Brian Rose's "Transform London 2021": An Analysis
Brian Rose is an independent candidate running for Mayor of London on the 6th May 2021. He is a former Wall Street banker and has a list of extensive plans for London should he be elected. Here we take a look at his vision for London, as outlined on his campaign website.
Get London back to work
A six month, post-lockdown “Congestion Charge Holiday” – removing the congestion charge temporarily to “promote visits to the city and immediately boost the economy”.
A six month, post-lockdown “Business Rates Holiday” - removing business rates across the board for SMEs in greater London.
Stimulate certain sectors with financial aid – such as restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, retail and the hotel sector.
Work with top global companies to encourage the return of office workers into the city, aiming for a goal of 25% of companies’ workers returning.
New science-based policies to ensure businesses can remain open while dealing with Covid-19.
Open up theatres, museums, arenas, and stadiums.
Promote outdoor seating and free street parking spaces for all retail and hospitality businesses for six months.
Getting London “back to work” is Rose’s main priority in terms of policy. He believes that as an entrepreneur himself he understands the problems businesses are currently facing and the support they need.
After a year of uncertainty, Rose aims to help London return to its full potential through this set of plans. Financial aid for sectors such as hospitality and nightclubs may be welcome and could help protect the jobs of many people in the city. A temporary “congestion charge holiday” and “business rates holiday” could also help boost the economy, removing certain financial restrictions.
“Exercise on Prescription” schemes to fight and prevent obesity and anxiety.
“World class health education” on diet, exercise and the dangers of sugar consumption.
Community based sport & exercise programmes.
Initiatives on smoking cessation, alcohol harm reduction and drug education.
Keeping London healthy to prevent the effects of Covid-19 and other diseases.
Raise awareness for mental health – promote measures such as physical activity, meditation, gratitude, community service, and counselling.
Emphasis on mental health & wellbeing through dedicated services – which some people have particularly suffered with during the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a need to focus on public health, and Rose aims to support wellbeing through physical and mental health services and programmes. Initiatives and services which educate people about smoking, alcohol and drug abuse could also help discourage and inform younger people.
Science-based decision making at the heart of future London policy.
Public health policy which is “robust, peer reviewed” and represents a “practice-led” approach.
Introduce policies which take into account health and economic data.
Consider alternate viewpoints and review scientific efficacy of lockdown, and other coronavirus-related policies.
Sustainable approaches to public health, which are clear and can be “understood and embraced” by Londoners.
Clear, scientific objectives for each intervention including exit strategies.
Here Rose argues he offers more of a pragmatic approach based on scientific advice, which he claims current lockdown policies have failed to follow. In terms of coronavirus policies however, it is unclear how much influence Rose would have as Mayor due to the nature of the pandemic and the role of the central government handling it on a national basis.
Ensure schools remain open, with “dedicated procedures in place”.
Ensure libraries and community centres remain open as well as well funded, and provide places of education across London.
New digital learning systems that entertain, engage, and educate.
Accountability processes to deliver the best in class learning solutions anywhere in the world.
Mentorship programmes to place students in virtual work environments.
Access to new learning systems for adults of all ages.
Rose emphasises the importance of a strong education and claims his own experiences teaching at the London Real Academy are extremely important to him. Introducing digital learning systems could help people of all ages in terms of education, re-training or up-skilling following the pandemic.
Protecting libraries and community centres is also vital for communities in terms of ensuring there is fair access to resources and learning materials for people of all backgrounds.
New green spaces the public can enjoy.
Additional retail space to support businesses.
More room for foot traffic to encourage visitors to return to the city.
Reduce traffic congestion.
Speed up transportation.
Improve air quality in central London.
Rose believes tackling the clear issues of congestion and air pollution in London and instead focusing on new green spaces and more pedestrian space will transform the city as well as help boost the economy and encourage more tourism.
Make London Safe
Support the Metropolitan Police – more situation-based training.
Zero tolerance policy for knife crime and possession - all offenders prosecuted.
New, innovative technologies to promote a knife crime free city.
New community-led crime prevention strategies - address the causes of crime through programs to offer young people positive pathways.
Digitise the Metropolitan Police - paperless, data-driven solutions that bring cost reductions while introducing better technology and advanced AI technologies to solve crime.
