May is a big political month for Londoners as we will be voting for our next mayor to replace Boris Johnson after 8 years of service. It is no big surprise that many are concerned about the lack of young people participating in political elections, consequently, I thought it was a good idea to have an unbiased breakdown of our options for the people who want to represent us over the next 4 years. I focussed on the Conservative, Labour, and Lib dem representatives because, realistically, we all know we aren’t having Green as our next mayor. Remember, voting does matter, from TFL costs to housing opportunities, your vote makes a difference.
- Self: 40 years old, son of the billionaire Sir James Goldsmith. Schooled at Eton and Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies
- Current employment: He has been the Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston since 2010
- Housing: 50,000 new homes will be built yearly in London by 2020 and most of these homes will go for rent, not sale. Also, he will give Londoners the first chance to buy the new homes which are built
- Environment: He is well known for his interest and support of environmental issues e.g. opposition to Heathrow expansion, tackling air pollution with tougher rules on HGVs, and encouraging greener vehicles and safer cycling. Also, making more ‘green spaces’ and cleaning parks
- Transport: He says that he will provide necessary funding to Transport for London to upgrade the Tube system and provide night tube services.
- Crime: He aims to make London’s streets safer by putting more police on the streets at night and tackling the ‘root causes’ of crime in communities
- Money: He pledges to do all this without raising the mayor-controlled element of council tax
- Self: 44 years old, son of an immigrant bus driver, grew up on a south London housing estate
- Current Employment: He represented Tooting as an MP since 2005, and became one of the first British Muslims to sit on the frontbench when he took up a ministerial role in the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport.
- Housing: He aims to build at least 80,000 homes a year and specify that 50% of new housing built on public land must be designated as “affordable”. He also wan to set up a ‘No Nights Sleeping rough’ initiative to tackle homelessness, and ‘Starter homes’ to buy costing up to £450,000
- Transport: He is promised to freeze Transport for London fares for 4 years
- Education: improving the education system in secondary schools and FE by developing STEM strategies, providing better career advice through the ‘Skills for Londoners’ task force, and preparing for the long-term population growth.
- Health: provision of greater support for mental health, and improving the efficiencies of GP, A&E, London Ambulance Services
- He claims that unlike some of his predecessors, he would “fight for all Londoners”
By Priscilla McGregor-Kerr
Twitter & Insta: @Cillahope_