The New Economy
An economy powered by data. Big firms, such as those from the famous Silicon Valley, use our personal information and make money, often without paying their fair share back to the community. Londoners deserve a piece of the pie, but we are going hungry.
A business-friendly environment attracts these firms to our city, creating jobs and spurring growth. We now need to take back some of those profits. By doing so, London can emerge as a venue for people to come together in a new relationship with the powerful companies that will make us wealthy. Through regulating London’s business environment to ensure that corporations reward you for the use of your information, we can overcome one of our biggest economic challenges.
In a word: everyone. I’ve visited every borough across the city and I’m inspired by the people I meet. They work hard to make a difference, often in very difficult circumstances. Yet there is too much of a gap between those who are doing well and those left behind. Some of the problems I’ve encountered are particular to different neighbourhoods – some are citywide – but all are rooted in inequality. Harnessing the New Economy will change this, and the Mayor should play a crucial role in making it work for London. We can only be a successful city when everyone has enough income to live a decent life. Nobody should be forgotten.
A support payment for every Londoner; a radical plan to transform life in the city. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to reassess how we live, with our working lives, in particular, coming into sharper focus. The London Supplementary Income will go a long way to reducing our economic pain. The mayor should be leading the discussion about rolling out this support payment to Londoners, which will require effective and close collaboration with the Westminster government.
Absolutely. It’s getting harder to buy your first home in London, so we will offer bigger discounts for first-time buyers. To make getting around easier, senior citizens should be eligible for free travel across London and public transport should be made much more affordable for everyone else. I will do everything possible to make housing more accessible and travel as cheap as possible.
It must be. For too many people who live here, London doesn’t feel like a safe city to live in. By improving the economic wellbeing of everyone, I believe we will begin to reduce levels of crime. We will also recruit more police officers and emphasise community policing so everyone can feel safe. More provision will be made for young people, with new youth clubs and facilities created to give them a fairer deal.
Not forgotten. At the heart of my strategy for our neighbourhoods is a 15-Minute Plan. This means that we will have easy access to everything we need – public transport, GP services, schools, shops, playgrounds and youth clubs – all within 15 minutes accessible travel from our homes. The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities in living standards among Londoners. By building vibrant and resilient neighbourhoods, we have a once in a generation chance to reshape where we live.
Yes, we can. Too many Londoners feel undervalued and unsafe, and most of us are frustrated at the way that Brexit and the pandemic have been handled by the Mayor. However, things can get better if we all work together.
A vote for me is a vote for a different kind of future for our city, where everyone has a stake, small businesses are supported, and lives are immensely improved. It will also be a green one, with precious open spaces protected and the biodiversity of the Thames treated like the precious natural asset it is. You can read more about this here
Crippling business rates
Despite their importance to the London economy, the capital’s small businesses haven’t always received the support they need from the city authorities. Even before the pandemic struck many business owners were struggling with rocketing business rates. Many were being forced out of business with a devastating impact on High Streets across our boroughs. Back then, Renew mayoral candidate Kam Balayev was already meeting with business owners who were quick to tell him how difficult things had become. Many were making the move online to escape prohibitive business rates. When the pandemic struck many businesses that were already struggling because of business rates were now faced with a whole new challenge. High business rates had undermined their resilience. Businesses that might have been able to survive the pandemic, unfortunately, went to the wall.
Teaming up with some of the capital’s brightest tech talent we will explore ways that the anonymous data gathered by TfL can be monetised to provide a consistent income stream for the service. We will use this income to ensure that the environment is prioritised, and look at ways to overcome ongoing problems such as overheating so that passenger comfort is improved.
Our city is one of the greenest on the planet, but our precious parks and green spaces are under threat. As mayor, Kam will make it more difficult for developers to build on green spaces, encouraging brownfield developments, and the refurbishment of existing property to meet new needs. Parks are vital lungs in the heart of the city. They help clean the air and provide a space for exercise and relaxation. Being exposed to green spaces every day is good for our mental wellbeing, and everyone should have a park or green space they can enjoy within easy walking distance of their home. We envisage beautiful city streets with more trees.
Wherever possible, we will work to create new parks and public green spaces, particularly in parts of the city where green spaces have been lost to over-development. By the end of Kam’s term of leadership, we will create more public green spaces than there were at the beginning. We will encourage applications from communities for new greenbelt areas.
A green recovery will be at the heart of our economic strategy. We will look to incentivise green businesses and encourage green start-ups. We’ll encourage innovation to reduce waste and the development of a circular economy where resources are re-used. We’ll back new, well-paid green jobs, and give people the skills they need to take advantage of them. We will also strengthen the local planning process so that it facilitates the creation of low and ultimately carbon-free, sustainable places, that support the circular economy. Developments will have to take account of this vision, be coherent with local plans, and build on existing green infrastructure. Moreover, London has higher rates of public transport use than the rest of the country, but we can go further. We’ll ensure that public transport is convenient, affordable and well-integrated, making it the easiest and most affordable travel option anywhere in the city.
Protecting the greenbelt is a key priority for Kam. It is a precious asset that prevents the city from sprawling into the countryside, creating disconnected and resource-hungry settlements. We will toughen up the protection of the greenbelt and restrict development. We want London’s green lung to still contain places to escape, breathe and enjoy.
London is blessed with a network of rivers, canals and wetlands. People live on these waterways, work beside them and use them for recreation. While there has been some improvement in water quality in some of our rivers and canals, this has not gone far enough. We also think that the Thames is underinvested and underappreciated. We will work with stakeholders to get the Thames to a high standard of cleanliness and biodiversity.
We hope you’re inspired by our positive vision for a Green London in a Green World. A time of challenge can also be one of opportunity. There’s no contradiction between a prosperous city and a sustainable one.
In order to tackle single-use plastic water bottle use in the capital, and protect London’s cherished blue and green spaces and our connected ocean from harmful pollution, commitments must be made to promote London as a city leading the charge to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic; ensure sufficient and equal access to public refill points in London; and eradicate single-use plastic water bottles in GLA buildings and support London businesses to do the same.
A decent home is a human right and our great city desperately needs affordable housing. Kam will free up government and TfL land to provide comfortable, eco-friendly homes for our families. The city should begin an ambitious building programme so all of its citizens can be comfortably housed. Kam will take a zero-tolerance approach to poor housing.
London’s gang problem is getting out of hand. There are around 250 professional gangs operating across the city. Not only do they recruit our vulnerable young people, they are responsible for half of London’s recorded crime. These gangs have international links and Kam Balayev will make tackling the issue a key priority. On day one he will begin liaising with Interpol to develop a taskforce to break up the gangs, protect our young people and reduce crime.
The cladding scandal has left Londoners trapped in unsafe buildings. No tenant should have to live in a property that has dangerous cladding. No homeowner should be expected to pay for the removal of cladding from their properties. Kam will be on the side of ordinary Londoners and won’t be afraid to take on the developers.