There’s a new Fabian Society publication out that looks at ideas for London beyond 2015. While normally this could be a yawnfest, it’s interesting because the driving force behind it is Sadiq Khan, Labour’s Shadow Minister for London and, some believe, frontrunner for mayoral candidate in 2016.
Our London is a collection of essays by various authors, some prominent Labour, some not (Green Jenny Jones, living wage campaigner Matthew Bolton, critic and playwright Bonnie Greer, Doreen Lawrence, LSE professor Tony Travers to name a few). While it is, yes, a political calling card, once you ignore the “one nation Labour” guff from Ed Miliband at the start it contains some interesting ideas that should fuel debate for how we want London to progress.
Andrew Adonis, for example, very firmly believes we need Crossrail 2, new Thames crossings to the East (including the Thames Gateway Bridge) and wants a decision on airport capacity before the 2015 election, not after as is the current plan. Sir Robin Wales describes Newham’s programmes of getting people into jobs. Sadiq Khan himself tackles the housing crisis, saying we need longer-term tenancies to give stability to renters, build more social housing, create genuinely affordable housing, improve standards in the private rented sector and even build new cities outside London to ease pressure within. Jenny Jones offers a crystallised image of a sustainable London. Policing, the living wage, the arts, NHS, business and education are all tackled.
You can read them all by downloading the PDF from the Fabian Society website (or buying a paper copy for £9.95). You may not agree with the ideas, or even any of them, but we can never have too little debate about what we want London to be.