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Homelessness is one of the central problems the mayor will have to turn his or her attention to in fighting poverty.

There are estimated to be up to 2,500 homeless people in London. While he was still in the mayor race, Lord Archer repeatedly pointed out that the four most deprived districts in the UK are all in London and of the 20 most deprived, 14 are in the capital.

All the main mayoral candidates have placed tackling poverty at the top of their agenda. Lib Dem Susan Kramer is in favour of setting up community banks while Ken Livingstone has included establishing a "mayor's task force to tackle inner city arc of poverty" on his six point pledge card. The Labour candidate Frank Dobson is also keen to increase opportunities for the capitals worst off. And Tory candidate Steve Norris has said: I do not want any wasted talent in London.

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