Ivan Massow

  • Every Generation's Responsibility - Meeting the Care Needs of London's Older People

    Huffington Post: Last week, I met with the National Association of Care Catering. Perhaps best known for their famous 'Meals on Wheels' initiative, it's an organisation with a proud history of helping vulnerable people across the country, by playing a vital role in ensuring a good standard of food catering within the care sector. As well as helping to provide a 'frontline' care service, they host seminars, conferences and commission research into how the care sector can be improved. With high-tech equipment such as the new Vangen system, they operate across the country and provide a fantastic, valuable service - even in London they manage to provide hot meals for just £3.68.

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  • A London Where No One's Forgotten - Working Together to End Homelessness

    Huffington Post: During the cold winter months, like most Londoners' minds, mine is focused on the plight of the homeless. When I launched my campaign, I even floated the idea of holding GLA meetings regionally and instead using City Hall to house them. I've since been persuaded not only of the need for London to have a landmark institution but more to the point, that Mr Livingstone signed a lease so draconian that not even Harry Houdini could get out of it.

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  • The London Card: Working Together, London Can Thrive

    Huffington Post: This week, Loughborough University found that a third of all Londoners can't afford to live. Over 50% of their income is spent on housing, but as we know too well, it isn't just housing that costs more. Everything from restaurants, to travel, to groceries are more expensive in London. It costs an average of £4,100 to have the same standard of living that £2,700 buys you, say, north of the border.

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  • The ILEA was ahead of its time. The mayor of London should control the city's education system again.

    City Metric: Not a lot of people know this, but my adopted father worked for Ken Livingstone at the GLC. He was a staunch Tory who seemed to hate his boss, especially his education policy: as a youngster, he would constantly tell me that in order to be a teacher you had to be a "black one-legged lesbian". Needless to say, it took me until my twenties to come out to him as gay and, perhaps unsurprisingly, his reaction was to ask me to change my name and to not contact him again. We didn’t speak for 25 years.

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  • published An Entrepreneurial London in Objectives 2015-05-18 09:43:53 +0100

    An Entrepreneurial London

    At my core, I am an entrepreneur. London is the greatest city on earth, and we need to do all we can to promote London as both an economic powerhouse, and as the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

    Although we are world-leaders in Tech, finance, culture, music and fashion, we cannot be complacent about our position. Crucially, we must address with some force the productivity problems caused by chronic housing shortages.

    We must also move squarely behind micro-entrepreneurship and Tech Hubs, so that the innovators of the future have the opportunity to grow and succeed, and larger companies are forced to up their game and not rest on their laurels.

    London should be as open to investment as possible, and this means not straddling our city with punitive and counterproductive taxes. Taxes should be paid, but they should also be competitive.

    It also means turning a page on the ‘bashing of the bankers’ narrative. We should be proud of the City of London and of our wider family of financial services including a thriving insurance industry.

    On top of this, we must be strategic and ambitious about preparing young people for the world of work, whether through apprenticeships, more world class higher education, and high-quality apprenticeships and college-based vocational courses that lead to real careers.

    We need to:

    1. Champion the cause of institutions like studio schools and University Technical Colleges in London, and support high-quality apprenticeships, which do so much to prepare young people for the world of work. If future governments cannot be persuaded to give London proper oversight and influence over its own education policy, then I will still appoint an education commissioner to champion London’s interests to the Department for Education and relevant funding and standards agencies.

    2. Back small developers, tech start-ups and micro-entrepreneurs, which all contribute to the buccaneering spirit that makes London so energetic, innovative and ever-evolving.

    3. Seek to make London open to the most talented people that the world has to offer in every industry. While immigration must be kept under control, we must not allow ourselves to be shut off from the amazing contribution that so many immigrants make to London’s economy and culture. We also have to be mindful of the £8bn revenue generated for the education system from international students. For this reason, I will lobby the Government to have students taken out of the immigration figures, because international study is one of London’s most valuable exports.

  • published A Fairer London in Objectives 2015-05-18 09:43:12 +0100

    A Fairer London

    London is full of ideas, dynamism and opportunities, provided you are willing to work hard and do the right thing. I know this as an entrepreneur that arrived here 25 years ago without any advantages, but that gradually was able to build a life for myself. London has done so much for me, and I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed, no matter who they are or where they’ve come from.

    My life has seen many highs and lows – I’ve tasted commercial success, but also experienced failure and had to pick myself up and start again. So I understand both very deeply. Encouraging success does not mean doing nothing about disadvantage and social exclusion, and that is a fundamental philosophy that we want to embody with this project.

    There are, despite London’s great attributes, many challenges that face ordinary Londoners, which need to be addressed over the coming years.

    These include assertively tackling the shortage of affordable housing (particularly for young people), addressing the rising cost of living and vigorously championing the case for more businesses to pay the London Living Wage. We must also remove both barriers to employment for those with disabilities, and educational disadvantage for many sections of society, also taking practical measures to tackle the scourge of homelessness across the capital.

    We would look to:

    1. Champion the London Living Wage.

    2. Be a vocal champion of equality of opportunity and equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

    3. Seek innovative ways to help working parents, and particularly single parents, with the cost of childcare, so as to ensure that it is always worthwhile to go out to work. Helping with cheaper loans and subsidised travel fares for single part-time working mothers will also be a priority of mine.

    4. Do more to help Londoners with disabilities to overcome barriers to employment through targeted, employer-led initiatives across London.

    5. Take practical measures to tackle homelessness in the capital, in particular by helping homeless charities in the capital to promote their work and access greater levels of funding.

  • published Cycling in London - Protection and Responsibility in News 2015-05-14 15:33:51 +0100

    Cycling in London - Protection and Responsibility


    Huffington Post: When Andrew Mitchell, Chief Whip at the time, was leaving Downing Street, he wasn't allowed through the main gates with his chauffeur-driven colleagues. What should've been seen as a heroic stand against a system that attaches status to drivers and not to cyclists was lost by him losing his temper.

    As 'Confucius says' he who loses his temper loses his argument, and never has this statement been sadder.

    British society still seems to place tangible symbols of wealth and power on a pedestal, and I think many see cyclists and view them as lesser forms of transport. Where, in fact, London should attach status to people who walk and cycle above all other forms of transport.


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  • London's Housing - An Intergenerational Partnership For The Future

    Huffington Post: We live in a society where property has become one of the last few investments available to the general public; most other investments are dominated by institutions. But the Englishman's home is more than his castle, it's where many of us store our money in place of a pension.

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