbourhood officers to deal with crime at a local level and to make them feel more secure.

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[3] Crime Rates; Barnet 61, Bromley 60.  Fear of Crime Barnet 40% Bromley 28%.  Source http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

[6] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

Election Issues: Balancing economic success with green ambitions

urban sunsetWhoever becomes London’s new mayor is going to have economic growth and improvement of the environment at the top of their agenda.  But are these two goals compatible?

In 2011 the Mayor set out a climate change strategy that aimed to reduce CO2 emissions to 60% of what they were in 1990 by 2025[1]. 1990 is an internationally recognised baseline that countries used in signing the Kyoto agreement.

2015 is the first big milestone in the Mayor’s plan. By the end of last year emissions should have been down by 20% on 1990 level.  But the most recent data for greenhouse gases in London shows that the capital is off course to hit this target[2].  In 2013 a reduction of only 11% had been achieved. This is better than the 10% of 2012 but falls short of the 13% achieved in 2011.

A breakdown of this number shows the challenge.  Roughly 40% of CO2 emissions come from homes, 40% from workplaces and 20% from transport.  But a fast-growing population, booming economy and a skyline filled with cranes make all three of these categories difficult. Per capita emissions have fallen by 28% since 1990, but that growing population means the total improvement has been much lower.

Not surprisingly, the growth in population has made domestic emissions the toughest to cut, down just 7% since 1990.

Environment chart 1-2

Despite all this, London has the lowest CO2 emissions per head in the UK.  That’s partly down to the way we live.  An example is London’s fastest growing borough, Tower Hamlets.  Not only has it London’s lowest car ownership level – at just 15 per 100 population compared to 49 in nearby Havering[3].  It also has far more energy efficient homes.  Looking at Domestic Energy Performance Certificates, London has 11% of homes in A or B categories compared to 9% across the UK[4].  Tower Hamlets has 27% of homes in these categories – largely due to a concentration of flats, especially new build.

Environment Chart 2-2

A nice side benefit for Tower Hamlets residents comes with their fuel bills – they have the lowest domestic gas consumption in the capital[5].

Recently, the London environment debate has shifted from CO2 greenhouse gases to the air quality issue of NO2.  This came to a head last year with the VW scandal, where drivers hoping to prevent climate change found themselves creating potentially lethal local health hazards.  A report from King’s College estimated that almost 10,000 Londoners were being killed by air pollution each year; most as a result of NO2 emissions[6].

A further study from Policy Exchange[7] estimated that just under a half of NO2 emissions come from road transport – the rest a mix of air and rail transport with domestic and commercial gas use.  In central London buses emerge as a particular issue, together with the gas used to fuel the city centre’s offices and shops.

In 2013, only two of London’s 32 boroughs (Sutton and Bromley) met the annual mean limit on NO2[8], and it took only the first week of 2016 for Putney High Street and Oxford Street to break their annual maximum limit for the whole year[9].

So what effect does air quality have across the capital?  The Kings College study breaks down its estimate of deaths attributable to air pollution by borough. This shows Barnet, Bromley and Croydon with the greatest impact, all having over 400 deaths per annum.

Environment Chart 3-2

Such statistics place huge pressure upon the Mayor to find ways for Londoners to breathe more easily.  The key responsibility of the Mayor’s role is to make London a better place for everyone to live. He or she has to ensure that businesses thrive so the economy of the city grows and delivers jobs while also improving London’s environment.   Achieving either is a huge task. Achieving both simultaneously will be a monumental challenge for whichever candidate wins office.

Source data

[1] https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/environment-publications/delivering-londons-energy-future-mayors-climate

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/interim-leggi–2013/resource/4aaba9fa-b382-40bd-a3e3-593c53bed245

[3]  http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/licensed-vehicles-type-0

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/domestic-energy-efficiency-ratings-borough

[5] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/gas-consumption-borough

[6] http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/HIAinLondon_KingsReport_14072015_final.pdf

[7] http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/publications/category/item/up-in-the-air-how-to-solve-london-s-air-quality-crisis-part-1

[8] http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2015-06-26.4471.h&s=speaker%3A11878#g4471.q0

[9] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/air-quality-summary-statistics

This report was produced in association with London Live’s election special programme London Votes.

Mayoral Election Issues: Public Transport

Taxi Bus Tube-2-1London has 19,000 bus stops, 270 Underground stations, 83 Overground stations and 45 DLR stations.  So you’d think that public transport would be pretty convenient for people right across the city. Well, not necessarily.

