Over the ensuing two hours, the audience, consisting
of a wide range of voluntary and community sector practitioners,
posed a range of questions, citing powerful testimony from a range
of voluntary sector settings, including food banks and homeless
shelter provision. One of the key demands which emerged from
the floor, was for a more dedicated approach from the Greater
London Authority (GLA) and Mayor's office to work with the sector,
with both a sense of disappointment expressed, with past
arrangements, and real hope, based on unanimous agreement from the
speakers, that the sector was a vital part of a future Mayor's
It was widely recognised that the voluntary and
community sector was the key to dealing effectively with a range of
social issues. The role of digital technology and
demonstrating impact was highlighted, as were wider issues around
housing, racism and providing greater opportunities for young
Each speaker pledged their commitment to working with the sector
in summing up.
Fiona Twycross representing Labour and our recently elected
"We will take a city-wide approach to the VCSE sector, while
looking at specific areas and groups. There has not been action
taken on food poverty. This is an issue that we are committed to
tackling as a priority.
"We have a food strategy, looking at London as a city for which
hunger and malnutrition is an issue, for both young and
old. Tackling poverty and destitution long-term has to be
about getting people into work.
"Making London a living wage city is key, this will mean working
in partnership with the VCSE sector.
And the sector must have someone in City Hall to go