I love London. I was born here, my children were born here, I’ve worked here all my life. This is a unique city, with an energy like nowhere else in the world.
I’m so proud of London, but I know that too many Londoners don’t share in our city’s success.
I’ve been a childcare officer in Brixton, working with decent families in tremendous poverty. I was a psychiatric social worker in Southwark, helping those who need extra support to get on in life. I’ve seen the true impact of the inequality that holds our city back.
I’ve always fought to build a better, fairer society. That’s what politics is about. It’s not about soaring speeches, and nice sound bites, it’s about delivery – actually making things better, whatever obstacles are put in your way. I’ve always tried to remember that.
As a councillor in Camden I fought for equal pay when people said it was a waste of time – but we won.
As an MP in Dulwich and West Norwood I fought for and won new schools for our community when others said we should settle for what we've got.
As a cabinet Minister I worked with David Blunkett to establish Sure Start – which has helped 100,000s of young Londoners children get a better start in life.
And in 2002 I was the Secretary of State who took the decision to bid for the Olympics in London. It wasn’t easy. Everyone was sceptical. First the department tried to talk me out of it. But I won them over.
Then the Prime Minister said he wasn’t convinced. But I talked him round. Then I convinced the cabinet.
Then – when everyone told us Paris had it in the bag - I got on a plane with the rest of the bid team and we talked the world round as well.
And we delivered the greatest Games the world has ever seen – and London was the star of the show.
The Gamesmakers, the atmosphere in our city, that sense that our home is truly the best place on earth. We all felt it.
The Olympics were a success because we had the best people doing their best work for a great cause. We need to bring that same sense to building One London today.
Every day I see another reason why I want to be the Mayor of London – another example of the things I want to change. The Housing crisis, the inequality that threatens to tear our city apart, the searing lack of opportunity that robs so many young Londoners of their potential…. So it all comes down to this.
I believe I can deliver the change that London needs.
I've always fought for Londoners, I've delivered for London before and I want to fight for the people of this city again.
My plan to build One London where we all share in our city’s success
Building the homes we need, affordable transport you can rely on, unleashing our city’s potential, real opportunity for all Londoners.
We need urgent action to tackle London’s housing crisis. As Mayor of London, I will make housing my number one priority - to finally get a grip of the housing crisis and get our city building the homes we need.
London’s transport is failing to keep pace with the dynamism of our city. If we are to build one London,
As Mayor, I will
If elected London Mayor, I'll introduce a one hour bus ticket so you can change buses without having to pay again. https://t.co/aDzfSPZPoQ— Tessa Jowell (@TessaJowell) June 16, 2015
After housing, fares are one of the biggest costs most families face. Over recent years, the mayor has piled on the pressure, repeatedly increasing bus and tube fares by more than prices at just the moment when wages have stagnated. At the same time, commuters travelling into work by train have been hit by huge hikes in ticket prices. For all Londoners, but particularly those on low pay, there’s nothing fair about rising fares.
Soaring travel costs are not, though, simply a threat to family budgets. They also endanger London’s competitiveness. People pay more to travel to work in London than they do in other cities, not just in the UK but throughout Europe.
And to ensure that London is the best city in the world to live, work and to do business, we have to address the gaps in connectivity and capacity which result from decades of under-investment. Rail travel in London and the south-east has grown by 60 per cent over the past two decades, while capacity has increased by only about 25 per cent. Transport for London forecasts 650,000 more rail trips per day into and around London by 2025.
Crossrail will allow us to start addressing these problems but, alone, it is insufficient. TfL estimates that Crossrail will add about 10 per cent to London’s transport capacity, but population growth in London is set to out-strip that. As London’s transport commissioner recognises, when Crossrail opens in three year’s time “it will immediately be full”.
I want to build One London – where we all share in our city’s success. But today, too many Londoners feel like the opportunity in our city isn’t for them.
For many children and young people, London is the greatest city in the world to grow up. It is a city of huge opportunities and excitement; the best schools in the country; and real cultural vibrancy. But these experiences are not ones shared by all of London’s children and young people. This damaging divide tears at the social fabric of our city entrenching inequality for generations to come.
Despite being the nation’s richest region, London has some of the highest rates of child poverty in Britain. Nearly 4 in 10 of London’s children grow up in poverty. In some boroughs, that figure reaches close to 50 per cent. But, underlining the gulf in wealth and opportunity in our city, that figure is two-thirds lower in the capital’s most prosperous boroughs.
And too many Londoners work hard but don’t receive a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. That has to change. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the best of London.
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