For inner city dwellers public transport is the obvious way to get around.  The best access to public transport, measured by Transport for London[1], is for the residents of the City of London.  But all the outer London boroughs score below average.

Urbs has mapped the TfL index which measures access to public transport across the city to show the borough variations.  Predictably, those in central London have the easiest access.  The average score on the index for the whole of London is 3.8. In the City of London it is 7.9 and in Westminster 6.5.  The poorest scores are on the eastern and western edges of the capital, in Havering and Hillingdon.

Public Transport Map 1-2

The index measures the number, reliability, waiting times and walking distances for public transport in a neighbourhood.  It does not take account of the speed, ease of connections or number of people using a service.  The index uses 9 level of public transport access.  All the residents of the City of London are in the top 2 levels. More than half the residents of Hillingdon are in the bottom 3.  The worst place in Hillingdon for public transport access is Harefield ward, home to the eponymous hospital.  All 7,399 residents of the ward fall into the bottom 3 levels for public transport access.

The outer areas of London that have low scores for public transport access have the highest level of car ownership. There are 2.71 million cars and light goods vehicles in London[2].  Ownership is low in inner London areas and highest in Havering and Hillingdon with 49 cars per 100 people.

Public Transport Map 2-2

Car ownership has gone up a little in the past 12 months but the trend over the past 5 years has been down.  Over the same period there has been a big jump in the use of public transport, growing at twice the rate of population growth[3].  In the past 5 years the number of journeys taken on the Transport for London system of Tube, train, tram and bus has gone up by 14% while the population has risen by half that rate.

The number of people in inner London, who may be more reliant on public transport, has grown slightly faster than the rate for the capital as a whole, but the data underlines that the greater use of the transport network is linked not just to population but to economic factors.

The greatest growth in passenger numbers is on the Tube with a 24% increase in journeys between the financial year 2010/11 and the most recent 12 months. Bus journeys rose by 3% over the same period. But the bus is still the most popular form of transport. Latest data from TfL shows that in the last 12 months buses carried 2.4 billion people while 1.4 billion Tube journeys were recorded.

Public transport chart 3-2

So are the growing number of passengers taking growing numbers of journeys getting good value?  On price alone, the answer seems to be no.

The financial services firm UBS conducts an annual survey of prices and earnings across cities around the globe[4]. In its most recent survey it judged London to be the third most expensive for public transport out of 71 cities. Only Copenhagen and Stockholm were more expensive.

UBS focused on single ticket prices on a bus, tram or underground system travelling 10 stops or 10 kilometres for its comparison.

We have made a more like-for-like analysis looking at pricing on the underground systems in London, New York and Paris using multi-journey tickets that locals would use.

A journey on the Tube in zones 1-3 costs £2.80 on an Oyster/contactless fare. A subway journey in New York using its Metrocard costs $2.75 (£1.94) and a single journey on the Paris Metro costs €1.44 (£1.15) using a Carnet.

Zac Goldsmith has promised to increase the network capacity and deliver the Night Tube plan. Sadiq Khan has promised to freeze fares for four years.  Neither candidate is likely to argue that it is a simple either/or between better or cheaper, but the messages they have sent so far certainly sets up an interesting question about what really concerns Londoners most about their public transport system.

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/public-transport-accessibility-levels

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/licensed-vehicles-type-0

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/public-transport-journeys-type-transport/resource/a7a69c22-150c-49f3-a1fd-90d4c24d98d4

[4] https://www.ubs.com/microsites/prices-earnings/open-data.html

This report was produced in association with London Live’s election special programme London Votes.

Mayoral Election Issues: The Housing Shortage

roofer colourThe population is 8.6 million and the city is struggling with a shortage of housing.  Sounds familiar?  While this describes London today it also portrays the capital in the late 1930s.

After a post-war decline, the population has just got back to the 30s peak and a housing crisis has come back too.  So what has happened to house building in the intervening years? How did London find itself with a similar problem?

First, a bit of urban history. The shape of the capital has changed. In 1939 far more people lived in central London – 4.4 million lived in inner boroughs while 4.1 lived in outer ones[1].  The most highly populated areas were Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth, and can be seen as the darker areas on the map.

House bulding map 1-2

By 2015, the population of inner boroughs had fallen by 1 million while the outer boroughs have swelled by 24% to 5.1 million.  The most highly populated areas today are Barnet, Croydon and Ealing.

House building map 2-2

This switch in population from inner to outer came about because of house building.  The population surge of the 30s was met with a surge in building, and most of it took place in outer areas[2].

