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Live chat with London Mayoral candidates Jenny Jones (Green), Siobhan Benita (Independent) and Lawrence Webb (UKIP), Tuesday 1st May, 12pm-1pm

(146 Posts)
FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 27-Apr-12 14:14:44

Following on from Ken and Boris's webchats you said you would like us to invite the remaining mayoral candidates (excluding the BNP) in for live webchats.

So far, the Independent candidate Siobhan Benita, Green party candidate Jenny Jones and UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb have accepted, we're very pleased to announce that they will be joining us at MNHQ on Tuesday 1 May, 12:00pm-1pm.

Siobhan joined the Civil Service in 1996 and worked at the very heart of Government for over 15 years. She lives with her husband and two daughters in New Malden, Kingston.

Jenny Jones is the Green Partys Mayoral candidate and has been a London Assembly Member since its start in 2000. Before entering politics, Jones worked as an archaeologist, studying carbonised plant remains, mostly in the Middle East.

Lawrence Webb, has lived and worked in London for most his life except for a brief stint spent working overseas. Before entering politics, Webb was a self-employed electrician. He was also in the Territorial Army for eight years.

Join us for the webchat and make your voice heard about what you want to see from the capital's next Mayor. Siobhan, Jenny and Lawrence are keen to hear your views and answer your questions. As ever, if you can't make it, please post up your advance questions here.

Thanks,

MNHQ

TheStandard Tue 01-May-12 10:16:20

A question for Jenny: according to Adam Ramsay, a Green activist, you come from the 'ecologist liberal' wing of the Greens (rather than the left-leaning Caroline Lucas wing). I take this to mean you're economically right-wing and more interested in conservation/ecology/animal rights than you are in economic redistribution and social justice. Would that be right?

A question for Lawrence: do you agree with your party leader that people who run small businesses shouldn't employ women of child-bearing age?

wondle Tue 01-May-12 10:41:04

Question for all the candidates:

Councils across London are closing libraries. Brent council, the worst culprit, has closing six. This has led to a 20% drop is library issues and visits (national statistics showing 44% of children do not migrate to another library when the local one closes) and a net loss of 195 hours to access a library service.

I would like to know the candidates view on the above and what they would do to improve the situation.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 11:11:26

TEST

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 11:12:32

TEST

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 11:12:53

TEST

poppyseeds99 Tue 01-May-12 11:24:42

I'm a young person living in London and over 50% of my wage goes on renting a small one-bedroom flat which I share with my partner. We are cramped for space whilst our landlady lives in a row of mansions not far from us. She does not work. What would the candidates do to redress the balance and give young people in London a better deal when it comes to renting and buying property?

cm22v07 Tue 01-May-12 11:25:45

Hi All,
I'm a first time voter in the London Mayoral election, I'm not convinced by Ken or Boris so am looking to use my vote elsewhere. As a young person, which one of you should I vote for?

cm22v07 Tue 01-May-12 11:27:01

x-post with poppyseeds99!
I would also be interested to hear what you would do for 1st time buyers!

jepa Tue 01-May-12 11:42:04

My question goes to any candidate brave enough to answer.
How can you possible address the massive difference that now exists in London between the very rich and the average folk
To explain I grew up in London, my Grandparents use to play in Broadwater Farm when it was a farm !
So I grew up with a real sense of belonging and I really do love our Capital.
However now I found that I can no longer afford to stay living here.
I can't afford central London parking plus congestion charges, when my babies were little I couldn't use public transport with a buggy.
Now they are older I face the dilemma that there literally isn't a decent secondary school for my son. The nearest is selective and only other alternative is awful by any standards.
My local high street is closing down, at least half the shops are closed due to high rent, yet my council continue to increase the parking charges.
My local GP now operates a phone service first, which makes it extremely hard to be seen by an actual doctor, we have been misdiagnosed twice.
I'm possible rambling but I am just so angry that the London seems to be only for the very rich, those that can afford privates schools, private transport and private healthcare
In short my question is when is somebody going to wake up and realise the real problem we have

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 01-May-12 11:56:39

Delighted to say that the candidates are all in position and ready to go. So they'll be off in a minute.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 11:57:03

Hi everyone - really pleased to be here to answer all your questions today. I've been looking forward to this particular event since the start of the campaign! Siobhan

eggsandham Tue 01-May-12 11:58:36

My question is for Siobhan.

