Online hustings with Green Party mayoral candidates

Next Wednesday (29th) Left Foot Forward will be hosting a 90-minute hustings with the Green Party's mayoral hopefuls


Next Wednesday 29 July at lunchtime Left Foot Forward will be hosting an online hustings with the Green Party’s mayoral candidates.

Caroline Russell, Sian Berry, Benali Hamdache, Rashid Nix, Jonathan Bartley and Tom Chance are all competing to be the Green mayoral candidate in the elections which will take place on 5 May, 2016.

This is your chance to ask them questions about why they should run, and why London should be in Green hands.

Visit this page at 12.00pm next Wednesday for what promises to be an interesting discussion.

Live Blog Green Hustings

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

15 Responses to “Online hustings with Green Party mayoral candidates”

  1. Joe Mitchell

    Politics is changing. How will you use your power as mayor to increase democratic engagement and participation in the governance of London?

  2. Ednamcraver

    Go to Our Community l e f o t o a d Online money

  3. Fraser

    What will you do to tackle corruption in the city of London’s “square mile” / financial sector that’s so damaging to not just London but the whole UK?

  4. Maeve Tomlinson

    How will you stop incinerators in favour of zero waste, with re-use & recycling and improve London’s air quality?

  5. Ed Jones

    Hi, here’s my question:

    “As the Green Party’s Mayoral candidate, what would you practically do to support and expand the
    co-operative sector in London, to reduce inequality and to ensure that we have more ownership and control over our work, housing, energy, care, food, and in the many other aspects of our lives? In some countries which have larger worker and housing co-operative sectors than the UK, one of the key reasons for that is a multitude of state-led initiatives to support and expand the sector. What state-led initiatives would you promote at a London level to expand the co-operative sector?”

    As some background, this is a really excellent article on what local government, in this case New York, can do to expand the co-operative economy:

    A quote from the article:

    “The FPWA contacted the center and various worker cooperatives and incubators to learn about their needs. The group also studied cooperatives in other U.S. cities and in Canada, Spain and Italy. They
    heard the same thing repeatedly: ***To get a mass movement of co-ops off the ground, a public investment is needed.***” [my emphasis]

    This is also a really nice paper by Prof Milford Bateman, which gives many examples of what local government can do to support co-ops:

    Cooperative Enterprise Development as a Key Aspect in Rebuilding Solidarity-Driven Local Economies in the Aftermath of Thirty Years of Destructive Local Neoliberalism:

    Finally, there are many more reasons for supporting co-operatives than those given above. For example, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level, have recently been strongly arguing in favour of co-operatives as a means to reduce inequality of income, power and education as well as a
    means to create a more sustainable society. It is well worth reading their latest article on that.

    Pickett, K. and Wilkinson, R. (2014) ‘Reducing Inequality Through Economic Democracy’, Progressive Economy

    There is also a lot of research on co-operatives which show:

    * Co-ops often have lower wage differentials,
    * Are often resilient economic forms (including in economic crises e.g. &—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—coop/documents/publication/wcms_207768.pdf ),
    * They empower workers within the workplace,
    * They contribute benefits to the community and democracy more broadly
    * And much more….

  6. Jonathan Bartley

    Joe – I want Londoners to be empowered to help
    themselves. So I would use the Mayor’s London
    Plan to give estates across London such as Cressingham Gardens in Tulse Hill (who
    have come up with proposals for a Green refurbishment but which Lambeth council
    is ignoring) more power to determine their own futures. I want transport unions and cycling groups to
    be represented on the board of Transport for London, and representation for victims
    of crime on the board of MOPAC. I would have a weekly press conference for the
    mayor, moving around London, to increase accountability and engagement. I would
    fight for more devolved powers for the Mayor.
    I would introduce a new strategy for older people (there hasn’t been one
    since 2006) to address disengagement and isolation.

  7. Jonathan Bartley

    Hi Ed – I am a huge fan of coops. There are so many alternative economic models, from mutuals, industrial provident societies and credit unions to small businesses and trading ventures that operate with alternative values that I want to see grown and expanded. Right now there are more members of co-operatives in the UK (which, the Co-op group points out outperformed the British economy by over 21% since the start of the credit crunch) than there are shareholders. For example I want see a London-wide energy co-op based on models like Brixton Solar, where I live in Lambeth. A London-wide renewable energy co-op would allow Londoners to invest in renewable energy installations across the capital. People would invest in local installations on community and public buildings for a guaranteed return protected by a ‘double lock’, of around 4% or 1% above the Bank of England base rate, whichever was higher. There would be economies of scale from the London-wide scheme, which aren’t available to one-off community schemes. Profits would be reinvested in London-wide super-insulation, to cut energy bills. Housing co-ops are another huge area which could help address London’s housing crisis, which could also be based around community land trusts to help keep housing truly affordable. In the workplace I would like to launch a “Mayor’s Good Business Mark” like the Living Wage, which would also encourage co-operative models. There are so many possibilities to explore.

