Yesterday I launched my bid to be our party’s candidate for Mayor of London and I started as I mean to go on: working with a large team of experienced colleagues from across London (see photographs here) and talking about the urgent change our city needs.
As a campaigning party, we must focus – pun intended – on the really big concerns Londoners have about living in this city. And as our candidate, I want to work with our campaigners to get out and listen to those concerns and what must be done.
I believe that it is time for serious solutions to the big challenges we face if London is to remain a great city to live, work and raise a family in over the next decade. With new powers coming from central government, we need a GLA – Mayor and Assembly – that is ambitious for London.
At the launch I issued my five point action plan, based on my experience of eight years serving on the London Assembly. These are priorities than can – and must – be delivered:
- More, better and cheaper housing
- Investment in transport to keep London moving
- Action for jobs and a challenge to big business to pay fair wages
- Protecting neighbourhood policing and promoting youth opportunities
- Clean air and a healthy London
(Film clip also on YouTube)
I was first elected to London government in 1985, just before the GLC was abolished, and during the 1990s took the Liberal Democrats on Lambeth from just four councillors to run the Council, cleaning up the crisis in services and finances Labour had caused as extreme policies, fraud and corruption ran rife. At City Hall, I have led the Liberal Democrat group during the mayoralties of both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.
I grew up in Bromley, was born in Orpington around the time of the famous by-election. I moved to Brixton when I got my first job, at the time of the riots in the early 1980s. I have lived in Lambeth ever since. Professionally, I qualified as a chartered accountant and worked as a finance director for a charity before starting up a successful consultancy business, helping large firms become more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.
Many members will rightly want to know more about my five points, which is why I’ve talked about them in detail over on my new website, www.miketuffrey.com.
You can also read my views about reforming and devolving local government finance here: The postcode lottery – why freedom to be different is a good thing.