THE LISTENING CAMPAIGN!

On the 9th of April in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London Citizens will be organising a mayoral debate between 2,500 London Citizens leaders and the 4 main Mayoral Candidates, Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick and Sian Berry. The Candidates will be asked to respond briefly to a Citizens Agenda for London, including measures to make London Better Housed, Fairer, Safer and More Welcoming. This Agenda was voted on in February by London Citizens member groups. More details can be found on the website of London Citizens:



Everyone from London Citizens member communities is requested to attend, this is a once in four years opportunity to make politics responsive to our concerns. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from churches, mosques, schools and universities. This will be an inspiring example of what truly democratic politics can achieve.

See their agenda below

LONDON CITIZENS exists to enhance the governance of London by strengthening civil society and involving thousands of organised and informed citizens – and their institutions - in the public life of the capital.

In the Autumn of 2007 LONDON CITIZENS three Assemblies in West, East and South London launched a ‘Listening Campaign’ across our diverse membership. This Campaign has been focused on building a ‘Citizens Agenda for London’ which will be presented to the main Mayoral candidates on April 9th. The election for a new Mayor for the next four years takes place on May 1st.

We estimate that over 50,000 families have contributed to our developing ‘Citizens Agenda for London’. As with all that LONDON CITIZENS does this campaign has been driven by hundreds of community leaders who have reached out in and across their own group involving local schools, clubs and voluntary associations. CITIZENS has also been supported by 70 plus students and academics from the Geography Department of Queen Mary, LONDON UNIVERSITY who spent six weeks in nine of our member communities ensuring that as many people as possible were involved in answering the simple question ‘What would you like the next Mayor of London to do for you and your family and neighbourhood?’.

On 24th January 2008, in The London Muslim Centre, delegations of young LONDON CITIZENS gathered to consider the responses of young citizens from our member groups to this process of ‘Listening’. There was lively debate, passion, oratory and democracy. Two major issues were voted on as YOUNG CITIZENS concerns. These were then pooled with the other issues that had been agreed by the three CITIZENS Assemblies of WLC, SLC and TELCO at their January ‘08 leaders meetings. On Saturday, 2nd February LONDON CITIZENS held a day workshop which was open to all members interested in refining and crafting the various issues which had come from our members and agree specific Proposals that would make up our ‘2008 CITIZENS Agenda for London’. At the end of this Workshop delegates agreed to put the following Proposals to a great LONDON CITIZENS Delegates Assembly on February 19th in St Paul’s Church, Hammersmith, so that all our member groups have the final say on the issues we put to the person who would be Mayor from May 1st onwards. These proposals are not in any order of priority and may still need further refining as we meet with the candidates and their advisers in March to explain our Proposals and agree the rules for LONDON CITIZENS ‘Mayoral Accountability Assembly’ on April 9th.

‘2008 CITIZENS AGENDA FOR LONDON’


1. A GREENER, CLEANER LONDON

Mayor to
  • offer financial and planning incentives for energy efficient homes and workplaces for insulation and energy reduction, as well as for the higher up take of alternative energy production across the capital.
  • regulate the distribution of all free newspapers in London in order to clean up our streets and reduce the environmental damage generated by these papers and associated litter.
2. A SAFER LONDON

LONDON CITIZENS commits to train and appoint fifty ‘City Safe’ Street Champions and pilot this project and a local ‘City Safe Concordat’ for six months in Newham.

Mayor to
  • actively support and endorse LONDON CITIZENS ‘City Safe’ model across the capital.
  • work with LONDON CITIZENS to set up an ‘Accreditation’ and ‘Awards’ scheme for ‘City Safe Champions’ (e.g. street cleaners, TfL staff, Park Wardens, postmen and women, traffic wardens) to be the eyes and ears of London’s streets and look out ,with respect, for London’s young people.
  • provide the resources and leadership to ensure that the ‘school run’ is better supported by more buses and conductors/responsible adults at key times; involving teachers, youth workers, police community support officers e.g. Croydon route 468 experiment.
3. A FAIRER LONDON

All candidates to be asked to publicly commit to ‘The London Living Wage’ initiative; by staffing and supporting the Mayor’s Living Wage Unit; making the annual announcement of the Living Wage figure; and ensuring this wage is paid across the GLA ‘family’;