Implement an ambitious diversity representation strategy in the Metropolitan Police - ensure all races, religions, and genders are proportionately represented.
Community-led crime prevention is an innovative way of tackling crime amongst young people, by addressing the roots and causes of crime. Rose also believes the police must be representative of society, receive greater situation-based training, and should be digitised fully to allow for more streamlined policing.
Free high speed broadband internet for all citizens regardless of location, income, and job status.
Invest resources to promote and incubate our incredible technology start-up sector – help London become a world-leader in this space, to create jobs, business opportunities, and greater revenues.
Digitise city-wide communications.
Rose advocates for the digitisation of London as a whole, claiming that every household should have access to strong, free internet, as well as arguing that local governmental communications and processes must be digitised rather than completed manually, as they are now. With these plans Rose is demonstrating how he aims to introduce new technology and digital processes through-out society, from working families up to local government.
Freedom of Speech
Promote the legislation of Digital Freedom of Speech.
Access information, with video, blogs and social media being available in an uncensored format as long as content does not violate legislation.
Publish information, guaranteeing every citizen the right to upload information to any platform without being censored, banned, or deplatformed as long as these are not in violation of the law.
Exercise Freedom of the Press, respecting the right of any journalist to publish their views without being censored across digital platforms without exception.
Rose claims there is a lack of free speech on digital platforms, and that Silicon Valley technology companies have the power to censor speech unfairly online. This may be a slightly controversial policy to have, with many people believing these restrictions online are necessary to prevent “troll” accounts and online abuse.
Focus on promoting family structure.
Keep family units together and give extra support to single parents.
Deal with family problems proactively - using preventative community support programs for Mothers, Fathers and children.
Train police to deal with domestic disputes by de-escalating problems.
Provide lower transportation fares and discounted events for families.
Whilst Rose encourages the promotion of the “family structure” or “family unit”, he does also recognise single-parent households and claims they would receive greater support. Family-orientated policies could be attractive to certain voters, but perhaps will have less of a reach with young voters who find other issues more salient.
Efficient transport is essential to ensure London’s economy remains strong.
Ensure Transport For London (TfL) is managed in a fiscally responsible way - avoid future government bailouts.
Build a transportation system that will:
lead the world in technology, customer experience, and environmentally friendly practices.
Use the “innovation, expertise, and accountability” of the private sector to achieve this, alongside the long-term planning of the public sector.
Freeze fare increases for children and vulnerable groups.
Abolish restricted access for taxis to major carriageways, remove pedestrian social distancing barricades and propose mixed use zones instead of empty cycle lanes, to allow the traffic of both cars and bicycles.
Efficient, smooth and affordable transport is certainly a key issue for Londoners, to ensure people can get around the city easily. Freezing fare prices for children and vulnerable groups will be a popular policy for many voters, in a city where costs can be extremely high.
Aim to eliminate homelessness through more affordable accommodation – which will in turn boost the economy.
Deliver 50,000 new properties ready to move into by the end of 2021.
Ensure no properties left empty and unused.
Ensure that all key workers have access to accommodation.
Ensure we increase the proportion of social and affordable housing across the capital.
Rose’s self-proclaimed “aggressive” stance on fixing the housing crisis involves aiming to tackle homelessness through ensuring more affordable housing and building more property, as well as ensuring all key workers have a home. With ever-rising house prices in the capital, the housing crisis is a priority issue for many Londoners, and especially for young voters.
Reinvigorate the concept of the Community Centre as a high-traffic hub of daily communal activity for all local residents.
Job training and placement services for teenagers, adults, and the elderly to retrain workers.
Childcare and youth activities for all ages.
Promote arts and culture with regular performances and the showcasing of local talent.
Education on the latest technology from hardware, to coding, to web design, to digital services.
Housing support for all local residents.
Encourage daily movement for community members of all ages – by offering different options such as yoga, walking, running, dancing, martial arts, plyometrics.
Highlight the practical benefits of cooking and proper nutrition.
Encourage better health practices and mental wellbeing.
Rose’s campaign lastly focuses on the idea of community spirit, and the importance of society and local neighbourhoods. This area of policy focuses on a range of ideas, from education of all ages, activities for all ages to promote well-being, as well as celebrating local talent.
Fran Robson, Policy and News Analysis Associate.