Hi Siobhan, thanks for coming on here. I've been impressed with quite a few things you've said so far but my question is this: why aren't you a member of the Labour Party? It seems that many of your positions are similar to that of Labour and I know quite a few Labour supporters are supporting your campaign. What exactly would you say is the (substantive) difference between you and Ken Livingstone? (excluding his tendency to say ridiculous things that offend large groups of people, obvs)

Crumblemum Tue 01-May-12 12:00:26

Are any of you Mumsnet users? Or do you know any?

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:00:51


Thanks for that Blu.

It is right to highlight the impact that open door immigration has on the supply of available housing, schools and healthcare services. From May the Mayor will become one of the largest landowners in London, and he has the ability to set the criteria for the homes that will be built on that land. We believe that ordinary Londoners are disadvantage by the sheer numbers of newcomers to our city.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:00:56

TheStandard

A question for Jenny: according to Adam Ramsay, a Green activist, you come from the 'ecologist liberal' wing of the Greens (rather than the left-leaning Caroline Lucas wing). I take this to mean you're economically right-wing and more interested in conservation/ecology/animal rights than you are in economic redistribution and social justice. Would that be right?

Hello TheStandard
I have absolutely no idea what Adam Ramsay meant by that term. I'll take it up with him after the election. I come from a family of old socialists. I'm for fair trade, fair market, and am as interested in social justice as environmental justice.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:01:23

LineRunner

Siobhan, I'm not a Londoner but will be campaiging for a friend of mine who is standing in local elections where I live.

I would love to get more people out to vote.

I support votes for young people - what do you think, and at what age would you say that young people should be able to vote?

Good luck.

Hi LineRunner
I completely agree with you and I have been encouraging young people across London to vote during the campaign. I do think we should allow people to vote from 16 years old - but we need to ensure they make that vote count!
S

quartz101 Tue 01-May-12 12:05:46

A question for all the candidates. Who will get your 2nd preference?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:07:28

justonemorethread

Siobhan, I would live to vote for you, but because of B and K's media monopoly I don't feel I've had a chance to find out more about you.

Please tell us why you are a credible candidate, what exactly your experience in 'top' levels of government was and how it translates in to someone with the ability to sustain such a high profile position.

Also, why is it so hard to get media coverage- surely the BBC is duty bound to give a balanced view of candidates?

In other words, please show off and silence the nay-sayers!

Hi - thanks for the chance to "show off" abit! The broadcasting rules are very out of date and based on previous political party results - by default they discriminate against new independent candidates and I have nit been given fair coverage or allowed a political broadcast. I will continue to work on reform of the rules after the election!

I have 15 years experience in departments of transport, environment and local government (very relevant for the Mayor!) and i spent last 6 years in Cabinet Office and Department of health - that means I have very good understanding of the government and how it works, including public finances. All very good experience for Mayor.

My manifesto is full of wide range of strong policy ideas - from housing to education, youth to policing. all on the website at www.siobhanformayor.com I hope you like them all!

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:07:44

TheBlackShiksa

This question is for Lawrence, and I hope he answers: Isn't UKIP just a straight up racist party? Aren't you BNP lite? Interesting to note that you were also once an immigrant, how did you find that? As a black Briton whose parents are both immigrants, why would I ever consider voting for you. Actually why should any ethnic minority Briton vote for you?

Thanks for the question,

No we are not racist nor are we anything like the BNP in any way. We do believe that the level of immigration is an issue that needs talking about, particularly from Eastern Europe, over which we have absolutely no control at all. We are not against immigration, but against uncontrolled immigration.

That being said, it is a sad fact that the BME community is particularly disadvantaged when it comes to competition for public services and we believe that they as much as anyone should care about the increased pressures on those services.

If we leave the conversation about these things to people like the BNP all we have is polarised epithet throwing rather than mature debate which is much needed.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:09:32

jepa

My question goes to any candidate brave enough to answer.
How can you possible address the massive difference that now exists in London between the very rich and the average folk
To explain I grew up in London, my Grandparents use to play in Broadwater Farm when it was a farm !
So I grew up with a real sense of belonging and I really do love our Capital.
However now I found that I can no longer afford to stay living here.
I can't afford central London parking plus congestion charges, when my babies were little I couldn't use public transport with a buggy.
Now they are older I face the dilemma that there literally isn't a decent secondary school for my son. The nearest is selective and only other alternative is awful by any standards.
My local high street is closing down, at least half the shops are closed due to high rent, yet my council continue to increase the parking charges.
My local GP now operates a phone service first, which makes it extremely hard to be seen by an actual doctor, we have been misdiagnosed twice.
I'm possible rambling but I am just so angry that the London seems to be only for the very rich, those that can afford privates schools, private transport and private healthcare
In short my question is when is somebody going to wake up and realise the real problem we have

