Londonist Interviews: Mayoral Hopeful Chris Prior

By M@ Last edited 136 months ago
Londonist Interviews: Mayoral Hopeful Chris Prior

The sixth in our series of interviews with potential candidates for next year's Mayoral election. Previously: Victoria Borwick (Tory), Andrew Boff (Tory) and Warwick Lightfoot (Tory), Sian Berry (Green), Fiyaz Mughal (Lib Dem).

Chris Prior is an independent mayoral candidate standing on a very firm 'Stop Congestion Charging' ticket. We asked him why, and, as with all the other candidates, we also enquired whether he'd ever been sick on the Tube. Chris is the first so far to offer a policy to combat this scourge of the underground. Read on...

Where do you live in London and what do you like best about it?

We live in Battersea. The open spaces and parks.

Why do you think you should be Mayor and what policies would you bring to the office that would make you stand out against anyone else who wants to be?

I will abolish the congestion charge on day one and embark on a transformation of public transport.

The congestion charge is an unfair tax - it is wrong that a nurse has to pay the same as a millionaire; it costs nearly 65p in every £1 to collect and it simply does not work. I believe that congestion and pollution are London-wide problems that require London-wide solutions. Democracy matters, Londoners must be given the opportunity to decide whether they wish to keep this example of bad government.

With the political will, I see no reason why London should not have a public transport system as good and hopefully better than any other major city. London gets a raw deal as far as public investment is concerned with billions of pounds diverted from the capital to give the North and Scotland better public services than Londoners enjoy. I think this wrong.

I believe that global warming and our reliance on oil is a major threat to Londoners and the rest of the UK. I would apply pressure on the government to reprioritise defence spending. Yes, we need to do much more to target terrorists, but rather than spending tens of billions on cold war weapons such as new fighters, aircraft carriers and a Trident replacement, we should instead invest in environmentally friendly transport and the infrastructure to support it.

I believe that trying to make money out of emissions with new taxes is fundamentally wrong. We should be helping people cut emissions by encouraging plug-in hybrid and electric cars. I would provide London-wide vehicle charging points.

How do you yourself travel around London?

By car and public transport.

What is your policy regarding irritant noise from mobile phone music players on the tube and buses?

I think people need to respect others. I would continue the current media campaign against noise pollution

Would you have introduced the Congestion Charge and if not will you repeal it?

No and yes!

Do you support the building of a new runway at Heathrow and how would you reduce your own international travel if you become Mayor?

Yes and no. I believe that it is vitally important to do much more to protect the environment but with investment this can go hand in hand with progress. I think that London can benefit a lot from best practices in other cities and I am determined learn from these lessons and bring them home to our city.

What would be your vision for the city by 2020 and how would you achieve it as Mayor?

A green London with the most modern and flexible transport system in the world, through the policies previously outlined.

I would reduce crime with the twin policies of doing all we can to encourage people not to embark on a criminal career but lobbying government to keeping them in prison for much longer if they chose that option.

I believe that we must give Londoners much better value for money, improved services as lower cost. Local government cannot be exempt from improvements in efficiency seen elsewhere.

I also want to make our city the entrepreneurial hot bed of Europe and would cut taxes on small business to help this happen.

Do you have any London-based trivia our readers may not know?

I doubt it.

Have you ever been sick on the tube?

No but sometimes the conditions are almost intolerable. All this must change. On the specific point, I would introduce public lavatories at platform level in all stations.

By 'Race4CityHall'

Last Updated 18 September 2007