Housing, transport and education: Florence Pollock, 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 Florence Pollock, who has the following to say:
As a young woman who has grown up in London, I have experienced first-hand how young people are side-lined in the capital. It is so important that we have candidates on the list that reflect the spectrum of people who live in our city. And that’s why I’m standing for the London Assembly list.
Since joining the party in 2016 I have been an active member, both in London and nationally. In March 2017 I was elected as the London Representative to the national party disciplinary committee, and have been the deputy chair since March 2018. I have been involved with my local party, Lambeth, standing as a candidate in Vassal in the 2018 local elections, and gaining 5% of vote share. I also helped campaign in our most successful local election campaign where we elected 5 councillors.
In December 2017 I was elected to the committee of the London Young Greens, where I was essential in organising a programme of action weekends campaigning for Target Candidates across the city in the 2018 local elections. While being on the London Young Greens committee I have also been one of the London representatives to the Young Greens Senate.
Of course the most pressing issue facing London (and the planet) is that of climate change, however when so many Londoners are struggling to survive in the city we need to tackle issues that effect their day-to-day lives.
London has the most expensive housing costs in the UK, and the lack of housing enables landlords to charge outrageous rents for substandard living conditions. Putting in rent controls and increasing rights for tenants in London would have a massive beneficial impact on those renting in London.
The cost of public transport, along with housing costs, are a huge financial burden to those on low wages. Currently young people are spending the majority of their salaries on rent and travel, leaving barely anything to live on. I would love to scrap fares for Londoners, but other options could be free travel for those earning less than a certain amount, or implementing a free travel card for those under 25.
Ensuring educational equality, improving access to schools. Pushing political education on to the agenda. Looking back on my years at a comprehensive school in South London a vital component that was missing was any sort of political education. I think this is something that really supports the division in society between rich and poor. Even after going to university and being involved in politics for two years I often feel like I don’t know enough to be involved. By rolling out political education across London it would go a long way to enabling a people from more diverse backgrounds to get involved in politics and understand the ways in which they can have an impact on their communities.
To ensure that we maintain and increase our vote share in the 2020 elections we need to make sure that our candidates reflect the people we wish to represent, and our policies are ones that Londoners can relate to and get behind.
I would love the opportunity to represent the Green Party in the London Assembly and build on the work of our current fantastic assembly members, who have inspired me to stand.
Florence Pollock is a Green Party activist in London. Florence stood in the 2018 local elections in Lambeth, the borough where the Greens won 5 council seats.
Articles from all candidates can be found here.