No, I'm not standing for Mayor. Much as I think I could do a far better job than this Mayor or the previous one (That wouldn't be hard would it), I am not insane enough to spend a year of my life campaigning. But I've lived in London almost all of my life, apart from six months in Stockholm in 1981. I spent decades commuting into town, have played at most of the best small music venues in London and have run a small business since 1979. I'm the chair of a charity that funds a local school and I spent many years volunteering for The Passage, a charity for the homeless, giving the homeless of London a cooked breakfast, clothing and showers. I think I understand the problems of London as well as anyone.
I am putting this out there to start a discussion. These are my own personal views and represent no other parties or manifesto.
1. Work to secure a commitment from the government to electrify all railways in London to reduce harmful diesel emmisions, starting with the Chiltern Line from Marylebone.
2. Start a London wide consultation on cycling, to provide safe corridors for cycling in all London Boroughs, with a budget for small scale local schemes for dedicated cycleways. A local example of one such scheme would be to install a dedicated cycleway on the old disused Rail tracks from Mill Hill Broadway to Edgware and from Mill Hill East to Alliance Park.
3. Provide exemptions for Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone for musicians, artists and performers who require vans etc to work in London for five years. Whilst the zones are vital, many musiciansand artists cannot afford new transport in the current climate.
4. Bring forward the West London Orbital Railway scheme as a priority. The business case for this is strong and it would allow for significant regeneration.
5. Recognise the licenced cab trade and work to restore the financial viability of the business.
6. Work with central government to ensure that congestion charging is working to do what it is supposed to do, rather than be a tax on motorists on empty roads.
7. Establish a long term funding solution for TFL, removoving the punitive charges that the Govt have imposed.
8. Put all London Suburban rail services under TFL.
9. Ensure that parking is based on the real life, on the ground requirments of areas.
1. Establish a housing policy that puts Londoners first. Too many luxury flat properties are being buit to be sold to offshore investors, whilst London has a housing crisis. Insist that in all housing schemes, the social housing element is the first phase to be built and ensure that it is a minimum of 50% of any scheme for more than 10 dwellings.
2. Work with central government to increase community charge to six times the standard level for all properties standing empty for more than six months, unless the property is part of a probate, in which case allow 18 months.
3. Offer grants to bring properties back into use or to convert large houses to flats. This could be finances by extra charges for empty properties.
4. Ensure that people not profits are at the heart of any large scale schemes. Set up a London Housing commission with representatives from charities, local councils and other important stakeholders, with final say on major schemes. Have full transparancy for all decisions.
5. Work with govenrment to free up all suitable state owned land for development where applicable.
6. Ensure that green technology is a part of all new developments (solar panels, wind turbines, battery power).
7. Pass legislation that ensures that 10% of any development of over 10 dwellings is made available at low rent for key workers.
8. Ensure that green technology is a part of all new developments (solar panels, wind turbines, battery power).
Night Time Economy.
1. Strengthen 'Agent of Change' legislation to prevent conversion of important night time venues to flats.
2. Establish a London recovery fund, to promote post covid recovery.
3. Work with the banks and Central Government to provide 'recovery loans' at competetive rates for viable businesses who have suffered due to covid.
4. Establish a "London Festival" (along the lines of The Edinburgh Festival) to help rebuild London's night time economy following the Covid crisis.
5. Provide assistance for small, independent micro breweries, that are part of Londons rich night time heritage.
Local High Streets.
1. Establish a High Street Task force to promote High St regeneration and promote independent retailers.
2. Set up a fund for seeding grants and loans to help under 25's start thier own businesses.
1. Put a ban on Fireworks across London after 10pm, apart from New Years Eve.
Education and young people.
1. Fully fund holiday meal vouchers for young people from less well off households
2. Work with local schools to achieve a funding settlement from Central Government that recognises the higher costs of London schools.
Waste and recycling.
1. Ensure that recycling is a central part of the way Londoners live their lives. Lobby for the power to fine local authorities that miss targets for waste recycyling and waste reduction.
2. Ensure that all TFL sites and shop franchises rented out use recycleable materials wherever possible as conditions of letting.
1. Strengthen Green Belt legislation in London.
2. Ban all harmful weed killers and pesticides from use where the Mayor of London's juresdiction allows.
3. Create a London Wildlife commission, to preserve and protect London's wildlife and ensure that habitats are preserved. Have a full cross London audit of wildlife, and ask schools to participate to raise awareness of the local flora and fauna.
1. London generates huge amounts of wealth. Much of this is controlled by a small section of society. Lobby central government for powers to ensure that all new schemes are part of a solution to make London a more equal society. These would include
* Ensure that all major schemes include a proportion of the profits are invested back into the community
* Ensure that punitive taxes are lobbied on unoccupied homes.
* Lobby Central Government for additional bands of community charge for the most expensive homes.
* Seek to cut bureacracy from London and a cut to the number of GLA members
* Support for businesses that reinvest in the community
1. The Met has been run into the ground. We would offer the public the chance to vote on a small surcharge on the Mayors levy to support dedicated, ring fenced officers for local areas. We would also employ back room support staff, to allow highly trained officers to be released from the chains of their desks. Admin staff are cheaper and would free up thousands of officers from menial tasks.
2. Improve accountability and require local police chiefs to engage with local communities with regular open format meetings in all areas.
1. Most local people do not know who their GLA reps are or what they do. We would work to require them to engage properly with local people and spend less time in their offices. We would place caps on expenses to prevent flagrant extravance.
2. We would ensure that GLA members use public transport in all cases, except where physically impossible. If members choose to use cabs or their own car, they should pay for it themselves (including parking charges).
Equality and diversity
1. We passionately beleive all Londoners are equal and all should be treated with dignity and respect. London has a rich heritage and that is something we believe all should be proud of . There are also less savoury aspects of our past. We need to address these in a grown up and sensitive manner that recognises the wider issues involved. We would set up a proper mechanism for review of any contentious statues, street names, etc.
2. There will be a zero tolerance for hate crimes and discrimination.
Safety of Children
1. We passionately believe that London should be a safe space for children and young people. We believe that the current DBS system does not provide sufficient protection for young people. We believe that its should be easier for parents and carers to identify whether people offering services for children have criminal convictions.Whilst we understand that there are privacy and safety issues, we do not believe that people on the sex offenders register should ever be involved with the teaching, training or provision of activities for young people. We would make it far easier for Londoners to ensure that this cannot happen.
Whilst I will not be standing, I'd urge you to ask those who seek your votes what they intend to do about the issues I've raised