The Youth Vote UK
"Shaun's Plan for London": An Analysis
Shaun Bailey is the Conservative Party candidate for the forthcoming 6th May 2021 London mayoral election and likely to be the closest rival to current London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Labour) who is running for re-election. He was elected and currently still is a member of the London Assembly since the last election in 2016. His campaign called ‘Shaun’s Plan for London’ sets out what he thinks are 6 key ways to ‘Make London’: Safe, Move, Build, Green, Thrive and Affordable.
Make London Safe (Crime)
Hire 8,000 extra police
Invest in youth services to help young people get out of crime and into work
Tackle drug use and drug crime
Hiring 8,000 police officers in London fits the current Conservative government’s pledge to try and reduce serious crime across the country by hiring 20,000 police officers. For example, youth knife crime is a huge issue in London. In 2019, police statistics stated 41% of those caught with a knife across London were aged between 15 and 19. He believes this, plus investing in youth services which aims at getting young people into work should reduce serious crime and improve the local economy.
He also wants to try to use this increase of police numbers to tackle drug gangs that exploit children to spread the illegal trade in the capital.
Make London Move (Transport)
Work with government to secure investment in Transport for London (TfL) and ‘fix its finances’
Improve infrastructure, like Crossrail and electric bus fleet
Reverse congestion charge increases on day one
The London congestion charge is a fee (£15) charged on most cars and motor vehicles being driven within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ)
Charge was increased from £11.50 to £15 on the 22nd of June
Pause rollout of temporary cycle lanes
Back plans for a temporary crossing next to Hammersmith Bridge (which has been closed since August 2020)
Shaun Bailey believes he has an advantage as a Conservative candidate with a Conservative government in power to try and receive investment for TfL. By making TfL less reliant on fare income, it could maintain or reduce travel costs for young Londoners.
Climate change and air pollution is also a pressing topic for young Londoners. By pausing the rollout of temporary cycle lanes and building a temporary crossing next to Hammersmith Bridge, Bailey says it would reduce journey distance and traffic which should cut pollution.
Make London Build (Housing)
End ban on Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) to release land and build houses
There is a current ban on using SIL for housebuilding. Shaun Bailey wishes to end this ban
SIL exists to ensure London provides a sufficient number of quality sites, in appropriate locations, to meet the needs of industrial and related sectors, such as logistics, waste management and environmental industries, utilities, wholesale markets, and so on
Work with developers to build affordable housing – 100,000 Shared Ownership Homes
Shaun Bailey states he will build 100,000 shared ownership “Millennial Homes” that can only be bought by first-time buyers and young Londoners (under 40), where up to 10 people can buy a share in the newly built homes. With a deposit of £5,000, they can buy one share in the property. Shared owners would then be able to increase their shares in their homes in increments as low as 1%.
Make London Green (Environment)
Work with City Hall to expand London’s green belt
The fundamental aim of the Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl (large built up areas) by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and permanence.
Create new parklands
Introduce ‘Boris Bike-style’ scheme for electric cars
The environment and climate change are a key concern for young people. Although Shaun Bailey has not fully elaborated on these policies it will be interesting to see how he aims to implement them. The ‘Boris Bike-style’ scheme for electric cars is a rather unique policy and it will be interesting to see how he aims to implement it with regards to cost and infrastructure for the scheme.
Make London Thrive (Economy)
Work with businesses to create jobs
Launch new trade missions to attract investment
Work with ministers to secure more money for high streets and the economy
Reopen the Waterloo and City Line
He says his main focus is to get London economically moving again after the severe effects the Covid-19 has had on the city. He said he is going to launch a big campaign that will reach everyone and will use the Mayor’s powers to bring business and the public sector together. What this exactly entails is not clear yet.
Make London Affordable (Cost of Living)
Priority is to cut costs of living and make London affordable for everyone
Emphasises reversing the congestion charge increases
It is worth explaining Shaun Bailey grew up on a council estate in Ladbrook Grove and came from a poor family of immigrants. Having grown up around poverty and crime, he states he understands how difficult life can be for young people in London. For these reasons he became a Youth Worker. Although his policies on reducing the cost of living are not specific, other than those outlined in housing and transport, his upbringing may make him empathic to the youth vote in the election.