Conservative mayor of London candidate Shaun Bailey today launched his election manifesto, with polling day on 6 May now just weeks away.
The 56-page document outlined policies on areas such as the economy, the environment, transport, crime, housing and transport.
City A.M. went through the manifesto with a fine tooth comb to bring you a snapshot of the most significant policy announcements.
Covid recovery and economy
Bailey has promised to create 924,000 jobs over five years by “investing in more affordable housing, better transport infrastructure and new training opportunities”.
A part of this is a pledge to lobby the government for City Hall to retain 100 per cent of taxation revenue from business rates, up from 75 per cent, in order to increase the mayor of London’s annual Budget.
The Conservative candidate also pledged a £9m High Streets fund to save ailing bricks and mortar retail businesses and to appoint a deputy mayor for international trade.
Bailey’s manifesto also included a pledge to launch an annual “Festival of London” modelled on the famous Edinburgh Fringe to help kickstart the capital’s economy post-Covid.
Bailey has made a pledge to create a City Hall owned property developer – Housing for London (HfL) – a centrepiece of his housing policy platform.
Bailey said the new developer would “streamline housebuilding in London and tackle the housing crisis head-on by bringing together policymakers, with industry and borough leaders”.
The London Assembly member has also pledged to build 100,000 shared ownership homes that would be sold for £100,000 each.
People would then be able to pay £5,000 each to buy shares in the new properties.
He has also made pledges to reverse Sadiq Khan’s recent 9.5 per cent council tax hike, which he says would be funded by cutting City Hall’s office and PR budget, and to build up to 287,000 homes on Brownfield land.
Bailey would also act to “ensure beauty is a central part of the planning process” for new builds.
Bailey’s manifesto included a pledge to create a new City Hall-owned infrastructure bank to help fund transport projects in the capital.
Bailey’s plan would aim to “attract private sector finance into large scale, costly infrastructure projects” in order to get projects like Crossrail 2, the Hammersmith Bridge repairs and the Bakerloo extension funded.
His plans also include a promise to open the Waterloo & City Line, after closing more than 12 months ago, and introduce a new “West End Weekend Pass” in 2021 eligible for one weekend.
The pass would be a “weekend-long travelcard that allows Londoners to use the transport network for free from all zones”.
He will also lobby the government for the suburban rail network to be brought under the control of TfL.
Bailey’s other transport policies included pledges to scrap the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) extension, a rollout of driverless trains and a plan to bring in corporate sponsorship for Tube stations to raise up to £500m in revenue.
He has also pledged to cut the capital’s congestion charge for motorists from £15 to £11.50.
Bailey’s main focus in the campaign has been violent crime in the capital and he today pledged to cut crime rates in 100 days if elected mayor
Bailey has pledged to hire 8,000 more police officers and reopen 38 recently closed police stations, with the former Downing Street advisor claiming he will be able to get the hundreds of millions in funding required from Boris Johnson.
He also pledged to open 32 new youth centres and create 4,000 new youth workers, which would be funded by £450m from unclaimed Oyster Card balances.
As mayor Bailey would also force the Metropolitan Police to increase stop and search operations, use infrared scanning technology to detect people carrying knifes and increase 24/7 police foot patrols on the Tube network.
He would also call for tougher mandatory sentences for knife and acid possession, and create a “Mayor’s Sentencing Unit” to “assess every single sentence handed down for violent and sexual crime in London and ask that those that are too lenient be reviewed”.
He will also ask all businesses with over 250 employees to enforce mandatory drug tests and to publish a City Hall “league table showing which companies have the highest and lowest rates of drug use”.
It is unclear how this policy would be enforced.
The manifesto promises to rollout a zero-emission bus fleet by 2025 in a bid to reduce TfL’s environmental impact.
A Bailey-led City Hall would also provide interest-free loans, worth up to 10 per cent of the cost of a new electric cab, to black cab drivers who want to transition from diesel to electric vehicles.
Bailey would also plant 500,000 more trees and “living roofs” throughout the capital.