Hello Jepa
Our whole manifesto is based on reducing the gap between rich and poor in London, understanding that many people who are in work are also in poverty. We will reduce public transport fares to below the cost of inflation for 4 years, create jobs and apprenticeships (partly by supporting small and medium size businesses, partly by working with big business to offer some payback to Society) and we'll make housing, both to buy and to rent, more affordable.
We ensured the London Living Wage was taken up by the previous Mayor and now it's paid by the GLA, but also by 100 companies. It has to be expanded - a fifth of Londoners still earn less than the LLW of £8.30 an hour, some much less. We will also introduce a Fair Pay Mark for companies, to show when they are paying fair wages. We've also got a great policy of a 10:1 pay ratio. Any company that signs up will guarantee to pay their lowest paid employee at least a tenth of the highest paid person. So if the top person earns £500,000, they can pay their cleaners and cooks £50k. I've put this to some CEO's who had apoplexy at the idea.
The Mayor has no real powers over education, although can obviously influence the debate, and no powers over the NHS. However, we have fought to protect the NHS from the proposed savage government cuts.
JJ

mortlake64 Tue 01-May-12 12:10:11

The mayor has called on London employers to help reduce record youth unemployment, but he pays £3m a year to London Fashion Week to promote imported clothing. It is run by a trade association of clothing importers and one of their advisors - Ethical Fashion Forum - even has a web page cautioning against buying British goods for vague rambling reasons!
www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/made-in-britain

Are any candidates troubled by this?
Are any candidates willing to spend time with a constituent and the organisers of London Fashion Week to try and make it better at providing employment?

(I have had an offer to meet them with by green candidate, but he backed-out)

I know there is a subtle argument that LFW exports brands not clothes and that takes time to un-pick, so I'm just asking if you're troubled at first glance and willing to spend a bit of time.

[PS sorry to post in the wrong thread just now]

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:10:51

PetiteRaleuse

Lawrence, what would you say to those of us who believe that the UKIP is extreme right but is tryint to convince the world otherwise, as Marine Le Pen's party tries the same in France?

UKIP is not 'extreme right' nor have we ever been, we are if anything classical liberal. We believe solely in the right of this country to make decisions about it and its future. We believe in small government, low fair taxation and supporting the engine of jobs and the economy which is the entrepreneurial small business sector. Ms Le Pen is about ethnic nationalism and protectionsim, a very different beast.

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 12:11:22

This is a question for all three candidates - are you satisfied that the Olympics will leave a positive legacy in their wake? How will we not end up like Greece in that respect?

I work for a small company, as does my husband, and we won't be able to work from home or stagger our working hours during the game. Business will simply suffer. Do you think this is fair?

Do you think it is right that the tube upgrades necessary to accomodate the extra burden of the games is being shouldered by ordinary commuters, and what is your position on the cost of public transport in general?

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:11:30

quartz101

A question for all the candidates. Who will get your 2nd preference?

Hi quartz101
I've suggested giving 2nd prefs to Ken, but it's entirely up to everyone to make up their own mind, obviously. Greens have been able to work with Ken, but it was impossible with Boris and we feel he has taken us back a decade, socially and environmentally.
JJ

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:11:52

bobthebuddha

Definitely interested in voting for you (I'd be very impressed if you managed to get 167 new primary schools built!), but wondering about your supporting the extra Heathrow runway.

Have you considered/consulted on the local opposition to this and the effect on quality of life for those under the flightpath if it goes ahead?

Could you really maintain 'strict limits on sound and emissions'?

Why is it preferable to the idea of an airport in the Thames Estuary which you said you'd want to cancel outright as a 'vanity project'? Would there really be no need for public money to be spent at Heathrow?

Hi - yes i realise that Heathrow is a very sensitive policy and I have thought about it carefully. If we are going to increase our airport capacity (and I believe we have to to maintain London as the global city and attract investment and tourists from abroad) then the best way to so this economically and environmentally is to expand the existing airport that we have. We can force the airlines to bring in a noise reduction plan - and stick to strict emissions limits - as a condition of the expansion.
This will create thousands of jobs in the local economy - I have had a lot of support from West London residents and businesses - as well as improving prosperity for London and Uk generally.

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