150 London groups challenge mayoral hopefuls in debate

Some 150 London-based voluntary organisations questioned London's mayoral candidates at a forum hosted by the Bridge House Trust on Monday.

The debate, called 'A Day of Influence', heard leading mayoral candidates, including Ken Livingstone, being quizzed on how their manifestos would serve London's diverse communities.

Beth Follini, director of the Women's Resource Centre, an umbrella body for 180 women's organisations, asked what practical action each candidate would take to increase resources to women's organisations in the capital, including how they could receive better and subsidised accommodation.

Follini said the centre's latest research showed that 4 per cent of women's groups operate without government funding, and that 19 per cent receive less than £10,000 per year.

Other subjects included asylum seekers, rising crime and the growth of HIV in the capital.

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