Cllr Nick Botterill is a former leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council
When the post of Mayor of London was created there was much scepticism expressed about the role and its scope particularly from Conservatives. Having now experienced two very different mayors, completing two terms each, there is no doubt that the directly elected mayoralty now occupies an elevated position in the politics of the nation. Moreover it is a position enjoying substantial practical power which can and should be used to make London a better place to live, work and do business in.
Boris Johnson has been a fantastically successful mayor. This is not because he is a well-known celebrity but rather because he came to power knowing what he wanted to do and he didn’t stray too far from his original objectives which he implemented by taking and keeping control of the right power structures. In short Boris and his team delivered.
The continuous improvement in the fortunes of London is not a given. If London is to continue to prosper and tackle some of its endemic problems, it needs a mayor who can deliver, whether that’s continuing to build more homes, keeping a tight squeeze on crime and anti-social behaviour or starting to change the financial dynamics of public transport to allow for lower fares. These sorts of things don’t come about by leading lots of campaigns, they come about by having a deep understanding of the issues and the intellectual rigour and physical stamina to deliver and manage change.
Stephen Greenhalgh showed at Hammersmith & Fulham that he could turn around a poorly performing council and change the way that local government operated in London. It was said at the time that council tax couldn’t really be reduced and then when he succeeded in reducing it, that this could only continue for a short period. The same people are now saying that tube fares can’t be cut seemingly oblivious to rocketing passenger numbers and the huge raft of underexploited fixed assets which TfL occupies. Similarly with his role as Deputy Mayor for Crime & Policing, it was said that it was impossible to combine cost savings while protecting front line policing, but Stephen has managed to do precisely that.
If we want London to continue to thrive and prosper then there is only one candidate for Mayor of London which ticks all the necessary boxes, and that is Stephen Greenhalgh.
Stephen’s website can be seen here.