Greens must engage all areas of London: Matthew Crowley, candidate for Green London Assembly List
In 2020, London will go to the polls to elect a new Mayor and members of the London Assembly. The London Green Party are now in the process of selecting their candidates for those elections. Bright Green is offering every candidate seeking selection an opportunity to tell our readers why they should be selected. One of these candidates is Matthew Crowley, and this is what he has to say:
The 2018 Local Elections proved that the Green Party can gain seats in London, however, the London Green Party is yet to step up its campaigning outside of its typical areas. At the London Assembly Elections, we must prove that we are a party for all of London, and that our message reaches all corners of the city.
As someone who Is not from a typical ‘Green’ area, I can be perfectly placed to spread our message further than it ever has been before, with an appreciation for how brave and innovative Green ideas can be transformational for a city that is crying out for a radical break from the old way of doing things.
At the age of 22, I have been a Campaigns Coordinator and Press officer for Barking, Dagenham & Havering Green Party. My proudest moment here was succeeding in lobbying Barking & Dagenham Council to publish the Fire Safety Risk Assessments carried out on tower blocks in the wake of Grenfell Fire. I was also the sole Candidate in the 2018 Local Elections in Barking & Dagenham.
I believe that I have the crucial skills needed for being a dynamic Assembly Member. Currently studying for a MA in International Political Economy, I can think critically and get to grips with information quickly. This is needed for scrutinising the Mayor of London, whoever that may be.
In addition, it is becoming ever clearer across the country, not only in London, that young voices need to be represented in our political institutions. I could potentially become the youngest ever London Assembly Member and could take a unique perspective on all aspects of London that others cannot do.
As an Assembly member I would commit to:
Officially re-defining the definition of ‘affordable’ housing
The Mayor of London must officially recognise that categorising ‘affordable’ as 80% of market rate is simply not in line with the majority of Londoners who are struggling to even make their rent payments, let alone think of a mortgage. I will fight for the GLA to officially define affordable as 65% of market rate.
Taking a Public Health approach to Crime
The GLA should be looking into how London can increase early intervention measures to prevent repeat offending, and reinvigorate youth centres and other youth initiatives across the capital which have proven to keep young people off the streets. In addition, the GLA should launch an investigation into the criminal lack of investment in mental health services and the wider impact that this has on emergency services across the capital, whilst re-thinking attitudes towards mental health and crime.
Action on more accessible, non-polluting Public Transport
Despite TFL making some strides in increasing step-free access in London, there are still too many areas of London which remain inaccessible for those in wheelchairs. I would see the GLA investigate and report on how any and all stations could be step free from street to platform.
In addition, London’s public transport network is the greatest opportunity to reduce air pollution in London, by introducing non-polluting public transport on our roads. I would push the Mayor of London to seriously consider electric and Hydrogen Fuel cell only public transport by 2030, which would extend to taxi’s and encourage a diesel and petrol scrappage scheme.
Support local Economies across London
Small businesses and high streets across London need to be supported as the backbone of our regional economy. They manage to provide accessible services to people where they live. I would also push the Mayor on the position of the night time economy, ensuring that night workers are paid fair wages and London has extended night time travel provision.
Most importantly, I will emphasise what the Green Party has already done for London, whether it was setting up the London Living Wage Unit, pressing the Mayor to include ballots for estate residents on regeneration schemes and securing funds or youth services. We need to be able to show the power that Green ideas have had, and could have in the future for all Londoners.
Matthew Crowley is a Green Party activist based in London. He has been a Campaigns Coordinator and Press officer for Barking, Dagenham & Havering Green Party.
Articles from all candidates can be found here.