WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

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

LineRunner Sun 29-Apr-12 20:52:13

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.

BIWIWhoMustBeObeyed Sun 29-Apr-12 21:30:23

I'm very glad that Siobhan has had an invitation extended to her. I think the way she has been excluded from the media debates has been shocking.

Will think of a question!

Betelguese Sun 29-Apr-12 21:48:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justonemorethread Sun 29-Apr-12 22:22:47

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!

bobthebuddha Sun 29-Apr-12 22:37:57

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?

justonemorethread Sun 29-Apr-12 22:42:05

I would love to vote for you, not live!

I'm enthusiastic, but not that much!

painterlyswoosh Mon 30-Apr-12 10:18:48

What are your plans for education in the city? How do you think we can tackle the issue of the massive difference in quality of schools from borough to borough?

FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 30-Apr-12 11:47:51

UPDATE: Great news, Jenny Jones the Green candidate has just confirmed that she will be taking part in our live mayoral webchat tomorrow. Please post your questions for Jenny on this thread too.

Groovee Mon 30-Apr-12 12:09:32

Would either of you consider changing the way schools are allocated through the so called choice selection which is currently used and if so what would you do to change it?

Thanks for inviting these candidates on MNHQ.

Question to each of the candidates - what one thing do you think really needs to be tackled in order to improve life in London for Londoners as a whole and how would you go about it?

FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 30-Apr-12 14:07:20

UPDATE: Lawrence Webb the UKIP candidate has just confirmed that he will be taking part in our live mayoral webchat tomorrow. Please post your questions for Lawrence on this thread too. Thanks

BIWIWhoMustBeObeyed Mon 30-Apr-12 14:53:59

Why can't they have their separate chat threads? This is (almost) as bad as the television stations not giving them air time.

I don't want to talk to Lawrence Webb <spits>!

piji Mon 30-Apr-12 14:54:10

Hi Siobhan, I'm quite interested in voting for you - I read your bit in the election leaflet with interest - although to be honest I don't think you'll get elected, you'll probably get my first preference, largely because you were the ONLY one of the candidates who seems to have noticed that London have a massive great crisis with school places!

I gather you grew up in Wimbledon - we're currently having a big planning problem with local NIMBYs who are opposing school expansion (astonishingly, they simply deny that there is any lack of school places!) - what could you do to help parents in our area?

More info in this thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_merton/1228930-Merton-dumbing-down-Dundonald-Primary-School/AllOnOnePage

and here

saveourrecproblems.wordpress.com/

and here (for fairness) is the NIMBY website

www.protectdundonaldrec.org/

Thanks!

piji Mon 30-Apr-12 14:55:31

sorry, "London have" should read "London has".

Jasna Mon 30-Apr-12 15:09:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Crumblemum Mon 30-Apr-12 15:11:05

I'd like to ask a question to all the candidates. What specifically will you do to make secondary school pupils feel safe? They're most likely (I think) to be victims of crime, yet they're only ever portrayed as criminals. I think it's a big reason so many middle class families are happy with state primaries but get nervous about sending their kids to the local secondary - meaning lots of upheaval in kids' lives (away from friends and neighbourhood) and that we're a long way from getting the social mix lots of us want at secondaries.

politico Mon 30-Apr-12 20:30:37

To all the candidates:

As this election is (unfortunately) a two horse race between Boris and Ken, if the winner offered you a job in his administration, what position / area of responsibility would you be prepared to accept, and what would be your main priority?

Woodlands Mon 30-Apr-12 22:41:47

I STILL haven't decided who to vote for (normally vote Lib Dem but don't feel inspired by Brian Paddick). I will probably give Boris my second preference (though I will have to hold my nose to vote Tory) but am open-minded about whether to vote for Brian or for Siobhan.

SO my question is for Siobhan - why should I vote for you? I still haven't totally figured out what you stand for, but I get the feeling that you stand for people like me.

Blu Mon 30-Apr-12 22:42:29

Mr Webb, the Mayor of London does not have the legal power to change the immigration laws or change council's housing list priorities (for example) - how then, can you possibly implement your manifesto?

Lfs2126 Mon 30-Apr-12 23:16:11

Siobhan. If I voted you as 1st pref. , who would you suggest as my second choice and why?

TheBlackShiksa Tue 01-May-12 09:37:08

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?

BIWIWhoMustBeObeyed Tue 01-May-12 09:39:04

There is no way on this planet I will ever bring myself to vote for Boris. But I don't know who to put as my second choice.

Siobhan/Jenny - why would you make a good second choice for me?

(Take it as read that the UKIP candidate will never, ever secure a vote from me)

Solo Tue 01-May-12 09:59:07

How sad is this? I had no idea that there was anyone other that Johnson and Livingstone to vote for!!
So, does that mean that the rest of you aren't shouting loud enough?

<wanders off to decide who to vote for now I'm not just stuck with 2 choices>

PetiteRaleuse Tue 01-May-12 10:08:03

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?

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.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:12:43

justonemorethread

I would love to vote for you, not live!

I'm enthusiastic, but not that much!

I like the typo a lot!

GeeGee33 Tue 01-May-12 12:13:40

As a pro-european, sorry Lawrence, what would Siobhan or Jenny do to increase ties with the European Union to ensure more development money comes into the capital?

