Visions Ricky from Islington

Ricky from Islington

Business, growth and jobs:

  • Convene a national ‘parliament’ of leaders from the UK’s cities, to ensure that they complement and collaborate to deliver growth and shared prosperity – and lobby government with one voice – rather than compete for resources.
  • Introduce Business Rates reliefs for responsible employers in the London Business Compact; those that commit to pay the London Living Wage to all employees, maintain good employment practices, promote gender equality, recruit apprentices, operate a maximum pay ratio from highest to lowest earner of 15:1, and develop responsible corporate practice and sustainability plans.  Use local government procurement to promote the London Living Wage, alongside wider social impact considerations.
  • Protect technological innovation by opposing the privatisation of data held by the government that should be open to all, such as the Postcode Address File, or by companies providing public services, such as data on the progress of buses that can be used by Smartphone apps to predict waiting times.
  • Lobby government to introduce a free and universal early education and childcare service, to unleash the potential economic and social opportunity from achieving a greater gender mix in both parenting and senior organisational positions.  In the meantime, lead a review of the GLA’s role in preventing the cost of childcare in the Capital becoming a barrier to economic growth.
  • Encourage London Authorities to invest in ‘bridging’ roles, increasing liaison with individual local employers to establish their needs before they become a limit on growth, and allow those gaps to be addressed directly by business support organisations, and professionals such as IT, finance, HR and property consultants.

Education and skills:

  • Require London Authorities to assess and close gaps between the plethora of local and national employment and skills programmes, strengthening pathways into and through employment.
  • Work with educational institutions and employers to promote and facilitate lifelong learning, allowing Londoners to re-skill and up-skill – as well as learning for self-fulfilment.
  • Work with educational institutions and employers to increase the mix of and parity of pay between the protected characteristics across all industries, encouraging companies to publicly report on their progress.
  • Lobby government to reduce teacher workload and introduce professional pay levels for all teachers.
  • Make equality lessons mandatory in all schools, from the first year of primary education onwards, to combat all forms of prejudice and bullying, to promote understanding and acceptance of difference and to ensure community cohesion.  These should focus on the commonality between people rather than the differences, and provide a balanced view of Britain’s role in global affairs.
  • Provide mandatory HIV, sex and relationship education – age appropriate and LGBTIQ inclusive — in all schools from primary level onwards.  This should focus on understanding that there is a continuous spectrum of identity and personality characteristics, building emotional intelligence skills, and increasing mindfulness.  Topics should be taught by relevant subject teachers, within standard lesson time, rather than through the pastoral care system.
  • Lead the way nationally, by investing in evidence-based parenting programmes in order to improve the life chances of children and the wellbeing of families.

Cleaner, greener London:

  • Renew commitment to ambitious carbon reduction targets for the Capital, including a target to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2040.
  • Ensure that protecting and enhancing our natural capital is front of mind across all policy areas.
  • Work with London’s financial institutions, local authorities, and others, to encourage divestment from fossil fuels and develop alternative investment in efficiency and renewables programmes.

Equality and fairness:

  • Lobby government for (and, as a last resort, provide) a safety net for London Authorities that are adversely affected by changes to business rates retention rules, to ensure that all London Authorities can deliver their statutory duties.
  • Lead the way nationally, by ensuring that all lobbying, and in particular corporate lobbying, is registered and fully disclosed in an accessible and transparent manner, including lobbying of Assembly members and officers.
  • Lead the way nationally, by introducing regulation and genuine oversight for CCTV surveillance in the control of the GLA and London Authorities.
  • Lead the way nationally, by introducing a maximum pay ratio of 13:1 between the best paid and the worst paid across London Authorities and other local agencies.
  • Lead the way nationally, by annually assessing and reporting on quality of life in the Capital.
  • Raise awareness of London’s Credit Unions, to encourage responsible borrowing and ethical saving.

Housing and planning:

  • Issue a market bond, backed by central government, to raise the money to directly deliver – and keep under public control – large scale housing-led developments across the Capital.  Use this delivery model to encourage the development of the pre-fabricated construction market and other Modern Methods of Construction.
  • Lobby government to devolve Housing Benefit budgets to London Authorities, so that they can design packages that improve access to housing in their local market and enable them to provide more council housing. 
  • Introduce the London Living Rent tenure, based on proportion of average local incomes, rather than local market rents.
  • Lobby government to introduce new upper Council Tax bands.
  • Introduce a mandatory licensing and consumer rating scheme for London’s landlords, and ensure that London Authorities take appropriate action when landlords fail to meet minimum standards.
  • Commit sufficient resources and political leadership to progress the recommendations of the GLA’s Housing Committee regarding the effective regulation of housing rents, in order to guard against the housing market becoming a barrier to creating economic growth and mixed communities over the coming years.
  • Promote, using design guidance and planning policy, the development of streets and buildings at the human scale, complemented by public realm at a variety of scales – favouring a finer urban grain over monolithic blocks separated by vast, under-utilised open spaces. 

Safer and healthier communities:

  • Work to reduce food imports increase home and local food production where feasible.  Help London’s hospitals and schools, and other food buyers in the public sector, lead the way in buying sustainable products, and encourage children to be involved in growing and cooking food.
  • Increase investment in young people’s services, providing a comprehensive and inclusive youth service, including youth clubs, youth councils and non-curricular education and training.
  • Ensure that everyone who works with the public in London’s public services is able to speak English, to reduce social tensions and increase quality of services.

Transport and infrastructure

  • Prepare and commit to a comprehensive framework for delivering new lower Thames crossings in advance of housing and economic growth in East London.
  • Rather than restricting Transport for London’s abilities to control fares, work with them to make best use of public transport capacity through demand management; reducing off peak fares, encouraging businesses to embrace flexible working practices, and; ensuring that increased density of development is delivered in line with improvements in public transport capacity.
  • Continue to support pedestrian and cycle friendly environments, building the capabilities of wary or inexperienced cyclists, whilst deterring avoidable private car usage.
  • Ensure that Transport for London takes a long-term view to its property development schemes, avoiding loss of control to the private sector.
  • Support the government in reaching a decision on airport expansion, balancing economic, social and environmental impacts – with a focus on sharing prosperity with other regions of the UK through improved rail and air interchange.
  • Continue to support the rollout of high speed broadband and LTE connectivity, to enable economic growth, enhanced productivity, greater social equity, and more effective use of the transport network through smart logistics management.