Visions Rachel from Lewisham

Rachel from Lewisham

I would like to live in a London in which those with power live and work in London too.

 Not only power but wealth and property: houses shouldn’t have their residents relocated and value inflated so that they can stand empty while their value continues to rise, filling the pockets of the investor and no one else. Houses in London should be occupied by those who live and work in the area, and rent controls should make it possible for anyone to live within 3 miles of their place of work, if they so choose.

For those who choose not to live close to work, travel must be affordable. TFL is one of the most efficient and effective services in the world: it needs to be protected. TFL employees require continued support from the Mayor of London, and prices must be regulated to ensure that the service remains affordable. A tiered pricing system for travel might seem far-fetched but could help those on lower incomes to get around London.

Wage gaps are everywhere, and must be recognised. A London living wage is a necessity while at the other end of the scale, progressive taxing will generate the public funding needed to support valuable services. Companies must release their pay gap statistics so that inequality between genders, ethnicities and orientation is recognised and eradicated. To set the example, those in power need to do more to ensure that those within their ranks represent society, both in terms of gender and demographically.

A better London is a safer place to live and move. Harassment and intimidation is rife on public transport, in the workplace and on the streets, particularly when related to gender and orientation. Stricter laws must be put in place to stop this, and clearer direction for victims. If a stranger makes me feel uncomfortable or harassed on the tube, I should know exactly what procedure to follow in order to make it stop.

The sources of power in London must listen to its people.

Londoners who feel powerless are less safe, less fulfilled and less likely to behave as if they belong to a community.  The sources of power in London must listen to its people. Democracy sounds simple, but isn’t easily recognisable in the London of today. Strikes happen sometimes, but could be avoided with proper democratic consultation. Worse than this is the apathy that Londoners feel about their situation; we should feel able to voice our opinions without feeling like it’s falling on deaf ears. Public consultations led by governing bodies should be a requirement for any proposed major change to public services; and those consultations must be listened to, rather than just being a formality, or gesture towards democracy.