Who do you trust to watch over the mayor? That’s the crucial question of the upcoming London Assembly elections on May 3. As the battle between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone dominates headlines, the composition of the London Assembly – elected simultaneously – will determine who holds the power to question and challenge the chosen mayor.
EastLondonLines has profiled the hopefuls. We put candidates from each borough and each party in front of a camera, and asked them what they stand for, what they will do if elected, and what they would ask Boris. Over a week, new candidates from each of the constituencies we cover, put their views across, and tried to justify why you should vote for them and their party.
Watch all the videos at the links below:
North East (including Hackney)
City and East (including Tower Hamlets)
• John Biggs, current Labour member
• John Moss, Conservative candidate
• Chris Smith, Green Party candidate
• Richard Macmillan, Liberal Democrat candidate
• Steven Woolfe, UKIP candidate
• Kamran Malik, Communities United candidate
Greenwich and Lewisham
Croydon and Sutton
The 25 Assembly Members investigate London’s issues, produce reports, and lobby the mayor. They hold him or her to account at monthly Question Times, and can block funding by voting to amend the mayoral budget. Their power is limited, but they are an important part of the political picture – and because they are elected on a proportional system, your vote counts.
In the North East constituency, which covers Hackney, candidates were riven on the question of the economy. Candidates focused on the need to help small businesses, while environmental issues including air quality were also on the agenda, along with crime, safety and the after-effects of last year’s riots.
In City and East – including Tower Hamlets, which regularly tops the national statistics for unemployment and deprivation – candidates were divided by their responses to poverty. But all agreed that, despite the recession, young people need to grab all the opportunities they can and become more entrepreneurial and go-getting
In Lewisham and Greenwich, transport fares rode high among the issues in the wake of January’s TfL price hikes. All but one candidate opposed them, offering various solutions from lower fares to a ‘bus jumping pass’ which would charge users once once for multiple bus journeys in a time period. Crime and stop and search further divided the candidates, but the recent occupation of homes owned by the council proved most controversial.
In Croydon and Sutton, Beddington’s waste incinerator was the burning issue, with candidates divided on the plan’s safety and effectiveness. Crime, including Croydon’s police numbers, was also a hot topic, while Croydon’s sub-par orbital transport links proved a point of discussion.
Click on the links to see who’s standing for the London Assembly in your borough, and decide where your vote should go.