The selection of candidates to stand for election as the next Mayor of London is under way in earnest this week, at least within the Labour Party, where the various constituencies are each asked to nominate a candidate. Here, one of those seeking selection, CHRISTIAN WOLMAR, makes his case
At the Croydon South Labour Party meeting tonight, you will be choosing two people to nominate as the party’s candidate for the London Mayoral election and I am asking you to put my name forward as one of them.
I am Christian Wolmar, a writer, broadcaster and commentator who has specialised in transport for the past 20 years. For the past three years I have been campaigning to be selected as Labour’s London Mayoral candidate. I decided to find out what the grassroots of the party wanted from a Labour Mayor and so I jumped on my bike and cycled out to CLPs all over London to do just that. I have spoken at nearly 100 meetings across the capital and have run what The Guardian called “the most extensive grassroots political campaign the capital has seen in recent times”.
Two-thirds of the Mayor’s budget is spent on transport, and my expertise in this field guarantees that I can maintain control over Transport for London and that it delivers improvements for all Londoners.
When I visited Croydon during the election campaign, I heard several concerns about the future of the Tramlink service in relation to the huge Westfield and Hammerson development. Tramlink has been amazingly successful in helping economic regeneration in Croydon but the present Transport for London plans may damage the service. The road plans, too, seem ill-thought out. Not enough has been done to ensure that the development does not result in gridlock in the town centre.
I am also keen to improve the rail service in south London. The recent chaos at London Bridge highlights the failings of the current fragmented structure, and as Mayor I would press for Transport for London to take over local suburban train services and bring them up to the standard of the London Overground, which is under the control of TfL and has been so successful that it is already adding extra carriages to cope with demand.
London needs a fresh approach from a candidate who is not a career politician and who has worked on developing ideas for three years. By nominating me, you will be ensuring that the issues I have focused on, such as a London Homes Delivery Agency, to ensure that the GLA and London boroughs deliver real homes for real Londoners. We would look more carefully at schemes such as Cane Hill in Coulsdon, where the Tory Mayor has gifted private developers a vast amount of public land without ensuring that they deliver the homes and infrastructure needed locally.
The Wolmar for London campaign wants to deliver a more affordable London so that ordinary people are able to live and work in the capital. I am focused on increasing the supply of genuinely affordable housing.
If I am nominated to be a candidate, these costed and thought-out policies, and others developed over three years of discussions with CLPs, including the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street and creating a one-hour bus ticket to reduce the cost of travel, will get a proper airing at the hustings.
If you want to know more about the campaign go to www.wolmarforlondon.co.uk/news to read about all my policies on housing, health, policing etc which have been developed by real Londoners for real Londoners.
- To contact Christian Wolmar directly, email: Christian@wolmarforlondon.co.uk
- The Editor of Inside Croydon, Steven Downes, has known Christian Wolmar for nearly 30 years; Wolmar has occasionally contributed to this website and Downes has helped with the Wolmar for London campaign
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