Scott Ainslie
YouTube Screengrab

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 Scott Ainslie, who has the following to say:

The most pressing issues facing Londoners

  • There is far too little honesty, openness, transparency and accountability by those in positions of power.
  • Inequality – the division between rich and poor has become obscene.
  • Our Air is toxic and a public health emergency.
  • Housing – our Council estates are being socially cleansed; too many properties are left empty; too many people are exploited by agents and landlords.
  • It’s a scandal that in one of the richest cities on earth far too many children still grow up in poverty.

How I would tackle these as a London Assembly member

Too many politicians talk the talk, not many deliver on promises. I’ve got a good track record on delivering for people and keeping a spotlight on mediocre politicians to either deliver or resign.

On inequality, I would close tax dodging loopholes for large corporations and rich individuals and increase the top rate of tax to 50%. If the rest of the UK will not do this, then London, as a devolved region should have tax raising powers to take 50p in the £1 from the highest earners immediately and larger properties should pay more in council tax. The largest vehicles should pay a surcharge for taking up more space on our roads. Mediocre politicians have for too long talked of those with the widest shoulders sharing a greater share of the burden, but none of them have actually delivered on it. It’s time to change this.

We need to be able to trust the air we breathe and get diesel and petrol vehicles off our streets; stop airport expansion and Silvertown Tunnel; and vastly improve public transport and making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians to create healthy streets.

On housing, I would:

  • Keep people in their homes and maintain them properly
  • Ensure Housing Associations maintain theirs too and name and shame and refuse to give public money to those that fail leaseholders.
  • Register landlords and name and shame rogue ones
  • Cap rents
  • Crack down on fees charged to tenants by agents

Why I would be a good candidate for the Green Party

In 2014 I was elected as the sole Green councillor in Lambeth. I spent the next four years facing down a ruling neoliberal Labour Party as they sought to demolish council estates and turn libraries into gyms. The fight is on-going but today those estates are still standing.

Just as Sian Berry and Caroline Russell do, I know what it’s like to be a one-person opposition. I know what it’s like to be the only one residents, community groups and campaigners feel they can turn to, when faced with a seemingly unstoppable political force. I know what it’s like to spend every hour you can find supporting and encouraging them to stand up to that force and win, as my campaign video shows.

I’ve helped shine a spotlight on Lambeth Council’s finances and highlighted that if Lambeth stopped being a soft touch for private companies front-line services could have been improved, not cut. “Follow the money” has been my motto and I’ve been forcing greater openness, transparency and accountability in the council’s finances. Within a year of the Lambeth Peoples’ Audit report, the two cabinet members for finance resigned.

I stood up for the survivors of child abuse who suffered in Lambeth’s darkest period of history when no-one else would and I continue to fight with them to get the justice they deserve.

As I have done and will continue to do in Lambeth, as an assembly member I promise to fight for ordinary Londoners who have suffered for too long at the hands of politicians and craven capitalists.

How I would increase the Greens’ vote share in the London Assembly election

I am living, breathing proof that when voters are given Green they want more of it. In my ward last year, not only did voters not turf me out, as Labour tried desperately to persuade them to do, they elected two others alongside me. This is why we’ve gone from 8% of the vote in 2010 to 47.5% in 2018 in my ward.

Sadiq Khan could not beat us. Nor could Chuka Umunna. In Lambeth we went from one councillor to five and are making a real difference.

I ask you to vote for me as your first choice on the London list, because, together we can be a powerful voice to make London Safer, Cleaner, Greener and Fairer.

Please watch my campaign video and hear from others what support I have given and continue to give them.

Please just do not vote for people whose name you recognise and promise to deliver on too many things. Better to focus down on clear deliverables. This has worked in Lambeth and will work across London.

What the Greens should prioritise in the 2020 election

  • Clean Air.
  • Greater equality.
  • The right to an affordable, well maintained home and shelter.
  • Protection & investment in the development of our Young people.
  • City parks and open spaces to just be.

Scott Ainslie is a Green Party activist from London. In 2014, he was elected to Lambeth Borough Council, being joined in 2019 by a team of four other Greens, including party co-leader Jonathan Bartley. 

Articles from all candidates can be found here.