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:15:06

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?

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?

Thanks for that,

That comment wasn't made by Nigel, but by somebody else entirely. The point he was making was that small business has been burdened by regulations, and many of the regulations governing maternity and paternity leave make it very hard for small businesses to employ people. What suits a larger organisation which is able to employ people on a part time basis, or indeed to provide cover, isn't possible for many small business. What is well meaning in fact damages employment opportunities for 'women of child bearing age'.

MissAnneThrope Tue 01-May-12 12:15:17

Hello All

Boris was very charming and urbane with the ladeez an' all .. and of course he claimed to be a feminist. Howevs, I did note (see this article) that it's possible he doesn't fully walk the feminist walk (I'll leave you to ponder what that might look like).

So:

What plans do you have to ensure that women are fairly representated at the top of your putative administrations?

What plans do you have for Rape Crisis centre funding in London?

And...

How much new social housing will be built on your watch?

What do you think of the housing benefit cap and its impact on low-earning/unemployed families in London?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:15:57

painterlyswoosh

What are your plans for education in the city? How do you think we can tackle the issue of the massive difference in quality of schools from borough to borough?

I'm the only candidate with an education manifesto - our system in London does have serious problems that need to be fixed. I would appoint an education commissioner to tackle three key areas: more primary school places, improving transition to secondary school, standards and skills in secondary schools. We do need to address the difference in quality across boroughs and the Mayor and ed commissioner can do a lot to share good practice and drive up standards.

MissAnneThrope Tue 01-May-12 12:15:58

Loving 'representated.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:16:35

GeeGee33

As a pro-european, sorry Lawrence, what would Siobhan or Jenny do to increase ties with the European Union to ensure more development money comes into the capital?

That's OK GeeGee, the Mayor of London is essentially Britain's greatest lobbyist. Any mayor should use all means in their power to benefit London in all ways possible, pro-EU or not.

Katn Tue 01-May-12 12:16:35

My question is for all three candidates here. Do you support Free Schools? I've heard it said that they are a London-only solution but I reckon we need a London-only solution to a London problem. The state of secondary school education across the city is shocking - forcing so many to have to leave the city when they have children of school age. This is so important I am surprised that it's not at the forefront of every candidate's agenda and campaign.

slug Tue 01-May-12 12:16:57

For anyone..

What is your position about the high number of religious affiliated schools in the capital? Just about every survey in the last decade has shown a steady reduction in religious affiliation amongst the British population. Yet it is almost impossible in some areas for parents to choose non-religious affiliated schools for their children. In my area we have the absurd situation of one massively oversubscribed non-religious school and five religious schools with falling rolls as parents are shipping their children out of borough rather than send them to a school that brainwashes offers a religious based education.

As a mother to a girl, I am faced with the prospect of a) applying to the oversubscribed school with little hope of success, b) going private (which I can't afford and have a moral objection to) or c) sending her to a school that is proud of the ethos of treating women as second class.

Where is the choice for parents who don't want religious indoctrination?

GeeGee33 Tue 01-May-12 12:17:33

To all three candidates: As Boris has broken his "no strike agreement" promise and he's currently trying to wriggle out of that for his next term should he win. What will you do to ensure a good relationship with the trade unions which would ensure that public transport keeps running?

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:18:28

Crumblemum

I'd like to ask a question to all the candidates. What specifically will you do to make secondary school pupils feel safe? They're most likely (I think) to be victims of crime, yet they're only ever portrayed as criminals. I think it's a big reason so many middle class families are happy with state primaries but get nervous about sending their kids to the local secondary - meaning lots of upheaval in kids' lives (away from friends and neighbourhood) and that we're a long way from getting the social mix lots of us want at secondaries.

Hi Crumblemum
In our manifesto, we make the point that young people are much maligned, often seen as perpetrators of crime, yet actually more likely to be victims, just as you say.
We have to do two things very quickly: First, regain trust in the police so that young people (and anyone) can talk to them without fear, give them information that can lead to catching criminals, whether gangs, organised crime or terrorists, and be confident that Londoners are getting the policing they want and need.
Second, we have to be braver about bringing the Glasgow project to London. It dealt with gangs by offering members a way out of their lives, through jobs, training, education, housing, but if they chose not to take advantage of the offers, the gang members were pursued for every minor and major crime they committed.
We should also try more restorative justice. It's very bad policy to lock up loads of young people in prison - not only do they come out unable to reintegrate easily with society, they are also better criminals, and it's cost everyone a huge amount of money. Paying back to society directly.
Have to go. JJ

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:18:55

piji

Hi Siobhan, I'm quite interested in voting for you - I read your bit in the election leaflet with interest - although to be honest I don't think you'll get elected, you'll probably get my first preference, largely because you were the ONLY one of the candidates who seems to have noticed that London have a massive great crisis with school places!

I gather you grew up in Wimbledon - we're currently having a big planning problem with local NIMBYs who are opposing school expansion (astonishingly, they simply deny that there is any lack of school places!) - what could you do to help parents in our area?

More info in this thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_merton/1228930-Merton-dumbing-down-Dundonald-Primary-School/AllOnOnePage

and here

saveourrecproblems.wordpress.com/

and here (for fairness) is the NIMBY website

www.protectdundonaldrec.org/

Thanks!