The Mayor to
  • ensure that LDA grants and support go only to employers and projects accredited as ‘Living Wage Employers’.
  • support LONDON CITIZENS ‘Living Wage Accreditation’ process for London’s hotel and hospitality sector by the GLA web site and London Tourist Board only recommending hotels and restaurants that are ‘Living Wage’ accredited, especially in the run up to and during the 2012 Olympics.
  • organise, fund and host a promotional international ‘Living Wage’ conference aimed at the public sector across Europe intended to persuade other capitals (and UK major cities) to become ‘Living Wage’ cities.
  • to attend a LONDON CITIZENS Annual ‘Living Wage Employer Awards’ Ceremony.
4. A BETTER HOUSED LONDON

All candidates to be asked to commit to the principle of Community Land Ownership as a solution to the affordable housing crisis in London – and to the proposed Community Land Trust pilot specifically;

The Mayor to
  • ensure that at least 2012 family units of affordable housing are provided on the 2012 Olympics site in East London by 2013 through ‘Community Land Ownership’ methods and another 2012 homes built in South and West London on LDA or public land.
  • use the new strategic powers of the Mayor over the planning process to designate land for the ‘Intermediate Housing Market’ – shared ownership, rented, part buy, CLT’s and mutual home ownership.
  • within a year of office announce the Mayor’s ‘Standard of Affordability for Housing’ using the Living Wage principle as the framework.
  • to publish an annual ‘Housing Needs’ index.
  • to work with LONDON CITIZENS to pilot a variety of sustainable, carbon neutral housing projects across the capital.
5. A MORE ACCESSIBLE LONDON

All the candidates to be asked to commit to promote a safe, supervised and accessible transport system across London and
  • pilot a trial of conductors/supervisors on buses at peak times, especially at school run times and rush hour.
  • introduce subsidised travel/Oyster Card for under 21 year olds in full time vocational training or full time education.
  • provide cycle racks at stations.
  • ensure all stations are staffed when open and that any retailers on TfL property are encouraged through subsidised rent etc.
6. A MORE WELCOMING LONDON

All candidates to be asked for their support for the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ campaign.

The Mayor to
  • announce and brand London as a ‘Strangers into Citizens’ city – on headed note paper, web site, flyers etc.
  • establish a budget to support the development of medical care (through groups like Medicine du Monde), English Language Classes, legal advice etc, for ‘irregular and destitute migrants’.
  • allocate a budget of at least £500,000 and named staff to support the implications of London’s status as a ‘Strangers into Citizens’ city.
  • provide Travel Cards for Section 4 Support Asylum Seekers who are required to ‘report’ to the BIA offices regularly.
  • ensure that ‘The Londoner’ newspaper includes regular features which challenge negative stereotypes and include positive stories of ‘irregular migrants’ and London’s history as sanctuary for migrants fleeing poverty and tyranny.
  • brand the annual ‘RISE’ festival and similar LDA funded cultural events with the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ logo and message.
  • lead the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ national march and Rally on May Day 2009.
  • instruct the Metropolitan Police to not cooperate with the Borders and Immigration Agency’s ‘dawn raids’ and other high profile assaults on London’s established migrant communities until the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ campaign is won.
7. A YOUTHFUL LONDON

On condition that LONDON CITIZENS delivers 100 summer paid (Living Wage) work placements and persuades the private sector to deliver another 500 from the summer of 2009;

The Mayor to
  • provide a further 500 paid summer work placements across the GLA ‘family’.
  • recognise LONDON CITIZENS ‘Young Citizens Forum’ and attend our Annual Delegates Assembly to respond to Young Citizens Proposals and ideas – and account for LDA ‘young peoples’ projects and strategy.
  • instruct the LDA ( and encourage the Learning and Skills Council) to invite bids for funding from novel and original ‘Apprenticeship Schemes’ (cf ex Industrial Training Boards) and account to LC ‘Young Citizens’ Assembly on the growth and development of this model of Apprenticeships across the capital.
All candidates will then be asked

8 A BETTER GOVERNED LONDON

Where all citizens play a part, vote and participate in public life;

Will you agree to work with LONDON CITIZENS, meet with us regularly (at least twice a year) and ensure that we are involved in all the major strategic decisions which effect us and our families and neighbourhoods?

'Strangers into Citizens’ is an on going campaign voted on and acted on by LONDON CITIZENS members in 2006/7. It is intended to persuade the government to agree an ‘earned regularisation’ for certain groups of ‘irregular’ migrants who have lived peacefully in the UK for at least four years. They must also have not committed any serious crimes and be willing to learn English to be then granted the right to work over a two year ‘probationary period’. On the production of good employer or community references after this period (six years) we propose they should be granted ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ and a pathway to citizenship agreed.

Deborah Littmann, Co-Chair of the London Citizens Living Wage Network attended our debate organised by LME




0 comments: