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I believe London is a great city but it can be made even better. My plans will make London work for everyone. That is why I would introduce half price fares by 7.30am on Oyster pay as you go to help those Londoners needing to travel in early, increasing our neighbourhood policing and helping people back into work with affordable childcare available at hours that suit working parents. I would also tackle the chronic air pollution which leads to around 10,000 Londoners dying prematurely every year.
As a Liberal Democrat on the London Assembly, I've done that job for eight years, campaigning hard on behalf of all Londoners to save local PCSOs, to improve air quality and, most of all, to bring transport improvements to every corner of the capital.
I am promising an Olympic effort to get 200,000 new homes built over the next 4 years, including 50,000 built directly by the Mayor’s office at City Hall, and rented at council rent levels. The other 150,000 homes would be a mixture of affordable properties, private rent and for sale homes and rent to buy homes for first time buyers. These would mostly be built on public sector land, working with housing associations and private developers. To pay for my housing plan I will extend the £20 a year council tax add-on that was introduced to pay for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I would set up a Greater London Authority owned building company to help raise finance to build these new homes and build the homes we need. We could raise up to £2 billion to build the homes that Londoners need. You have to boost the supply of housing and we can’t rely on the private sector to build it all. My plan also has the added advantage in that we can use the building company to address the skills gaps we have in London by training up young people in the construction industry, in a similar way to the Crossrail tunnelling academy run by TfL.
I would also not forgot private tenants in my housing plans. I would roll out selective licensing across the capital and work with the Boroughs to take legal action against rogue landlords.
As a parent of a two year old I understand the problem of finding the right kind of affordable childcare provision. Women in London are 10% less likely to return to work after having children than any other part of the UK. The hours available from most childcare providers don’t allow people to work the hours they need. I would help fund more wrap around childcare by using a £50million fund that would come through a £2 a night tourist tax on guests at London hotels of 3* and above.
No one else in the Mayoral race has the experience of working day-in day-out for Londoners at City Hall. As a Liberal Democrat Mayor working with Liberal Democrat Assembly Members I want to help make London work for everyone.