Hi - nice to hear from fellow Wimbledonian (although i now live in Kingston but did grow up and go to school there!) Please see my answer above on education and lots more details in manifesto. Totally agree though on the need to build more schools and that's a key part of my education strategy.

quartz101 Tue 01-May-12 12:19:23

Thanks for answering Jenny. What about the others?

Siobhan - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Ken...

Lawrence - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Boris...

mortlake64 Tue 01-May-12 12:20:18

(And a follow-up question. Should councils hold their elections on different days to each other, so national TV has no excuse but to cover them individually as local elections? After all, nobody can stop all the councillors resigning and triggering an election)

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:20:24

Although my question above was addressed to Siobhan, I'd also be interested in answers from any of the other candidates.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:22:01

GeeGee33

To all three candidates: As Boris has broken his "no strike agreement" promise and he's currently trying to wriggle out of that for his next term should he win. What will you do to ensure a good relationship with the trade unions which would ensure that public transport keeps running?

Hi GeeGee33
I'll take my lead from Tim O'Toole who ran the tube very successfully with very few strikes for many years. He says that constant dialogue is the only way to have good union relations, both to the unions themselves and to the staff, directly. He talked to everyone, explaining what he was doing, what was happening. The more informed the work force, the less stress at work and the fewer strikes.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:23:43

Woodlands

I STILL haven't decided who to vote for (normally vote Lib Dem but don't feel inspired by Brian Paddick). I will probably give Boris my second preference (though I will have to hold my nose to vote Tory) but am open-minded about whether to vote for Brian or for Siobhan.

SO my question is for Siobhan - why should I vote for you? I still haven't totally figured out what you stand for, but I get the feeling that you stand for people like me.

You should vote for me because this is the one election where you get the opportunity to vote for an individual, not a political party. I honestly believe that an independent mayor will be best for London. I have put education and youth policies right at the heart of my campaign and would continue to push on these areas.

I also have a housing policy, unlike any of the others, that is aimed at families and young professionals on moderate wages, who still cannot get on the property ladder, as this is a group that often get overlooked. Details on my website.

We do need public leaders from different kinds of backgrounds - more women, more ethnic minorities, as they all bring valuable experience to shape better policy.

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:23:58

Siobhan, thanks for getting back to me.

You didn't really answer the question though: I've read your manifesto and it's all very well to be in favour of school-building and expansion in vague general terms, what would you do about the specific situation where local NIMBYs are opposing school expansion?

Crumblemum Tue 01-May-12 12:24:25

Umm Lawrence - thanks for trying to undo some of the damage done by your leader - but he did actually say that on a webchat http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12570547!

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:25:01

Katn

My question is for all three candidates here. Do you support Free Schools? I've heard it said that they are a London-only solution but I reckon we need a London-only solution to a London problem. The state of secondary school education across the city is shocking - forcing so many to have to leave the city when they have children of school age. This is so important I am surprised that it's not at the forefront of every candidate's agenda and campaign.

Hello Katn
Sadly, the Mayor doesn't have many powers on education, except to find funding from elsewhere eg from the private sector, but I would turn his 10 academies into local authority controlled schools.
JJ

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:25:05

MissAnneThrope

Hello All

Boris was very charming and urbane with the ladeez an' all .. and of course he claimed to be a feminist. Howevs, I did note (see this article) that it's possible he doesn't fully walk the feminist walk (I'll leave you to ponder what that might look like).

So:

What plans do you have to ensure that women are fairly representated at the top of your putative administrations?

What plans do you have for Rape Crisis centre funding in London?

And...

How much new social housing will be built on your watch?

What do you think of the housing benefit cap and its impact on low-earning/unemployed families in London?

Dear Miss Thrope,
1) People should and will be appointed on their merit, and their ability to do the job, pure and simple.
2) Rape Crisis Centre funding, this is currently covered through charities, local government with top up funds from central government. Obviously as Mayor I will do all I can to maintain and enhance these funding streams.
3) Social housing. As I mentioned Blu earlier, the Mayor becomes London's biggest landlord in May, and as such the provision of social housing will come onto his/her watch. I would ensure of the 150,000 possible new build on this land, the greatest percentage will be set aside for social housing. Of course the term is only 4 years and once such a program is started it will take several years for them all to come on stream.
4) W support those working families who cannot afford to live in desirable areas. It is the case that there are those who are receiving more in housing benefits than most people on moderate salaries in London. That is just not fair.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:25:39

quartz101

Thanks for answering Jenny. What about the others?

Siobhan - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Ken...

Lawrence - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Boris...

I am not casting a second preference, or telling anyone what to do with theirs! It's worth remembering though that in this system a new candidate like me needs first preference votes! People can give their traditional party vote as second preference if they wish to.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:27:19

JennyJonesGreen

Katn

My question is for all three candidates here. Do you support Free Schools? I've heard it said that they are a London-only solution but I reckon we need a London-only solution to a London problem. The state of secondary school education across the city is shocking - forcing so many to have to leave the city when they have children of school age. This is so important I am surprised that it's not at the forefront of every candidate's agenda and campaign.

