Tuesday, 18 October 2011

But besides roads, civil partnerships, climate change, economic equality and protecting small business, what have the Greens ever done for London?

Since the London mayor and Assembly were first elected in 2000, there have been two or three Green Party Assembly Members (AMs). These are just some of the things that they have achieved:

2000 Civil Partnerships
At the first ever Mayor’s Question Time assembly member Darren Johnson called on the Mayor to introduce a registration scheme for same-sex partners.
What happened next? A successful scheme was introduced, paving the way for civil partnerships legislation at national level.

2001 Thames Gateway Bridge
Greens began campaigning against Ken Livingstone’s plans for a new six-lane road bridge. As a price for supporting the Mayor’s 2005 budget the Greens called for the mayor to fund the objectors in order that the environmental case could be properly presented at the public inquiry.
What happened next? The public inquiry failed to give the go ahead for the bridge and the new Mayor Boris Johnson then abandoned it altogether.

2003 Climate change budget
Greens criticized Mayor Ken Livingstone’s budget for devoting just £300,000 per year to making London’s homes and buildings greener.
What happened next? In a series of budget deals with the then Mayor, Green AMs got the climate change budget at the London Development Agency increased to £8 million per year.

2004 Living Wage
As part of a budget deal Greens called on the Mayor to establish a Living Wage unit to tackle poverty pay in the capital.
What happened next? The GLA and a growing number of public and private sector bodies now pay the London Living Wage as a minimum.

2005 Leaking water mains
An investigation led by Darren highlighted the fact that a third of London’s drinking water was lost through leaking mains pipes.
What happened next? Following pressure from the Assembly Thames Water began a major mains replacement programme.

2006 Cycling budget
Green AM Jenny Jones commissioned a report which led to the setting of a target to increase cycling by 400% through the introduction of cycle hire, cycling superhighways and cycling hubs in outer London.
What happened next? The Green AMs secured budget commitments from Ken Livingstone which led to a tripling of the budget for cycling and walking.

2008 Opposing Heathrow expansion
Darren Johnson led the Environment Committee investigation into Heathrow expansion. The report showed that the economic benefits were exaggerated and the environmental impacts understated.
What happened next? In 2010 the new Government abandoned Heathrow expansion, the Assembly’s all-party report playing an important role in establishing a broad political consensus.

2009 Road safety
Green AM Jenny Jones fought the closure of the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which instructs HGV drivers on road sharing and awareness of vulnerable road users.
What happened next? This unit has now been reinstated within the traffic police section.

2010 Protecting small shops
For the Assembly’s Planning and Housing Committee, Green AM Jenny Jones led an investigation looking at what could be done to protect London’s small shops.
What happened next? Mayor Boris Johnson agreed to put policies for the protection of small shops in his new London Plan, the overall planning document for London.

Imagine what a few more Green Assembly Members could achieve in 2012...

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