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Shaun Bailey: My ten point plan for London

Shaun Bailey is a member of the London Assembly and the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London.

London is the greatest city on earth. From our free museums to our world-leading financial sector, our community groups to our fashion industry, Londoners lead the world — and help drive the UK’s economy.

But that doesn’t mean everything in our city is perfect. We face serious problems, and the pandemic has exposed how deep those problems run.  Over the last five years, ordinary Londoners have started to feel like our city just isn’t working for them. Knife crime has hit record highs. Good homes are unaffordable. Our transport network is struggling to cope. And the cost of living keeps rising.

None of this is inevitable. When we Conservatives last ran City Hall, we built a city with falling crime and rising investment. So I know we can build this city again. But that means we need a Mayor who can deliver it — and it’s clear that Sadiq Khan just isn’t up to the job.

London needs a fresh start. And I’ve got a plan to deliver it.

I’ll make our streets safer by hiring 8,000 more police officers and reopening the 38 police stations that Sadiq Khan shut to the public. As a former youth worker, I understand how important a local police presence is to residents and communities. So I’ll ensure there are a record number of police on the streets – helping to protect and support Londoners.

I’ll help young people get out of crime with 32 new youth centres and 4,000 new youth workers. After five years of rising violent crime under Sadiq Khan, it’s clear that a fresh approach is needed. From my twenty years as a youth worker, I know first-hand how youth services can turn young lives around. So I’ll open a YouthZone in every borough and fund an army of youth workers to create greater opportunities for the most at-risk young Londoners.

I’ll help young Londoners get on the housing ladder by building 100,000 homes and selling them for £100,000 each, with deposits as low as £5,000. Home ownership is out of reach for many Londoners as house prices have risen faster than wages. But through shared ownership, first-time buyers will be able to purchase a portion of a home, with a mortgage, and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining portion. This will give more young Londoners the chance to buy their own home.

I’ll clean up London’s air without taxing Londoners more and whilst supporting our transport industry. I’ll do this by converting London’s bus fleet to zero-emission, which will be the equivalent of taking one million cars off London’s roads. And I’ll offer interest-free loans to provide the financial support for all black cab drivers to be electric by the end of my first term.

I’ll fix TfL’s finances by introducing corporate sponsorship to the tube network, to protect free travel for under-18s and over-60s. TfL has now been bailed out multiple times by the taxpayer – and enough is enough. Corporate sponsorship could raise up to £500 million for TfL – it’s the fresh approach we need to restore TfL’s finances once and for all.

I’ll create a bigger, better transport network with a London Infrastructure Bank that will fund Hammersmith Bridge repairs, tube upgrades and Crossrail 2. The London Infrastructure Bank will facilitate private sector investment on a large scale by securing finance for infrastructure projects. This is how we’ll get our city moving.

I’ll reverse Sadiq Khan’s congestion charge hike and scrap his plans to extend the £12.50 daily ULEZ charge to outer London. In the middle of a pandemic, we should support those who will power London’s recovery — not punish them with higher taxes.

I’ll save every London household £307 by reversing Sadiq Khan’s 10 per cent council tax hike. By the time Sadiq Khan’s term ends, he will have raised his share of council tax by 30 per cent. At a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, the Mayor should be doing everything he can to support them — not raising their cost of living.

I’ll stand up for outer boroughs by scrapping Sadiq Khan’s plans to charge people £5.50 to drive into Outer London and by providing 30 minutes free parking in outer boroughs. This Outer London Tax will hurt people who travel a few miles for their weekly shop. It will hurt friends and family who want to visit. It will hurt businesses that depend on driving into London every day. And it will hurt parents who drive their kids to school.

I’ll work constructively with Ministers to get a better deal for London and I will always take responsibility for London’s problems. The last few years have shown that a Mayor obsessed with good PR and scoring political points will fail when the time comes to step up.  As Mayor of London, I’ll work with government ministers to find solutions for the challenges that lie ahead.

This is my plan to give London a fresh start. And through investment in housing, transport and infrastructure, it will help to create 924,000 jobs over five years.

The only thing standing in the way is Sadiq Khan. So on 6th of May, vote for the safer, fairer and more affordable city that you know Londoners deserve.

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