Hello Katn
Sadly, the Mayor doesn't have many powers on education, except to find funding from elsewhere eg from the private sector, but I would turn his 10 academies into local authority controlled schools.
JJ

Hi Katn,

I would agree with Jenny on her first point, that it is not the responsibility of the Mayor, but I believe that the Free Schools revolution can only improve the choice and quality of education, particularly for those currently ill served by failures in the current comprehensive system.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:27:44

SiobhanBenita

quartz101

Thanks for answering Jenny. What about the others?

Siobhan - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Ken...

Lawrence - who will get your second preference? I'm going to guess Boris...

I am not casting a second preference, or telling anyone what to do with theirs! It's worth remembering though that in this system a new candidate like me needs first preference votes! People can give their traditional party vote as second preference if they wish to.

Quartz, You guess right

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:27:50

piji

Siobhan, thanks for getting back to me.

You didn't really answer the question though: I've read your manifesto and it's all very well to be in favour of school-building and expansion in vague general terms, what would you do about the specific situation where local NIMBYs are opposing school expansion?

Schools are needed in all boroughs and councils are saying this. I would work with councils and residents using the evidence of places required, to ensure that the necessary investment and planning decisions were made.

slug Tue 01-May-12 12:29:27

Lawrence, you do realise having children and working are not mutually incompatible don't you? Perhaps you should bear in mind a large percentage of the mothers on Mumsnet are working outside the home before you start making comments on how women of "child bearing age" should vote to give up their rights hmm

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:30:16

GeeGee33

To all three candidates: As Boris has broken his "no strike agreement" promise and he's currently trying to wriggle out of that for his next term should he win. What will you do to ensure a good relationship with the trade unions which would ensure that public transport keeps running?

This is where being an independent mayor will be of huge benefit. Relationships with the unions have always been hindered by party political positions and inflexible negotiating lines. Without that baggage I can have rational conversations with unions, management and staff. A better relationship with the unions will minimise transport disruptions.

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:30:58

JJ says:

"Sadly, the Mayor doesn't have many powers on education"

But that's not really true, because the Mayor and the GLA have major powers re town planning - and new schools (and school extensions) need planning permission to get built. Would the candidates give planning priority to new and extended schools?

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:31:03

JennyJonesGreen

GeeGee33

To all three candidates: As Boris has broken his "no strike agreement" promise and he's currently trying to wriggle out of that for his next term should he win. What will you do to ensure a good relationship with the trade unions which would ensure that public transport keeps running?

Hi GeeGee33
I'll take my lead from Tim O'Toole who ran the tube very successfully with very few strikes for many years. He says that constant dialogue is the only way to have good union relations, both to the unions themselves and to the staff, directly. He talked to everyone, explaining what he was doing, what was happening. The more informed the work force, the less stress at work and the fewer strikes.

GeeGee, The current system whereby London can be held to ransom by militant union action serves nobodies interests. Our proposal is that at the start of the year a bonus is set that will be paid to all front line staff (not the management). They would then lose 10% of this bonus for each day's industrial action.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:32:07

MissAnneThrope

Hello All

Boris was very charming and urbane with the ladeez an' all .. and of course he claimed to be a feminist. Howevs, I did note (see this article) that it's possible he doesn't fully walk the feminist walk (I'll leave you to ponder what that might look like).

So:

What plans do you have to ensure that women are fairly representated at the top of your putative administrations?

What plans do you have for Rape Crisis centre funding in London?

And...

How much new social housing will be built on your watch?

What do you think of the housing benefit cap and its impact on low-earning/unemployed families in London?

Hello MissAnneThrope
The Green Party is full of wonderful women - if I need advisors, I'll have lots of women to choose from. The GLA itself has fair employment policies, so there are lots of women.
Re the rape crisis centres, I guarantee I'd continue the funding. Ideally, I'd like there to be more. We'd also have a one-stop shop for people who are victims of domestic violence in every borough, so they can access all the services they need, as stress free as possible.
Also, fyi, Boris is casually sexist to women Assembly Members. It drives us mad and we've made a cross party formal complaint.
On Social Housing, we'd work with the boroughs to enable them build housing once again. The Gov's plans to extend the Right to Buy scheme, with 80% mortgages is plain stupid and damaging. Plus we'd build 15k affordable homes every year.
jj

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:34:27

poppyseeds99

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?

I have a "lettings MOT policy" that will match responsible landlords with reliable tenants. It will help keep rents down, improve standards and provide tenants with more security. Please see my previous post also on my policy for a new fixed price, low-cost housing market. More details on the website, but in short I would use mayor's land to build low-cost homes where the price will be fixed by the Mayor and where the homes can never be sold into the commercial market. It's a radical second-market option, and one which housing organisations such as Shelter have welcomed as the housing challenge in London is so big.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:35:20

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
Green Party policy is for the voting age to be 16.
As Mayor I'd have a Youth Assembly, to shadow the London Assembly and have their own Mayor's Question Time once a year.
JJ

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:35:37

Siobhan, thank you again for getting back to me.

I'm afraid you still haven't really answered the question though.

Being in favour of school-building in vague general terms is a lot easier than having the courage to face down local NIMBYs who are opposing school-building, as they are here in the Dundonald area of Wimbledon.

What would you do in our specific situation?

