Alongside the Labour leadership election this September, Labour party members in London will be voting for their London mayoral candidate. The main contenders are Ken Livingstone – former two-term London mayor and Oona King – former MP for Bethnal Green & Bow.
A special event, chaired by Lambeth Councillor Florence Nosegbe, was held in Brixton last Wednesday where the public were given the opportunity to meet Oona King and hear why she was running for the candidacy. Former OBV alumni James Odoi writes about his experience of day.
Oona’s vision for London
Oona stated that she was standing to be elected because she is committed to making London a fairer, more equal city. She spoke about innovative ideas and future solutions to deal with some of London’s key issues focusing on three key policy areas; housing, transportation and crime.
Ms King promised to introduce a Mayor’s mortgage to help those on lower incomes to get onto the property ladder and said she would examine how to expand the volume of affordable and social housing. She also outlined her ideas on tackling the housing shortage, including increasing the number of homes owned through cooperatives where the individual’s stake can alter as their circumstances change.
Getting London moving
Oona spoke passionately about her policies for transport in London (an area where the mayor has significant clout). In addition to keeping tube fares as low as possible, she would work on creating a more dedicated and safe cycling route. Oona affirmed that she would reinstate the western congestion charge and that revenue from it would be invested directly into lowering bus fares; to the benefit of all Londoners, especially the poorest. She wants to encourage more bus routes to effectively service local schools with the aim of having a comprehensive service across London. Through the use of innovative yet inexpensive initiatives, Oona said she wants to change the way Londoners travel around their city.
Making London safer
To tackle crime, Oona pledged to take control of the Metropolitan Police to ensure senior officers improve neighbourhood policing standards across the capital. She would also chair the Metropolitan Police Authority, a job relinquished by Boris Johnson. Oona vowed to crack down on knife crime with a new public education programme and intervene positively with those that harm themselves and blight the lives of others. Oona stressed the importance of concentrating on crime prevention work and early intervention with the families of young offenders and helping the young find employment to prevent them from offending.
Lambeth Councillor Florence Nosegbe closed the event by stressing that London needed a strong Labour mayoral candidate like Oona who would fight to protect the values and interests of everyday Londoners.
For further information on Oona Kings campaign log on to: www.oona4mayor.com
By James Odoi