Green Party candidate for Mayor of London Sian Berry has today (8 April) published her manifesto for the London Mayor and Assembly elections on 6 May.
Sian’s policies open up a new start for London, making London the city best prepared for the future, while dealing with insecure housing, a struggling transport system and the environmental risks facing Londoners.
This is the third time that Sian Berry has stood to be elected as Mayor of London. In 2016, Sian won her best ever result, coming in third place and winning the most second preference votes of any candidate. Current polling puts the Green Party on track for another record result in London.
At the heart of the manifesto is a promise to share power with Londoners if elected, bringing more diverse voices into City Hall, and involving citizens in decisions and plans.
The manifesto includes commitments to:
Set the right targets to solve the climate and ecological emergency before 2030, and work with all our citizens’ to achieve them.
Invest more in green energy and new jobs, with warmer homes and new funding to cut fuel poverty.
Prevent the loss of council housing by giving more residents the power to vote against demolition, and set up a People’s Land Commission so that people in local areas can make their own plans for new homes.
Reduce traffic and cancel the Silvertown Road Tunnel, investing instead in healthy streets, walking, cycling, better buses and new public transport links.
Open up opportunities for young people with a trial of a Creative Autonomy Allowance – a regular income to help kickstart careers in business and the arts.
Set clear targets to prevent violence and bring murders down to zero, investing in real prevention to stop violence against women, and services for young people that help them thrive.
Achieve clean air, with an ultra low emission zone to cover all of London, and work to cut traffic and invest in green buses.
Do more to win powers from Government for a direct say over taxes, the NHS, education, criminal justice, housing and environment policies – just like in Scotland and Wales.
Sian is launching the manifesto at Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth, a council estate threatened with demolition by the local Labour council. In 2018, four new Green councillors were elected to Lambeth Council having campaigned with local residents to refurbish homes rather than demolish them.
Sian has pledged to ensure that people have more control over their own homes and communities as London’s first Green Mayor.
Along with campaigners from many estates across London, and with the support of the Assembly, Sian worked to change the Mayor’s initial draft policy on estates to give residents a binding say. A consultation on that draft in March 2017 found that 95 per cent of responders asked for ballots for residents facing demolition and Sian also won the support of the London Assembly in a motion that year.
This resulted in the current Mayor shifting his policy and bringing in ballots for residents on estates facing demolition. Since then, Sian has continued to hold the Mayor to account over his new policy, including in March 2018 when she exposed that he signed off funding for 34 estates, just ahead of introducing the new ballots.
At today’s manifesto launch, a resident of Cressingham Gardens will give Sian an update on the latest developments in their campaign to prevent demolitions, and will also be available for interview.
“London should be the greenest city in the world, and we can get there with a new Green Mayor.
“Coronavirus has exposed some of the worst gaps in our systems, but these systems can be changed. Our manifesto sets out a new start for London: a real green recovery that reduces inequality and builds resilience for a secure future.
“For the last five years, I’ve been working hard in the London Assembly, and I’ve seen the huge problems Londoners were facing even before the latest crisis hit.
“Our renters were already in despair, and our youth services were being devastated by cuts. Now homelessness is rising, and people on the lowest incomes are struggling even more.
“Greens know that preventing climate chaos goes hand in hand with solving these social and economic problems, and Greens will work with Londoners to build a way out of all the crises we face to secure a better future.
“Our manifesto for London is full of fresh thinking for housing, with a clear plan to keep London moving and a mission to transform our economy with a real green recovery. We believe in Londoners and our city’s future, and we will create new opportunities and good green jobs, and we’ll support workers with a real safety net and a living wage.
“Londoners are crying out for a new start, and Greens are ready to roll up our sleeves and transform this city.”
The manifesto also highlights the need to deal with the real risks approaching the city due to climate change, an issue Greens have been trusted to deal with for decades. Sian Berry wrote the foreword to London’s first ever climate plan, published by Ken Livingstone in 2007.
Most recently, these risks were set out in work by Assembly Member Caroline Russell in her 2019 report, Climate Risks for London. This report showed that just 1.5 degrees of warming would mean even hotter heatwaves than in recent summers, higher chances of flooding for thousands of homes and hundreds of schools, and extreme strain on emergency services.
“As we build back from the pandemic, a real green recovery is what Londoners need. A new start that only the Green Party is qualified to deliver.
“The risks to Londoners’ health, jobs and futures are clear, and our plans protect our citizens in the here and now and build the brighter future we need.”