Cllr Philippa Roe is the Leader of Westminster City Council and is seeking the Conservative nomination to be the Mayor of London
The role of Mayor of London is one of the most important jobs in UK politics. I believe that it is vital that the Conservative Party candidate has a proven track record in London and has real leadership experience.
As Leader of Westminster City Council I am currently running an extremely diverse area of London.
Within our boundaries lies the economic powerhouse of the West End while at the same time, there are several struggling high streets. We have some of the most expensive residential property in the world as well as some of the most deprived areas in the country. Over half our population was born outside the UK and we host one million visitors a day from every part of the globe.
In this role I have hands on experience of finding solutions to issues such as the shortage of affordable housing for lower income earners and tackling long term unemployment. Having run this complex part of London I feel I am ideally placed to be given the responsibility of running London as a whole.
I am a Londoner through and through and am passionate about our great city. Having been born in Hampstead, brought up in the Borough of Bromley and lived in Wandsworth, Fulham and Westminster since leaving university, as well as having spent my entire working life in London, I understand the needs and concerns of all Londoners whether from central or outer areas.
I will not just be a Zone 1 Mayor. I will bat for all Londoners across the 32 boroughs and the City of London.
Having run small businesses as well as rising through the ranks to become a director of a global bank, I understand London, not just as a resident but from a business perspective as well; big or small.
The critical shortage of housing of all types is the most important issue facing London at the moment, affecting quality of life and economic growth. When I was the Cabinet Member for Housing at Westminster I rewrote our housing strategy to ensure that we regenerated our stock across the city and used it as the basis of economic regeneration of some of our most deprived areas. Tackling this housing shortage, particularly for lower and middle income workers, will be at the core of my mayoralty if selected and elected.
Linked to housing shortages is the need to regenerate some of the more deprived areas of London. The Conservative Party is the party of aspiration. If people want a better life for themselves and for their children to be able to fulfil their potential they need the support that only a Conservative government and Conservative Mayor can offer.
At the root of this is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to work. Tackling long term unemployment is crucial, not only to the success of London, but to ensuring that London’s economic prosperity is shared by all.
My track record in Westminster of getting long term unemployed residents into work speaks for itself. In Westminster we have 10,000 long term unemployed people. For years this figure has remained stubbornly constant. I have recently pledged to reduce this number by one third and we are already well on track to achieving this goal having placed 600 people into work.
Although London has had to deal with the constant threat of terrorism for decades, we are more aware today than ever of the continued threat we face. The Mayor has an important role to play, not just in working with the police in identifying and dealing with extremists and those that promote extremist ideology but in developing and promoting community cohesion across the capital. I am committed to bringing Londoners together, whatever their faith, ethnicity or background to feel and act as one London and tackle the feeling of alienation that can mark the start of the path to extremism.
London needs a Mayor that not only knows what needs to be done but has proved they can actually do it. My time as leader of Westminster Council, the powerhouse of London, has proved that I get things done.
I am ready to take on the huge responsibility of being the Mayor of London.