A mumsnet member living 225m from the school is having, this September, to send their 4-year-old to school in Mitcham 3 miles away - that can't be right - can it?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:36:17

Solo

How sad is this? I had no idea that there was anyone other that Johnson and Livingstone to vote for!!
So, does that mean that the rest of you aren't shouting loud enough?

<wanders off to decide who to vote for now I'm not just stuck with 2 choices>

It is sad indeed. Unfortunately we have been shouting loudly, but out-of-date broadcasting rules have meant we have not been given fair coverage on TV. Despite that, we are making a real impact and are now neck-and-neck with Brian Paddick, and in third place according to the bookies.

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 12:36:47

piji I am having to send my child to a school 4.2 miles away from me.

Come and build a school in my backyard!

personanongrata Tue 01-May-12 12:37:54

Many women members on the assembly have commented that Boris has been
rude and patronising to them personally. Siobhan and Jenny has this
been the case for you during the campaign?
Thanks.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:39:49

MrsMicawber

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?

MissMicawber,
Not at al. We were misled from the start. The original bid, we were told would cost £2.4 billion. When all is said and done the likely final bill is going to be closer to forty billion including £20 billion spent on upgrading London's infrastructure. Paying for this upgrade is what has caused the fares to almost double since we won the bid.

It is an outrage that Londoner's who are footing the bill for these Olympics are also going to suffer the worst disruption to their daily lives during these games. TFL have asked Londoners to work from home where possible, or travel at awkward times.

Many people such as key workers simply cannot adjust their work patterns and child care provisions around the Olympics.

Please do not wish Greece on anyone at this time....

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:40:31

cm22v07

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?

Me! I am the only candidate with a youth and education manifesto. Right from the start I have pledged to give young Londoners a stronger voice, in this campaign and in City Hall. One of my policies is to elect a Young Mayor for London, paid for out of my own salary, and to establish a Greater London Youth Assembly. Young people's concerns often get overlooked and these policies will provide powerful channels for young people to influence and challenge the Mayor on all policy areas.

I also have transport policies, such as reduction in fares for people on low wages and late-running tubes, which will benefit all Londoners, but young people in particular smile

Many young people are disillusioned with party politicians and like having an independent candidate to vote for.

noidles Tue 01-May-12 12:41:42

Well, personally, I think MN have silenced a very worthy candidate in Carlos whatisface from the BNP. Free travel at weekend? Yes please!

But in all seriousness - what's your favourite biscuit?

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:42:14

MrsMicawber

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?

Hello MrsMicawber
In reverse order, Greens will reduce the cost of public transport and keep it below inflation for the next four years. It's very important to reduce the cost of living in London and transport is the area that the Mayor has the most control over.
The tube upgrade is not only for the Games, it is for all of us Londoners. It is necessary, although incredibly expensive.
Of course it isn't fair that your company can't work during the Games. I would be happy to help with some advice, if it's possible to make things even a bit better, if you email me after the election.
No, I'm not confident of a positive legacy. Many social and environmental gains have been lost, simply through a lack of ambition. However, a housing legacy is still possible and Greens would make it affordable.
JJ

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:42:36

MrsMicawber I wish I could!

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:43:12

personanongrata

Many women members on the assembly have commented that Boris has been
rude and patronising to them personally. Siobhan and Jenny has this
been the case for you during the campaign?
Thanks.

Hello Personanongrata
No, during the campaign Boris has been quite polite to me. Most unusual.
jj

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:43:46

noidles

Well, personally, I think MN have silenced a very worthy candidate in Carlos whatisface from the BNP. Free travel at weekend? Yes please!

But in all seriousness - what's your favourite biscuit?

M&S dark chocolate ginger are the best in the world.

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

BIWIWhoMustBeObeyed

There is no way on this planet I will ever bring myself to vote for Boris. But I don't know who to put as my second choice.

Siobhan/Jenny - why would you make a good second choice for me?

(Take it as read that the UKIP candidate will never, ever secure a vote from me)

Who is your first? In the two-vote system it is better to put the traditional candidate as your second preference... I would make a good first choice because I have policies on education, youth, low-cost homes, improving your local neighbourhood (addressing the top five residents' issues in each borough) - none of which the other candidates have.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:44:52

SiobhanBenita

poppyseeds99

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?

I have a "lettings MOT policy" that will match responsible landlords with reliable tenants. It will help keep rents down, improve standards and provide tenants with more security. Please see my previous post also on my policy for a new fixed price, low-cost housing market. More details on the website, but in short I would use mayor's land to build low-cost homes where the price will be fixed by the Mayor and where the homes can never be sold into the commercial market. It's a radical second-market option, and one which housing organisations such as Shelter have welcomed as the housing challenge in London is so big.

Poppyseeds,
This is about supply and demand. Whilst we have our current immigration policy demand will always outstrip supply. So whilst house prices and rents have been rising, wages in real terms have been falling on part due to increased wage competition. I have already said that the Mayor will be able to increase the social housing stock, and I am committed to do so.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:45:56

noidles

Well, personally, I think MN have silenced a very worthy candidate in Carlos whatisface from the BNP. Free travel at weekend? Yes please!

But in all seriousness - what's your favourite biscuit?

I've been waiting for this question grin It's the shortbread finger - comforting, very dunkable, and feels a bit indulgent.

