The following article is written by the first Asian Mayor of London – Sadiq Khan. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been 100 days since I became the Mayor of London. As Mayor, I was elected on a promise of restoring opportunity to all Londoners. I now feel a huge responsibility to make sure we succeed.
I want to create a fairer London. I want to lead a city where every single Londoner has the opportunity to thrive. I want to build more genuinely affordable homes. I want to protect the green belt from development. I want our citizens to breathe clean air, wherever they live in our city. I want everyone in London to enjoy the incredible range of arts and culture here. And, I want to show the world that London continues to be a tolerant, welcoming and open city.
Today I would like to celebrate what we’ve already achieved in just over three months. It’s also an opportunity for me to say thank you, and that this is just the start. Over the next four years, together, we have the chance to make London even better, for all Londoners. That’s my London promise to you.
Here are a few of our biggest achievements so far.
Cleaning up London’s air
In the past month, we’ve run the biggest public consultation City Hall has ever seen. Almost 15,000 people gave me their views on how we can tackle our toxic air and protect Londoners’ health. My proposals include a ‘T-charge’ on the most polluting vehicles entering central London, and extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone so more of London is reserved for cleaner vehicles. I want to introduce low-emission bus zones in pollution hotspots, and have unveiled the first two already. I also plan to pedestrianise Oxford Street to make it cleaner, safer and more pleasant for shoppers and workers.
Fair fares for Londoners
Londoners pay some of the highest public transport fares in the world. In June, I announced a fares freeze on all TfL services until May 2020. This will be funded by efficiency savings. In my first week, I announced a new one hour bus ‘Hopper’ fare. It means that from September, passengers won’t have to pay again when they change buses within an hour. This week, the ‘Night Tube’ will launch on the Central and Victoria lines – a first for London. It will benefit hundreds of thousands of Londoners and will help open up our vital night-time economy. Other lines will follow in the autumn.
Supporting arts and culture
Right from the start, supporting London’s arts, culture and creative industries has been one of my top priorities. I’ve announced new spaces for the creative industries, artists and the fashion industry within new developments, and new protections for vital work spaces and music venues. I will also set up Cultural Enterprise Zones where culture will be given extra support to flourish. Culture is one of the main reasons so many choose to visit London. That’s why I will continue to protect our culture, heritage and creative industries. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels. I intend to create the boldest and most far-reaching vision for culture this city has ever had.
Showing the world #LondonIsOpen
After the EU referendum, I want everyone to know that #LondonIsOpen to business and the world. London remains creative, international and entrepreneurial. London is full of opportunities. London is optimistic about the future. London is united and comfortable in its diversity, which is why I was so pleased to be at the front of this year’s Pride march. Here, we don’t just tolerate our differences, we positively celebrate them. Many people from around the world come here to live and work. They contribute to every aspect of life in our city. They will always be welcome because #LondonIsOpen.
More affordable homes for Londoners
I’m determined to fix London’s housing crisis. We know this isn’t going to happen overnight, but I want all Londoners to be able to rent or buy a decent home at a price they can afford. That’s why I’ve started by boosting the proportion of genuinely affordable homes being built at Old Oak in west London. I also want to build new homes on land owned by City Hall and TfL, and will fast-track sites that are suitable for development. We must protect the thousands of renters who pay high costs for poor accommodation. To help, I will promote landlord licensing schemes, whilst ‘naming and shaming’ those rogue landlords who exploit renters.
Making London a safer city for all
I would like to end by saying that nothing matters more than keeping Londoners safe. In May, I announced that Lord Toby Harris would be carrying out an independent review to make sure London is ready to respond to acts of terrorism. I also intend to reintroduce real neighbourhood policing. That means more bobbies on the beat, and more eyes on the streets where people live. I have also made addressing hate crimes a priority for the Met Police. We will not tolerate any attempt to hurt or divide our different communities.