Ken Vs Boris – A Manifesto Summary
Much coverage has been devoted to the rivalry between incumbent Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and arch enemy and running opponent, Ken Livingstone. We have seen live public disputes between the two regarding their tax affairs and many aspects of their personal lives have been exposed running up to the elections.
But what do we actually know about their policies and the changes they propose to make for a better London?
MPAC have taken the liberty to presume that the majority of people have not pursued the tedious task of reading through each candidates manifesto (we don’t blame them). Well that’s OK, because we’ve done it for you.
Below, is a bullet-point summary of the key areas, derived directly from their own manifestos of what both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone intended to do should they be elected as Mayor of London.
Ken Livingstone - Manifesto
- Cut fares by 7% this year and freeze them throughout 2013. Oyster single bus fares will be reduced from £1.35 to £1.20. From 2014 fares will not rise above inflation.
- The age of eligibility for the Freedom Pass will be returned to 60.
- Save millions by cancelling the Tory Mayor’s project ‘new bus for London’. The new bus project would mean that London buses would be the most expensive to manufacture and run in the world, costing the tax payer £2 million per bus.
- Appoint Val Shawcross (Deputy Mayor) as Chair of Transport for London to ensure TFL spend the capital funds allocated to it. Under Boris Johnson, over £900m was left unspent.
- Reintroduce the Zone 2-6 Railcard, potentially saving customers hundreds of pounds a year.
- Cut congestion through SMART parking i.e. people with smart phones will be able to receive information alerting them when they are near an available parking spot.
- Focus on roadworks to ensure they are carried out where needed with minimum disruption.
- Further improve the ‘Boris Bikes’ scheme which was actually planned and budgeted for by Ken during his previous term as Mayor.
Policing and Crime
- Tackle the increase in crime by reversing police cuts of 1700 implemented by Boris Johnson during his time as Mayor.
- More temporary police stations will be established on Londons’ High Streets to increase public safety.
- Police Officers will be assigned to schools that wish to have them.
- Support the Facewatch and Streetwatch schemes.
- More police on the streets of London and a stronger focus on tackling hate crimes.
- Guarantee no closure of Fire Stations along with a scheme to provide a ‘handy van’ service in every borough.
- Encourage fairer rents and better tenancy agreements by means of a regulated London Lettings Agency.
- Campaign for a ‘London Living Rent’ that sets a benchmark for reasonable rent rates.
- Improve home insulation saving on heating bills.
- Establish a Tenants Charter that outlines what private tenants should expect from their landlords.
- Campaign against government cuts which will see families forced to move out of inner London because housing benefit will no longer cover their rent.
- Block developments which involve the loss of social rented or other affordable housing without replacement that meets local housing needs.
- Build new homes – Maximise the use of Greater London Authority land to build new homes, support boroughs to build new council houses, investigate new options for financing affordable homes, launch a London-wide empty home strategy to utilise empty homes and support the London Accessible Housing Register and Lifetime Homes.
- Lower energy bills for Londoners – Ensure London receives a fair share of national home insulation fund, establish a London Energy Co-operative to help Londoners save money on fuel bills and take personal charge of the drive to improve energy efficiency and cut heating bills.
- Help cut wastage of water to cut Londoners water bills by an average of £50/year. Furthermore, applying pressure to water companies to fix leaky pipes which sees a loss of a quarter of our expensively purified water.
Education & Employment
- Bring back EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) of up to £30/week.
- Support childcare by introducing interest free loans and grants, plus campaign against government cuts to child tax credits.
- Extend London apprenticeships, plus pilot a pre-apprenticeship course.
- Support London wide careers advice.
- Create jobs for young Londoners from the Olympic legacy and across the GLA and work with businesses to create more Saturday jobs.
- Support Labour’s plans for a national tax break for small businesses.
- Rebuild an effective overseas marketing operation for London.
- Cut delays by 30% on tubes. (increasing the expected journey time to dupe people into thinking the train is on time is not the same as 30% cut on delays I’m afraid, Boris)
- Complete necessary improvements and upgrades to underground rail lines. (Translated as: more delays…wait, I thought we were cutting delays here. Huh?)