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

JennyJonesGreen

noidles

Well, personally, I think MN have silenced a very worthy candidate in Carlos whatisface from the BNP. Free travel at weekend? Yes please!

But in all seriousness - what's your favourite biscuit?

M&S dark chocolate ginger are the best in the world.

Sainsbury's bourbons, cracking dunkers

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:47:35

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 Bobthebuddha
Expanding Heathrow, or building further airport capacity is barking mad. It's not only about quality of life for Londoners (the fact that the noise from Heathrow and City airports are measured separately not cumulatively is INFURIATING), it's about the damage to our planet too.
With some simple slot planning, H'row could take no cargo, fewer short haul flights and increase its long haul without increasing the overall number of flights.
Simples
JJ

eggsandham Tue 01-May-12 12:47:42

noidles that is one of my favourite ever posts

"But in all seriousness - what's your favourite biscuit?"

grin

slug Tue 01-May-12 12:48:11

Lawrence: How do you reconcile your anti-immigration stance with your history of living and working abroad yourself?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:48:30

GeeGee33

As a pro-european, sorry Lawrence, what would Siobhan or Jenny do to increase ties with the European Union to ensure more development money comes into the capital?

I'm pro-European too. I would use the Mayor's role as an international face of London, to attract investment from Europe as well as emerging markets further abroad. My Heathrow policy proves how much I want London to remain a centre for international business and investment.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:48:40

SiobhanBenita

cm22v07

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?

Me! I am the only candidate with a youth and education manifesto. Right from the start I have pledged to give young Londoners a stronger voice, in this campaign and in City Hall. One of my policies is to elect a Young Mayor for London, paid for out of my own salary, and to establish a Greater London Youth Assembly. Young people's concerns often get overlooked and these policies will provide powerful channels for young people to influence and challenge the Mayor on all policy areas.

I also have transport policies, such as reduction in fares for people on low wages and late-running tubes, which will benefit all Londoners, but young people in particular smile

Many young people are disillusioned with party politicians and like having an independent candidate to vote for.

Me of course. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think that. We believe we have policies that will help all Londoners. Particularly to help small businesses, which will increase employment for all. Youth unemployment is a scourge that none of the main parties has a clue about addressing.

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 12:49:17

JennyJonesGreen

Thank you for your response.

I understand that the upgrades are necessary but the speed and scale of these improvements are because of the games - and that is why the fare increase has been so steep and out of touch with inflation.

Thank you for your offer, I'll refer it on but I'd appreciate a sneak peek of whatever brilliant ideas you have - I assume they are working from home staggering working hours, neither of which are viable.

LawrenceWebb

Thank you for agreeing with me. What can be done at this stage, if you win?

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:49:54

JennyJonesGreen
Re Heathrow: If it were that simple, why haven't they done it already?

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 12:51:46

politico

To all the candidates:

As this election is (unfortunately) a two horse race between Boris and Ken, if the winner offered you a job in his administration, what position / area of responsibility would you be prepared to accept, and what would be your main priority?

The job I would most covet would be that of Deputy Mayor with responsibility for policing. Many people feel that current policing priorities are failing the citizens of London, particularly those on the housing estates. It is only through having a robust zero tolerance to crime, particularly the low level anti-social crimes that we will improve the quality of life for ordinary Londoners.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:52:50

JennyJonesGreen

personanongrata

Many women members on the assembly have commented that Boris has been
rude and patronising to them personally. Siobhan and Jenny has this
been the case for you during the campaign?
Thanks.

Hello Personanongrata
No, during the campaign Boris has been quite polite to me. Most unusual.
jj

Boris has been fine, as have Ken and Brian. They all welcomed the idea of me joining them in the hustings. What has been a shame is some of the very sexist comments in response to articles online. There is a real issue with the insults people feel they can use online that wouldn't be acceptable elsewhere.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 12:56:04

poppyseeds99

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?

Hello poppyseeds99
We have a very dysfunctional housing system in London and it needs quite a lot of interventions - there's no simple answer. And getting it right is good for everyone, not just young people.
Greens would: build 15k affordable homes every year, 40% for families, 15% fully accessible. We'd work with boroughs to build social housing. We'd publish an annual affordable rent figure and only provide land & public funding for homes under that cap. We would establish the London Mutual Housing Company to help development of sites for Community Land Trusts etc.
There's so much! Could I ask you to check our website: www.JennyforLondon.org
JJ

piji Tue 01-May-12 12:58:48

SiobhanBenita

It's the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect - also known as the 'Greater Internet **wad Theory' - I'm afraid.

In these closing moments of the webchat, can I have a non-vague answer to my question?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 12:59:07

politico

To all the candidates:

As this election is (unfortunately) a two horse race between Boris and Ken, if the winner offered you a job in his administration, what position / area of responsibility would you be prepared to accept, and what would be your main priority?

Its been clear during this campaign that we need more focus on young people - it's an area where I will certainly like to do more. There are kids across London facing huge challenges, whether in education, home lives or socially so if I can do something in that area it would be a great legacy. Someone did suggest a children's commissioner which is an interesting idea.

slug Tue 01-May-12 12:59:58

<<twiddles thumbs waiting for an acknowledgement of my question from anyone>>

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 13:00:03

politico

To all the candidates:

As this election is (unfortunately) a two horse race between Boris and Ken, if the winner offered you a job in his administration, what position / area of responsibility would you be prepared to accept, and what would be your main priority?

