Insufficient spending on emergency services seen as key risk to London

Thursday 17 January 2019

Insufficient spending on health care and emergency services is seen as London’s biggest barrier to dealing with and recovering from a crisis, new figures from London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have revealed.

LCCI commissioned ComRes to carry out polling of the London public, London businesses and London Councillors in order to assess whether the capital is resilient enough to cater for future growth. The polling supports LCCI’s ‘London Tomorrow: Towards the Megacity’ project - a thought leadership initiative, in association with PwC and supported by London City Airport, focused on the challenges and opportunities arising from London's growing population.

LCCI Chief Executive, Colin Stanbridge, said:

“Brexit is dominating the domestic agenda, but that cannot be to the detriment of London’s ability to deal with a range of crises. 

LCCI has previously raised concern that 54% of London’s ‘blue light’ emergency services frontline personnel live outside London due to housing affordability and availability. 

And our new polling shows that Londoners, businesses and civic leaders feel that insufficient spending on health care and emergency services is the capital’s biggest barrier to dealing with a crisis. 

With a new dedicated Deputy Mayor for Resilience in post, the Examination in Public of the Mayor’s draft new London Plan beginning this month, and with the next Mayoral elections just over a year away, now is the time for City Hall to step up London’s resilience arrangements.” 

When asked ‘which of the following, if any, do you believe are the greatest barriers to London's ability to deal with, and recover from, a crisis?’, survey respondents said:

  • Insufficient spending on healthcare and emergency services: 54% of Councillors, 53% of businesses, 58% of the public.
  • Insufficient spending on security and prevention: 48% of Councillors, 45% of business, 49% of the public.
  • Lack of capacity or resource across the Greater London Authority: 42% of Councillors, 45% of businesses, 49% of the public.
  • Lack of understanding or preparation for risks amongst the London public: 47% of Councillors, 42% of businesses, 47% of the public.
  • A lack of preparation amongst London boroughs: 33% of Councillors, 46% of businesses, 49% of the public.
  • Lack of understanding or preparation for risks amongst London businesses: 36% of Councillors, 30% of businesses, 30% of the public.

Respondents were asked ‘which of the following would be most disruptive for your borough / your company / you?’. When ranking their top three, the polling showed that Councillors and businesses are most likely to feel that a prolonged power failure would be the most disruptive crisis event to occur to their borough / company, whilst the public are most likely to feel that a major disease outbreak would impact them most:

  • A prolonged power failure: 66% of Councillors, 80% of businesses, 61% of the public.
  • Extensive transport network disruption: 63% of Councillors, 48% of businesses, 31% of the public.
  • A terror incident occurring close by: 61% of Councillors, 40% of businesses, 55% of the public.
  • A major disease outbreak: 48% of Councillors, 39% of businesses, 63% of the public.
  • A flood or major storm: 40% of Councillors, 40% of businesses, 55% of the public.
  • A major data or privacy breach: 22% of Councillors, 53% of businesses, 36% of the public.

When asked ‘how confident, if at all, are you in the ability of each of the following to ensure that London is able to deal with a crisis?’ the emergency services received the highest levels of confidence from Councillors, businesses as well as the public, while London borough councils received the lowest business and public confidence. Councillors are most likely to show the least confidence in the UK National government or the London Mayor and GLA (1% difference between the two):

  • The emergency services: 95% of Councillors, 87% of businesses, 83% of the public.
  • London borough councils: 78% of Councillors, 38% of businesses, 38% of the public.
  • The UK National Government: 67% of Councillors, 52% of businesses, 52% of the public.
  • The London Mayor and GLA: 66% of Councillors, 46% of businesses, 49% of the public.

Other polling areas:

Resilience Impact:

  • 43% of Councillors, 31% of businesses and 60% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience a major data or privacy breach over the next five years.
  • 63% of Councillors, 40% of businesses and 66% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience extensive transport network disruption over the next five years.
  • 54% of Councillors, 31% of businesses and 52% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience a terror incident occurring close by over the next five years.
  • 40% of Councillors, 18% of businesses and 40% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience a flood or major storm over the next five years.
  • 14% of Councillors, 18% of businesses and 23% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience a prolonged power failure over the next five years.
  • 10% of Councillors, 9% of businesses and 21% of the public think that it is likely that their borough / company / they will experience a major disease outbreak over the next five years.

Resilience Preparedness:

  • 55% of Councillors, 36% of businesses and 20% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for a major data or privacy breach. 
  • 46% of Councillors, 25% of businesses and 31% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for extensive transport network disruption.
  • 75% of Councillors, 19% of businesses and 13% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for a terror incident occurring close by.
  • 60% of Councillors, 23% of businesses and 15% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for a flood or major storm.
  • 45% of Councillors, 22% of businesses and 17% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for a prolonged power failure.
  • 46% of Councillors, 14% of businesses and 8% of the public say their borough / company / they are prepared for a major disease outbreak.

Resilience Responsibility:

  • 59% of Councillors, 56% of businesses and 63% of the public say the UK
    National Government is responsible for ensuring London’s ability to deal with a crisis to a large extent.
  • 63% of Councillors, 48% of businesses and 47% of the public say the London Mayor and the Greater London Authority are responsible for ensuring London’s ability to deal with a crisis to a large extent.
  • 78% of Councillors, 66% of businesses and 54% of the public say the emergency services are responsible for ensuring London’s ability to deal with a crisis to a large extent.
  • 48% of Councillors, 36% of businesses and 32% of the public say London Borough Councils are responsible for ensuring London’s ability to deal with a crisis to a large extent.
     

ENDS

Media contact
Steven Reilly-Hii
T: +44 (0)207 203 1897                     
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
E: sreilly-hii@londonchamber.co.uk

 

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  1. ComRes polled 138 London Councillors between 2 and 16 November 2018, 507 London business decision makers between 26 October and 21 November 2018, and 1003 members of the London public between 14 and 19 November 2018.  All data on London business decision makers were weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector. All London Councillors data were weighted to be representative of all London Councillors by party and region. All London public data were weighted to be representative of all London adults by age, gender, region, and social grade.ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Full data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com
  2. LCCI’s ‘London Tomorrow: Towards the Megacity’ link to project - a thought leadership initiative, in association with PwC and supported by London City Airport, focused on the challenges and opportunities arising from London's growing population.  
  3. Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.
  4. About PwC: At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. PwC is a network of firms in 158 countries with over 250,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting  www.pwc.com.  PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. © 2019 PwC. All rights reserved.