- Introduce Automatic Train Technology by 2014, paving the way for the first driverless train within a decade. (wait what? So you’re going to give our much needed jobs to robots?)
- Keep the Freedom Pass eligibility age at 60. (Why did you increase it to 66 in the first place?)
- Longer trains with increased capacity on routes in and out of London. (Longer trains means more potential for something to wrong = more delays!)
- Introduce the ‘New Bus for London’ plan bringing in 600 new buses (each new bus will cost the tax payer £2m. two million. The most expensive in the world. THE WORLD)
- Honesty over fares. (So you were lying before??)
- Crack down on dangerous rickshaws. (You’re joking right?)
- Introduce contactless ‘wave and pay’ style payments on the transport network, allowing passengers to pay with their credit cards. (Remember the major security flaws that were discovered with such technology? don’t think it’s worth the risk. I’ll just use my already contactless Oyster thank you)
- Introduce a Courtesy Card to require those under 16’s who benefit from free travel to treat other travellers with respect. (yeah, that should sort them out – a card that obliges them to be respectful…)
Policing and Crime
- Making our streets and homes safer by putting 1000 more police on the beat. (So why did you make cuts to the police force of 1700? During Ken’s last term as Mayor he put 6000 new police on the streets with 1000 more ready after the elections)
- Launch 25 leadership clubs in secondary schools as part of our work to tackle the underlying causes of last year’s riots. (Oh, you mean the riots that you took 4 days to reluctantly come back from holiday to deal with?)
- Maintain the 1000 police officers I have put on the streets. (You took 1700 away Boris…)
- Introduce a Courtesy Card for under 16’s on transport. (I cannot believe this appears in the Crime section of his manifesto as well)
- Create 100,000 jobs through housing programmes to deliver 55,000 affordable homes by 2015 for low and middle income workers. (That’s a big promise Boris. How do you expect people to be able to afford to live in these houses when your government have cut housing benefits meaning many families are having to move out of London as their housing benefit no longer covers their rent?)
- No Second Night Out initiative to tackle rough sleeping across Greater London. (So why has the number of homeless people increased by 20% since you’ve been Mayor? And why are Homelessness charities demanding to know where the £5.3m budgeted to them has gone missing?)
- Deliver affordable homes. (Homes were being sold off and not replaced. The new ‘affordable’ homes that Boris claims to have developed were only available at much higher rents)
- Campaign against rent controls. (So Ken is pushing for there to be fairer more affordable rent prices while Boris is campaigning against that)
- Introduce the ‘First Steps’ and ‘Mortgage Guarantee’ programs to help people get on the property ladder. (Boris has a knack for attempting to get credit for something he has not done. These programs are central government schemes and would apply whether he is elected or not)
Education & Employment
- Create 4000 apprenticeships for small and medium sized London businesses with £6m secured from Government. (4000 actual real apprenticeships with potential career opportunities? Or will we be seeing a repeat of the scandal of free labour for major corporations disguised as apprenticeships)
- Create 200,000 new jobs. (We’d like to see how he plans on doing this as since he has been Mayor, the number of unemployed people in London has increased by 169,000)
- Launch a new £35 million revolving fund, through the London Growth Fund, to provide low-cost loans to small and medium-sized businesses, using money I have secured from the Government. (But your administration wound down the London Development Agency and withdrew funds from dozens of innovative business support projects).
- Launch the London & Agency organisation designed to promote London to international investors. (If promoting London internationally is so important to you, then why did you allow London’s promotional office in India to close down and only a skeletal presence to remain in rapidly growing China?).
- I have focused all of our investment programmes on not just improving London’s transport network and regenerating more deprived parts of the capital, but ensuring the investment protects existing jobs and creates employment opportunities. (During your term as Mayor, you have under spent the Transport for London capital budget by £1.25 billion which has hurt economic growth and jobs – now you want to talk about investments)
We have highlighted the key areas that we believe Londoners are most concerned with. We trust that you will be able to see why voting for Ken as your first preference vote, really is the right choice to make on May 3rd.