House building chart 3-2

This lure of new housing in the suburbs and the loss of central London housing in the Blitz helped reshape the capital.

In the last decade fewer homes were built than in the 1960s and 70s, when the population was shrinking. House-building has failed to keep pace with the population.

Since 2002 London has seen a 21% increase in jobs and a 16% rise in population. Over the same period new homes have increased by 11%[3].

House building chart 4-2

The 11% figure disguises a stark difference between inner and outer boroughs and where those homes have been built. Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that there has been a 37% increase in the number of homes in Tower Hamlets since 2001 and a 20% increase in Islington. But in the same period the growth rate in dwellings in 16 outer boroughs has been in single figures – with just 4% in Sutton and 2% in Merton.

house buidling map 5-2

This pattern of growth is a reversal of what happened through most of the 20th century when more than half of the new housing stock was provided in the outer boroughs.

This growth in inner areas is not uniform however. 28% of the housing stock in Tower Hamlets was built this century, the highest proportion anywhere in the UK. It has the space through the redevelopment of areas like Canary Wharf and Limehouse.  Kensington and Chelsea in contrast has seen a 2% growth in homes due to the lack of brownfield sites.

The building in inner London means these areas are becoming more densely packed. Housing density is measured in dwellings per hectare. The average for England as a whole is 1.8. The average rate for London is 21.5[4]. For Inner London it is more than double that again at 44.6. And for Kensington and Chelsea, the borough with London’s highest, it is 69.1 dwelling per hectare.  The lowest density is Havering with 8.7 dwellings per hectare.  Havering is 10 times larger than Kensington and Chelsea. If it were to have the same dwelling density as the Royal borough it would have nearly 800,000 homes not the 100,000 it has currently.

As in the 1930s, the location of home building is pulling the population.  The biggest rate of growth in the past 12 months is in the City of London, but the numbers are small. After that it is Tower Hamlets where there has been at a 2.3% rise in residents in a year.

The GLA’s forecast for the next 25 years[5] shows that Tower Hamlets will lead the growth in residents, closely followed by Newham as many head east in search of a home.

House buidling map 6-2

But can building keep pace with demand?   New home starts are climbing back towards where they were 10 years ago, but it is still not enough and the problem is widely acknowledged. In his housing strategy document last year[6], the outgoing Mayor, Boris Johnson, said that housing was an “epic challenge” and that the number of new homes being built in the capital would need to double to 42,000 per year for the next 20 years to keep pace with population growth.

House building in the capital has been bumping along at around the 20,000 level for the past 10 years[7]. Following the financial crisis of 2008 it dipped sharply.

House building chart 7-2

Most of the homes being built are in the private sector, not social housing, which raises issues about affordability. Even in the ‘affordable’ sector a shift has taken place.

More affordable housing was delivered in London in the 2014-15 financial year than for any period dating back to 1991[8]. 17,913 homes were built or acquired and made available (so not counted in the new starts chart above) in the affordable rented sector, according to data from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the GLA.

Affordable rents were previously available through what was termed social housing. This is rented property provided by a council or a housing association with long, secure tenancies and rents at around 50% of the market rates.

Housing associations also provided Intermediate rental.  This gives a tenant a subsidised rent, usually around 60% of the market rate, while they save for a deposit to buy the property.

In 2010 the government introduced a new category, which it confusingly called Affordable Rent.  This aimed to give social landlords a route to maintaining or increasing the amount of lower cost rental while relying less on public funding. It allows them to charge more and have less restrictive tenancies.  Affordable Rent properties can charge up to 80% of the market rate.

It is this sector that has taken off in the past year, increasing the amount of affordable housing, but the amount of Social Rent housing has declined sharply since AR was introduced.  And this is not due to the building of new stock alone. Some Social Rent property is re-classified as Affordable Rent when it becomes vacant.

House building chart 8-2

The last time the delivery of affordable housing was at this level was in 2011-12.  In that year a comparable number of Intermediate Rent properties were made available.  But there were 11,374 Social Rent homes. In 2014-15 that had been reduced to 3,053[9].

All candidates are making pledges about houses but perhaps the voters’ decisions on the housing issue comes down to the answers to 3 simple questions.  How many houses will you build, what sort of homes will they be and where will you build them?

Sources

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/population-change-1939-2015

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/number-and-density-of-dwellings-by-borough

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/number-and-density-of-dwellings-by-borough

[5] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/population-change-1939-2015

[6] https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/housing-strategy/mayors-housing-strategy

[7] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[8] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[9] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

This report was produced in association with London Live’s election special programme London Votes