Hi politico
Both of them have offered me jobs. I turned down Boris' offer to make me his Cycling Czar. I wasn't prepared to be a powerless fig leaf for a Tory.
Ken has already promised to put me on the board of Transport for London, to oversee the development of walking and cycling. I've explained I'll need a huge budget and lots of staff (sort of joking but not really).
It would of course be unpaid as I'd still be a fulltime Assembly Member. And I'd implement as much of our manifesto on walking and cycling as humanly possible. Topped up with other good mayoral candidate ideas.
jj

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 13:00:56

piji

JennyJonesGreen
Re Heathrow: If it were that simple, why haven't they done it already?

I think because it's stuck in the past? No creative thinking?

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 13:01:43

MrsMicawber

piji I am having to send my child to a school 4.2 miles away from me.

*Come and build a school in my backyard!*

This is happening all over London - a serious issue that needs urgent attention. I don't accept that the Mayor can't do anything to help - they must. I've said I would make this a mayoral priority and Ken and Boris have now agreed with that.

JennyJonesGreen Tue 01-May-12 13:03:06

So sorry to everyone I couldn't answer. Do look at our website for all our policies. www.jennyforlondon.org
And please remember to vote Green on the orange ballot paper on Thursday!
jj

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 13:03:19

JennyJonesGreen

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

Hi Jepa,
Social mobility has reduced under both labour and Conservative administrations. The key reason is, as you point out, the ability of al to access quality education. The wanton destruction of our admired education system to replace it with the comprehensive experiment has had a devastating impact, particularly on those with poorer backgrounds.

We in UKIP believe strongly that choice in education should be returned, which would address this in part.

As to the congestion charge, we that would scrap it. We are the only party that is including the single largest commuter group, the motorist in our transport strategy. I want introduce 20 minutes free parking across the capital to help boost local shops and businesses who find it hard to compete with out of town shopping centres that offer free parking.

London should not be a preserve of the rich, but for all Londoners. Year on year, what used to be free is charged, taxed and rated. As the ambitions of politicians go, so do their desires on your pocket.

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 13:04:33

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

Sorry - didn't get to this one in time. You've raised so many important issues here which I entirely agree with. E-mail me for more info if you want a full response as we're out of time here - info@siobhanformayor.com

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 13:04:53

SiobhanBenita

I hope that means that post election, whoever wins, more schools will be built.

I also firmly believe that any voluntary aided schools with the physical capacity to do so should be creating bumper classes when necessary. At the moment the law allows for them not to use catchment areas when deciding who to accept, and some are specifying catchment areas where the wealthiest gvnrs live nowhere near their schools. This cannot go on - local children should go to local schools.

LawrenceWebb Tue 01-May-12 13:05:41

Thanks for all of you for participating in this, fingers bleeding from the speed typing.

Whoever you vote for, vote, not to do so would be a shame

SiobhanBenita Tue 01-May-12 13:06:16

Thanks to everyone for the questions and thanks to Mumsnet for the chance to reply. With just two days to go before the election it's a very exciting time for my team and me. Please do check out my manifesto if you haven't done that already. Siobhan

piji Tue 01-May-12 13:08:22

MrsMicawber

I think it means that candidates will give lip service to building schools, rather than actually building schools.

slug Tue 01-May-12 13:09:40

That's the impression I got. Note they didn't address my question about the proliferation of religious schools at the expense of non-religious affiliated schools for the increasing number of the population who are leaving the church.

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 13:09:42

Ha. Bitter laugh.

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 13:10:31

slug Michael Gove is pro faith schools. I think that is the be all and end all of that situation.

slug Tue 01-May-12 13:11:32

And don't I know it. However, it was worth a punt pointing out that the majority of the population aren't religious.

<<glares evilly at Govey>>

MrsMicawber Tue 01-May-12 13:13:12

and yachts. He likes yachts.

piji Tue 01-May-12 13:25:01

slug yes, I noticed that. It's "Pay or Pray" in many areas.

jifnotcif Tue 01-May-12 13:36:47

How are you going to address inequality in schools in terms of the social segregation that the current system induces?

jifnotcif Tue 01-May-12 13:37:31

Oh bit late for that isn't it!

mortlake64 Tue 01-May-12 14:31:26

London Fashion Week: all the candidates skipped my question on that despite direct control of the regional development money which funds it. You'd think that with rediculous levels of youth unemployment, and riots, it would be on the agenda. They would ask themselves: "why are we paying to put people out of work?" No. We sell invisible clothes now and don't you dare question it.

Pay-or-pray was the other big ducked issue I think.

Is there a yacht theme emerging?

Betelguese Tue 01-May-12 14:36:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Tue 01-May-12 14:56:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jifnotcif Tue 01-May-12 14:58:32

The mayor does have a lot of power regarding the planning of school places and admissions. It is the mayor that makes the assessment of where more places arae needed, for instance. The mayor might decide that admissions have to be adapted in order to ensure admissions are available on an equal basis.

We're not talking 'education' we are talking 'school places' which comes under strategic planning etc.

Taken from Siobahn's website

By 2015 London will be short of 70,000 primary school places.

