Mayor’s vision for London omits disabled people


theweeksubLondon’s mayor has come under fire after he published an 84-page document detailing his “vision” for the capital over the next seven years, without mentioning disabled people once.

The 2020 Vision report, written by Boris Johnson, details his “agenda for London”, or the steps London needs to be taking between now and 2020 so that it is “the envy of the world in 2050 and beyond”.

But that vision does not appear to include any improvements to access on the tube, rail or bus networks, commitments to inclusive education, or efforts to increase the participation of disabled children and young people in sport.

The report – subtitled “The Greatest City on Earth: Ambitions for London” – includes 27 planned improvements to London’s transport network, with not a single mention of access.

It also talks about policing, without mentioning attempts to combat disability hate crime, and discusses the city’s housing needs, without commenting on the shortage of accessible homes for disabled and older people.

The report also omits any reference to the needs of disabled people in sections on volunteering, cultural attractions and employment.

Tracey Proudlock, director of the disability and access consultancy Proudlock Associates, said she was “really saddened” by the failure to mention disability in Johnson’s report.

She said: “It is a leadership document about strategy for London. Disability has to be in there.”

Proudlock, who lives in north London, said: “It is a great missed opportunity to give a message to people and on a day-to-day level it lets people down.

“Disabled people often say they seem invisible and this backs up their claim, because they are not there in that document.

“When you talk about strategy and vision for London, you have to talk about inclusion. People will look at that document and they will think there is no role for them in the mayor’s vision.”

A spokesman for the mayor said: “The 2020 Vision is a very broad document. It is about establishing a general over-arching principle. It is not going down to talking about every individual community.

“It is quite a broad thing and you know the mayor remains committed to making London as accessible as possible for disabled people.

“It doesn’t drill down to specific details within the over-arching vision.”

24 July 2013