Kirsten de Keyser
London’s burning. Well not literally, of course, but our city is in serious trouble, and no one seems to have the will to fix it. The London Powerhouse is largely staffed by career politicians, who have little contact with the problems of everyday life. Life is not just writing a fancy report and it takes more than a spreadsheet to keep the home fires burning. If I am elected I want to work for:
- More youth centres: Groups of young people roam aimlessly around our streets. Why? Because they have nowhere to go and nothing to do. We need to throw open the hundreds of dark and empty shops around town and turn them into bright and welcoming hang-outs for those young people.
- Revitalise the rest of our High Street shops: The shops in the high street that are still hanging on in there need to be helped to compete with online businesses through meaningful tax breaks and sensible rent management.
- Reform the private rented sector: We need to see empty properties lived in. No more “Buy and Leave” by foreign investors, who treat our homes as safe deposit boxes. No more “No Fault Evictions”, the main cause of our shocking levels of homelessness. No more extortionate rent hikes – we must introduce a workable system of rent monitoring, in line with other European countries, as well as New York and many US states.
- Clean up our toxic air: Expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), lobby Transport for London to speed up the bus electrification programme.
- Encourage more cycling and walking: Continue making it simpler and safer to get around town on two wheels or two legs, and introduce more free electric cycle loan schemes.
I have been an active Green Party member for five years. I was born in Denmark and came to live in London in my twenties, because it was the most exciting, beautiful, thriving and creative city in the world. I married a Londoner, made lots of television programmes and brought up two kids. I love London and I won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. That said, since the 2008 financial crash, I have watched in horror what’s happening to our great city. Where it was once filled with hard working, hard playing Londoners from all over the world, it is now filled with hard working, hard pressed Londoners from all over the world, barely able to keep a roof over their heads, while struggling to pay their season ticket to far away jobs, which they can’t afford to live close to.
We can do better than that. Much better than that. But we need to elect real people to get on with that job. Not just career politicians. I know what’s needed. I live it every day and I have plenty of political will to fix it.
That’s why I hope you will lend me your vote and allow me to represent you at the GLA. Thank you!