I will ensure that 167 new primary schools are built by 2015 and limit new schools to two classes of entry each year to ensure a focus on individual children.

There has been a collapse in faith in the admissions system for Secondary Schools. I will overhaul access to Secondary Schools to make it fairer and more transparent for parents.

You are saying she's not got the power to do this?

piji Tue 01-May-12 14:59:12

Betelguese

Yes, you're right. It's on the planning issue, rather than the funding issue, that the Mayor's office needs to push through school building and expansion.

The situation - for our area at least - is that the money is there, but there's vocal opposition to school expansion from wealthy residents living right next to the school, who want to keep their house prices high by keeping the school catchment area small (about 200m).

So that's already delayed the school expansion and could affect planning permission - they're lobbying the council and the GLA - they have plenty of money and time to push their views.

http://saveourrecproblems.wordpress.com/

- we should have asked them for their favourite yacht... mine is the Oceanus 50, of course! (what else?)

Betelguese Tue 01-May-12 16:23:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piji Tue 01-May-12 16:38:40

Betelguese yeah, it's just the same story.

So long as their own kids get an education, they're happy to deny education to other people's kids. It's an "I'm all right, f* you" attitude.

At least your Council had the guts to go ahead - Merton Council has just sacked the Head of Education to appease the NIMBYs, so it looks like they're bending under the pressure.

There's a kind of possibly-racist undertone as well, as you can see from the mumsnet thread
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_merton/1228930-Merton-dumbing-down-Dundonald-Primary-School/AllOnOnePage

In our case, the NIMBYism is being disguised as concern for the recreation ground - which is the space that the school is expanding onto - but as the whole thing only affects 0.6% (that's not 6% but rather 0.6%) of the recreation ground, it's difficult to see what other motivation (other than their own house prices) the NIMBYs have for opposing school expansion.

The head-teacher and the governers of the school itself are in favour of it.

saveourrecproblems.wordpress.com/
(repeating the link because I screwed it up last time)

Betelguese Tue 01-May-12 16:38:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Tue 01-May-12 17:05:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jifnotcif Tue 01-May-12 18:58:57

I do think that Siobhan's idea of limiting schools to two forms will help with the social exclusion issue, as more, smaller schools will mean a lower concentration of impact on the area - so an area that's rough, right by an area that's naice would normally have the naice school expanded. Adding a smaller school in between the two will allow at least one third of the demographic (adding the 3 schools together) to be integrated.

This approach of smaller schools may help, but it won't solve the problem completely.

bringmesunshine2009 Wed 02-May-12 00:24:43

I am so pro Siobhan, I missed the web chat to my disappointment. I want to know (having already read her manifesto), is she a MNer and what is her name grin

MrsMicawber Wed 02-May-12 14:03:40

I emailed Siobhan last night.

Dear Siobhan,

Many thanks for taking the time to reply for me on Mumsnet. I wonder if you would be willing to clarify what you said.

I hope that means that post election, whoever wins, more schools will be built.

I also firmly believe that any voluntary aided schools with the physical capacity to do so should be creating bumper classes when necessary. At the moment the law allows for them not to use catchment areas when deciding who to accept, and some are specifying catchment areas where the wealthiest guvnors live nowhere near their schools. This cannot go on - local children should go to local schools.

Where do you stand on this issue, and how much of what you are saying will translate into real school places, for my very real children?

Yours sincerely,

MrsMicawber

Siobhan For Mayor info@siobhanformayor.com

10:10 PM (15 hours ago)
to me
Hi

I’m afraid I can’t speak for other candidates on this issue – I’m the only one who has pledged to make education a priority so I would be lobbying central government to build the new schools that are required.

I also agree with you that local children should go to local schools – my proposed education strategy looks at those issues specifically – improving the selection criteria needs to be addressed urgently which is why I would appoint an education commissioner to oversee the work.

Siobhan

I think she has my vote

AgentSmith Wed 02-May-12 15:37:11

MrsMicawber nice one for writing to her on school expansion.

It's good that she got back to you quickly.

Her response seems pretty vague to me. She doesn't address the 'voluntary aided schools' (this means church schools, right?) issue at all, or the issue of how to deal with NIMBYs which some others raised in the chat.

(She probably gets my vote though, as none of the others seem to care at all about the school places crisis)

MrsMicawber Wed 02-May-12 20:55:48

Yes - vol aided schools are (almost?) always faith schools. She has to be vague as all she can technically do is lobby. It is essentially a council issue.

Having said that, I bloody well hope she gets her lobbying hat on and gets us some more schools!!

Betelguese Wed 02-May-12 23:00:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jifnotcif Thu 03-May-12 14:39:44

I think building more, smaller schools can only be a good thing. And if Siobahn can encourage that, so much the better. It will reduce overcrowding as well, while people squeeze into flats to get near to the school of their choice.

jifnotcif Thu 03-May-12 14:41:48

In fact I'm going to vote for her (much as I love Boris and really don't want Ken anywhere near County Hall despite being a labour supporter).

smiffy21 Mon 21-May-12 13:12:42

The school places / planning debate is getting further discussion with some Lib Dem councillors at the bottom of this thread here:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_merton/1228930-Merton-dumbing-down-Dundonald-Primary-School/AllOnOnePage

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now