At the Sadiq for London 2020 London Policy Forum in Kings Cross, l put up some of my ideas for the Manifesto in the various sessions l attended during the day.
The first session l attended was on Housing,Planning & Development. Here l suggested we needed to do more on slum housing through the Fit for Human Habitation Act 2018. Unfortunately their is more about then we acknowledge in London, like some of the old tenement blocks in Miles Buildings, Penfold Place, NW1 – just off the Edgware Rd near me. We need to be on the side of tenants up against landlords who are not providing habitable residential accommodation. This will not add to the stock of housing in London but will clearly improve the present stock to an acceptable level.
The second session, l attended was on Transport, where l highlighted “work place charging levy” as a golden egg from parking which could earn TfL a new source of income, as a Hounslow council proposed levy shows clearly. Here l told the session of the case of the parking underneath BNP Paribus HQ where you can see many sports cars going into the office development underground car park very early in the morning, who clearly are not paying for parking in Central London. The leading authority on this front is Hounslow Council who have a proposal to develop a scheme along their golden mile and use the funds to invest in a commuter rail link between Brentford & Southall, putting them onto the Elizabeth line. It struck me that if a suburban London borough could do it, surely Central London boroughs with the Mayor could do something similar and use the fund to invest in urgent transport and environmental infrastructure needed.
And in the final session l attended on the Environment & Climate Change. Here l suggested that TfL could do a lot more to reduce London’s climate change footprint in response to the public #climateemergency demands as the largest consumer of energy in London. It could not only move decisively towards renewables but actually become a big buyer of renewables in London so as to encourage the growth of this sector in London’s economy while reducing our green house gases emissions.
We will have too watch and see now if these ideas and many others from the Labour movement including our Trade Unions and Affiliates at the London Policy Forum, will be incorporated into the Labour London Manifesto for 2020. Lets hope so.