Ken Livingstone sweeps the Labour nomination for the 2012 London Mayoral elections

The City Hall campaign will in effect begin now.

Former Brent East MP, Ken has overwhelmingly won the nomination to be Labour’s Mayoral candidate for the 2012 London elections, securing over double the tally of Oona King’s vote.

A few weeks ago I blogged on why I’m supporting Ken (LINK). Ken will be an excellent candidate to challenge the Tories over cuts to our police service, which will lead to less police on our streets in London, and cuts to Transport including less staffing at night at tube stations, making evening journeys unsafe for commuters.

Ken has already pledged that transport fares under his leadership will be lower than fares under Boris, and will be paid for by the Western extension of the London Congestion Charge.

Commiserations to Oona King who must be credited for fighting an exhausting campaign. Husting after husting, constant press and media attention, events, canvassing members… it can’t be easy. London Labour has benefited from her putting herself forward in the contest as it has allowed us to debate key issues. in addition, Ken has said that he will be taking Oona’s good policies and progressing them forward in his plans for London.

I’m glad that the contest is over as now the Party can unite behind our winning candidate, regardless of who we supported during the campaign, and fight for the Labour cause, standing up to the regressive, unfair and discriminatory measures being imposed on us by the Tories and Lib Dems.

Yes We Ken!

I’ve just voted for Ken Livingstone to be the Labour Party candidate for the 2012 London Mayoral election and here is why

Ken was my MP for over half of my lifetime, so to many, it may not be surprising that someone from Brent is backing Ken to be Mayor of London. But looking beyond that, I want a candidate who is not afraid to challenge the consensus and someone who can build a platform for Labour to be back in power at the next general election.

Ken has proved time and time again and shown true leadership in the decisions he’s made that he has shown good judgement. Some decisions he has made has made a practical difference to people’s lives.

One example of when Ken has shown innovation to tackle the problems we have is on Housing; and in particular, wheelchair accessible housing.

There is a national shortage of around 300,000 wheelchair accessible properties in the UK. In many cases, not having the right housing could mean that a wheelchair user has to bathe in the kitchen sink or even use their living room as a bedroom, because they can’t get into their own room.

In London, thanks to Ken, it is now a requirement for ten per cent of homes to be identified as wheelchair accessible at the planning application stage and described in the Design and Access Statement submitted with the planning application. The requirements go well beyond the National Lifetime Homes standard and shifts the focus on building homes for wheelchair users that are liveable, and not just visitable properties that tick minimum requirement boxes.

It’s all set out here: Mayor of London Best Practice Guide on Wheelchair Accessible Housing (2004)

Ken’s 10% target has set a blueprint that leads the way on this issue, and although it will not solve all the problems we face on this issue nationally, Ken’s actions ensures that London at least give our contribution.

On Transport, Ken was right to introduce the Congestion Charge in London to ease traffic through the city, encourage greater use of public transport and reduce vehicle emissions. The Boris alternative to removing the Western extension to the Zone has been unprecedented rise in Tube fares LINK.

Whether it is housing, transport, planning, employment, fairness, IRAQ!!! in most cases, Ken gets it spot on. That’s why I’m backing Ken to be the Labour Party candidate for the 2012 London Mayoral election.

London Transport prices take unprecedented hike

boris-johnson-yawn_667484nBig news today on London Transport fares. Boris Johnson is introducing an unprecendented rise to London Transport charges – THE LARGEST EVER in tube and bus fares!

Here’s what they’re all saying about it:

Bus fares are to go up by 12.7% and Tube fares will rise by 3.9%. Oyster card pay-as-you-go bus journeys are to rise from £1 to £1.20.
The Congestion Charge is rising to £10, while Mr Johnson said a £9 charge for those using a new account system would be operational next year.
The mayor said the price of a seven-day bus pass will also jump from £13.80 to £16.60 but London Travelcard prices will be frozen in the vast majority of cases.

Source: BBC

We’ve got a very, very clear choice. It is to pay a comparatively small price now, or [rather] in January, or pay a huge price later on, in five, ten, 15 or 20 years time. If we miss this opportunity to continue the upgrades and the improvement of London’s transport infrastructure, which will make this city not only much more liveable and better for everybody to move around in, but more competitive for generations to come.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson

I left Boris Johnson with very large Transport for London reserves and plans to raise more funds and protect the environment. He has cut investment, reduced protection of the environment and hammered ordinary Londoners with above inflation fare increases. In essence his policy is that the majority of Londoners should pay to subsidise the better off and worst polluters. That is no joke for London.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

The Mayor is pricing people off public transport, whilst favouring motorists by going ahead with plans to cancel the western extension of the congestion charge. Part of his fares increase will pay for the gap left by losing around £55m of congestion charge income. The Mayor has today highlighted the pollution caused by old buses, but he was the one who dropped the £25 congestion charge on gas guzzling cars, which would have generated around £30m in its first year. Everything the mayor does shows a bias in favour of the motorist and against public transport users. Even the long delayed increase in raising the congestion charge will be after bus and tube passengers have already started paying their extra fares.

Green Party London Assembley Member Jenny Jones

pdf Document with the breakdown of the changes from the BBC’s website: LINK

.. and from the Evening Standard: LINK