Kam Balayev's "#Kam4London": An Analysis
Kam Balayev (Renew Party) is standing to be Mayor of London on the 6th of May 2021. His plan for London looks at five key areas: small business, policing and safety, housing, citizenship and Hammersmith Bridge.
Support small and independent businesses and protect the high street from unfair, tax-avoiding online competitions.
Ensure London develops into a tech-hub, creating many jobs in the future.
Small businesses have taken a big hit over the years due to large online retailers dominating the market. This has been exacerbated throughout the covid-19 pandemic where large online retailers have been able to continue their business whilst many small businesses have had to halt business or even close down. Balayev wants to support these small businesses and the high street in London.
Policing and Safety
Support the return of youth clubs, proven the best value investment in reducing crime and gang activity, and keeping Kids in school.
Develop innovative technology to replace stop-and-search and get knives off the street.
Balayev, like many other mayoral candidates, recognises the issue of violent crime and youth crime in London. Many politicians, researchers and academics cite austerity as one of the main causes for this increase in crime, especially youth crime. Balayev aims to tackle this issue by investing in youth services and bringing back youth clubs. These policies are based on the idea that if youth services are funded properly and if young people are supported then they are less likely to turn to crime.
Furthermore, knife crime is a key issue in London. Stop-and-search was a policy that was introduced to tackle knife crime by giving the police the power to search individuals who are suspected of carrying knives or other weapons. One of the key problems that this policy has faced is that it is viewed as invasive. Balayev wishes to equip the metropolitan police with technology that lets them perform stop and searches more effectively and reduce the invasiveness of the procedure.
Open up underused government land and property, to be used for buildings for key workers.
Housing is a major issue in London and Balayev’s solution is using government land and property to build new housing. Interestingly, he specifies this new housing should be built for key workers. Key workers are employees who are considered to provide an essential service such as teachers, doctors, nurses, food delivery drivers etc.
Protect London’s EU migrants by giving support to those so far unable to attain settled status.
The Renew Party, the party Balayev is a candidate for, was founded in 2017 as a reaction to the 2016 EU membership referendum. One of the party’s core positions was that the UK should remain in the EU.
However, now that Brexit has happened, the Renew Party and Kam Balayev want to support EU migrants as much as they can by helping those who have not yet got their settled status. Settled status is a special immigration status required for all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who wish to continue living in the UK after the 30th of June 2021. Settled status means those people will be allowed to live, work and remain indefinitely in the UK.
Reopen Hammersmith Bridge and recognise its importance as a London-wide issue.
In August 2020, the 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge was closed to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic for safety reasons. Engineers had discovered dangerous microfractures which led to the bridges closure.
Engineers have advised it will cost: £46million to stabilise Hammersmith Bridge and make it safe for pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic; up to £141million to fully restore the bridge so it can be reopened to buses and motor vehicles; and £163million if we wished to reduce the three-year timescale by as much as twelve months.
Kam Balayev would like to see Hammersmith Bridge reopened.
Jonas Volkwein (Head of Policy and News Analysis)