  8. Speranza

    Good afternoon,

    It seems clear to me that our General Election platform was too convoluted for a party which can only realistically expect a slice of overall coverage. Considering this, will you run on policies which at best confuse, at worst repel, like the Universal Income? In addition, given that the Living Wage Foundation do not support making the Living Wage Statutory, will you run on a policy which would close many small businesses?

    I ask as I believe that our policies do not always need to be to the left of our competition. We should be advocating what works.


  9. Sian Berry

    Hi Joe, I’ve written about this here:

    And for Left Foot Forward here:

    One really important thing about the Greens it’s that we have a different approach to politics that’s more democratic, and more involving for citizens too!

    I’m excited about this election because there are a lot of grassroots movements springing up on a whole range of issues across the city and the country, for voting reform, protecting wildlife, saving green energy measures that are being axed, defending human rights and freedom of information, stopping fracking, and many, many very local campaigns defending homes and green spaces and public services, from the (small c) conservative conservation focuses groups to the truly radical.

    In my job as a transport campaigner, and as a councillor, I work with a really wide range of people who are wanting to make a difference, and in London I want us to help bring this very diverse movement together by showing them a party that’s participative, listens to them and works with them in a way that’s generous and helpful and open.

    The Green Party is the only party capable of taking that approach – we’ve always been part of a movement and it’s a different way of doing politics that our members are already comfortable with and fired up about.

  10. Sian Berry

    Hi Maeve – thanks for that question. Incinerators in central London are not at all the best solution to our waste. The Mayor has a leadership role to play in this – Boroughs are responsible for waste but a London-wide strategy that helps them to co-operate and team up to get more things repaired, reduce waste in the first place and support initiatives like anaerobic digestion is really important. Cutting down waste saves boroughs money too as local councils have had some very severe cuts and simply can’t afford to paying be sending things to landfill, or to incinerators for that matter, when the rubbish shouldn’t even have been created in the first place.

    Where incinerators are proposed, planning permission is needed for these things, and the Mayor can have a strong influence on that, and not allow new incinerators to be built on the grounds of pollution and traffic impacts, for example.

  11. Tom Chance

    Co-ops should be a key plank of our programme for City Hall. We should spread power, not just wield it. I’ve set out two ideas for citywide umbrella co-operatives:

    1: A housing co-op with a £2bn fund (raised by borrowing against business rates income) to support communities build their own homes and take over the regeneration of their estates. It’s based on a successful model from Cornwall. I’d also prioritise housing co-ops for public land.

    2: A solar co-op with £80m to give every Londoner the right to a £10 stake, encouraging everyone to invest more to put hundreds of millions into local solar energy co-operative projects.

  12. Tom Chance

    Under Boris, recycling has flatlined, while incinerators now take almost half our waste! Mass-burn incinerators are a huge waste of recyclable resources, and a very inefficient and polluting way of generating energy.

    To stop incinerators, we need to develop the alternatives. There are just a handful of anaerobic digestors and other modern waste facilities in London. I’d only give funding and planning permission for green solutions that make sure we reuse and recycle before getting clean energy from the rest (for example, anaerobic digestors break down food waste into biogas which you can burn).

  13. Tom Chance

    Hedge funds and banks employ such a tiny number of people in London – many more are still employed in manufacturing! As you say, years of fawning over this sector has drained brainpower away from other industries, blown a housing market bubble and crashed our entire economy in 2007/2008.

    I’d start by supporting European efforts to tame the financial sector, led by Greens like Philippe Lamberts who got the bankers’ bonus cap introduced. I’d task a team in the Met Police to work closely with the City of London police on rooting out and prosecuting corruption and illegal activity. I’d also want to work constructively with the experts in the city to get finance working better for London – giving credit to small businesses, investing in a solar revolution, and more.

  14. Damien Guitarlessons-Inbromley

    In relation to Boris… which three things would you be in most agreement in with him?Also can you point out three things that you could do differently to him.Points that define your political and ethical perspectives.

  15. press Here

    Moving past getting the nomination, how are you going to get elected mayor?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.