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Sadiq Khan's "Standing Up For London": An Analysis

Sadiq Khan (Labour) is running for re-election for mayor of London on 6th May 2021. Sadiq Khan beat Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) to win the election in 2016. The 2021 elections are only a few months away so we wanted to take a look at Sadiq’s plan for London. His campaign is called ‘Standing Up for London’. On his website he lays out his five-point plan which covers: Transport, environment, housing, police and crime, and London’s values.



Making Commuting More Affordable


Frozen TfL fares

  • Pause on ticket costs

  • Frozen for four years

Introduced the unlimited Hopper bus fare

  • The Hopper fare gives unlimited journeys for £1.50, made within one hour of touching in


Opened the Night Tube

  • Runs on Fridays and Saturdays on the Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines

  • Was originally promised by Sadiq Khan’s predecessor, and now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson


Analysis


Sadiq Khan has tried to combat the issue of the high living cost in London by making public transport more affordable. His other aim is to encourage people to use public transport to tackle climate change and air pollution.


57% of Londoners between the ages of 16 and 24 say the biggest barrier to public transport is cost. Freezing TfL fares and the introduction of the unlimited Hopper bus fare aims to tackle this.



Cleaning Up London’s Toxic Air


Declared a climate emergency

  • London carbon neutral by 2030

Green New Deal

  • Invest £10 million in green projects to support around 1,000 green jobs to boost London’s economic recovery and tackle twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency

Introduced Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

  • Aimed at reducing toxic air pollution

  • Reports say that by 2050 the ULEZ would:

  • Save 300,000 Londoners from air pollution related diseases

  • Saving London’s NHS and social care system £5 Billion

  • A report from 2019 showed :

  • A significant drop in air pollution plus 13,500 fewer polluting cars driven into the zone daily

Greener Travel

  • More Cycle Lanes

  • tripled amount of cycle lanes since 2016 from 50 - 162km


Analysis


Young people find climate change to be one of the most pressing issues according to a 2020 YouGov poll showing 70% of youth 18–24 were more worried about climate change compared to 2019. With young peoples increased concern these policies may attract more young voters.



Building New Council and Social Rent Homes


Building more social and genuinely affordable homes than ever before

  • Record number 17,000+ affordable homes started on London sites in 2019/20

  • More council homes started than any year for more than three decades

Introduced Rogue Landlord Checker

  • This database will list private landlords and letting agents who have been fined or convicted of a housing offence

Doubled City halls outreach teams to tackle homelessness

  • Somewhere Safe to Stay hub

  • Rapid Response Team

  • Winter Programme to provide shelter during coldest months

  • Wants to expand the No Second Night Out service, to help people who are new to the streets

  • Expand Clearing House and tenancy Sustainment Teams, to provide a longer-term accommodation solution

The right to vote on estate regeneration

  • requires residents to vote in favour of plans that involve the demolition of social homes. The first time such a condition has been introduced anywhere in the country.

Backing rent control

  • Proposes a London Private Rent Commission, with renters on its board, to implement and enforce measures to reduce rents and keep them at lower levels



Analysis


The cost of living for young Londoners is a major concern. Sadiq Khan’s policies aim to address this by building more affordable housing and council homes. The housing shortage in London has played a significant role. In the last two decades, the Job Market in London has grown by 45%, the population by 27%, however, only 18% new homes have been built. This emphasises the housing shortage in London. Building more homes, especially affordable ones is Sadiq Khan’s solution to this problem, and it will give young people a better chance of owning a home.


Sadiq Khan also aims to continue to tackle homelessness in the city. This is also a problem for young people with 8% reported to be sleeping rough in London in 2019/20 where amongst 18-25. Sadiq’s primary policy to tackle homelessness is through funding of outreach teams. We will have to wait and see if they are effective at reducing homelessness in the Capital.


Policing and Crime


Campaigning against Tory police cuts


Created the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)

  • Combining specialists from health, police, local government, probation and community organisations to tackle violent crime and the underlying causes of violent crime

1,300 extra police officers by increasing council tax by 26p a week


£45 million Young Londoners Fund

  • helping children and young people to fulfil their potential, particularly those at risk of getting caught up in crime

  • Supporting a range of education, sport, cultural and other activities for young Londoners

Sport Unites

  • Mayor’s flagship community sport programme

  • programme harnesses the power of sport bringing people from different backgrounds together – strengthening communities whilst improving the physical and mental health of all Londoners


Analysis


Sadiq Khan’s primary focus is to reduce violent crime, especially youth crime. His tactic is prevention, through investment in youth services. He is doing this in multiple ways: The Young Londoners Fund, 1,300 extra police officers and the VRU.


Various professors of criminology have argued that there is a distinct link between austerity and the rise in violent crime. James Treadwell of Staffordshire University suggests that this is not solely due to the reduction to the police budget, but rather a result of the criminal justice system as a whole under austerity.


Standing Up for London’s Values


Defending the rights of EU citizens in London


Standing up to the anti-London Tory Government

Defending London’s openness, diversity and tolerance

Stand up against Donald Trump and the far-right



Analysis


Sadiq Khan wants to stand up for London’s values. Doing so by opposing further government cuts and calling for investment into the city.


Furthermore, with the recent discussion over landmarks across the country he wants to have a commission that reviews them to ensure they are in line with London’s modern values.


Jonas Volkwein, Head of Policy and News Analysis


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