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London’s Core Area Action Plan set to take centre stage during panel discussion

A panel discussion set for Oct. 30 will explore the points outlined in London's Core Area Action Plan.
A panel discussion set for Oct. 30 will explore the points outlined in London's Core Area Action Plan. Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

A week after London’s Core Area Action Plan was released, community members and organizations will come together to discuss how best to move forward with achieving its goals.

The Core Issues Panel, hosted by Ward 13 Coun. Arielle Kayabaga, will feature members of city staff, the London Police Service and local business owners.

The discussion is set for Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at RBC Place London in Salon B.

The action plan itself features 69 points aimed at improving and revitalizing the downtown core along with Richmond Row and portions of the Old East Village.

Those action points are guided by four goals: reducing homelessness, increasing safety, helping businesses thrive and attracting more visitors.

READ MORE: London politicians move forward on action plan for downtown core

Kayabaga told Global News Radio 980 CFPL that when people are looking for answers about why London is facing struggles in its downtown core, the finger of blame is often pointed at vulnerable populations.

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“If we’re going to talk about all the issues that the core is facing, they all derive from poverty, they all derive from not supporting people,” Kayabaga said.

“The issue is not poor people. The issue is the fact that we, as governments, we’re not doing the best that we can to support people.”

What makes the issue more complex, Kayabaga said, is the fact that poverty is interconnected with so many other issues.

“When you’re talking about poverty, you’re talking about housing stability, you’re talking about some security, you’re talking about a lot of support and mental health issues and support in addictions as well.”

READ MORE: New plan from city staff looks to revitalize London’s core

The Core Area Action Plan’s points are split up into three timelines: short-term, medium-term and long-term.

The short-term actions are expected to be completed within six months, medium-term actions have a schedule of six to 12 months and long-term actions will be done within one to two years.

Those interested in attending the panel discussion can contact Kayabaga at 519-661-5095 or via email at akayabaga@london.ca.

— With files from Kelly Wang and Andrew Graham

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