Monday, 26 January 2015

Livingstone reveals manifesto for London

Ken Livingstone has launched his manifesto for London with a pledge to re-establish a development target with an ‘expectation’ that half of all homes built in the capital will be affordable.

Mr Livingstone, the Labour candidate for the Mayor of London, revealed today that he would again put in place the target while also ensuring that one third of new homes would be for social rent.

Boris Johnson, the Conservative candidate, got rid of the 50 per cent target after becoming mayor in 2008.

In his manifesto, Mr Livingstone said: ‘No borough should be able to get away with failing to build affordable homes for its residents.  I will again expect 50 per cent of homes built in London to be affordable and will move as rapidly as possible towards ensuring that at least one third of new homes are for social rent. I will also set an ambitious target for family homes.’

Mr Livingstone also committed himself to creating a ‘land bank’ for the construction of new homes from which he would release Greater London Authority land to housing associations and developers on a long term equity share basis.

Other pledges in the manifesto include campaigning against cuts to housing benefit, the blocking of developments which lose social homes without replacements which meet local housing needs and to support local authorities which want to build new council homes.

Mr Livingstone has also highlighted the private-rented sector and has said he will campaign for a ‘London living rent’, push for a mandatory landlord registration scheme and establish a pan-London non-profit making lettings agency to help reduce rents by cutting out estate agents.

Mr Livingstone said: ‘My manifesto today has at its core key pledges that will make Londoners better off by £1,000 or more, through their fares, household energy bills, rents, education maintenance allowance and childcare costs.’

Readers' comments (10)

  • Melvin Bone

    'My manifesto today has at its core key pledges that will make Londoners better off by £1,000 or more'

    The best way would by letting everyone use his accountant.

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  • Nicole M

    Most of us have an 'expectation' that manifesto pledges made by politicians will turn out to be BS.

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  • Melvin Bone

    He was shedding crocodile tears at his press launch today...

    Why would you trust a man that blackmailed his own party?

    I'm glad I do not live in London...

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  • Old Ken really is beyond the Pale.

    He makes Boris look like a beacon of integrity - shows how impoverished Labour is in its talent pool.

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  • New labour have been totally awful for tenants and poorer
    communities in the previous 13 years , as they have allowed
    housing rents to go up by over 200% in that time , as well
    as allowing hugh price rises in basic necessities such as
    gas / electric / water / food / clothing / transport / council tax.
    The tories are keeping these high rents but cutting all sorts
    of necessary benefits for poorer people.
    New labour have allowed the rich and the better off to dominate the whole subject of housing and make billions of pounds in profits
    from the boom in bank lending and a 300% rise in property prices ,
    whilst the poor find themselves crushed by the doubling and
    trebling in the basic cost of living, with these devastating benefit
    cuts adding to their difficulty.

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  • Ken does not deserve to be Mayor. He squandered billions on the Olympics. No promised regeneration for East End of London. Highest unployment and deprevation. Great Olympics ticket scam, so only rich get the best tickets, great secrecy over allocation.

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  • Gavin Rider

    James - you forgot to blame the government for your favourite football team being relegated...

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  • Jon Southall

    In the true spirit of Labour, Ken's mouth is writing cheques his **** can't cash.

    I wouldn't trust him Melvin. Not to do anything of value that is (and so free access to his accountant's services will not be forthcoming). I suspect Ken is only interested in achieving power and prestige for himself.

    Are there still people out there who are moved by his empty rhetoric?

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  • Melvin Bone

    To be fair Ken could save a heap of cash doing without his previously vast drinks cabinet or dishing out grants to his lackies.

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  • Alpha One

    You can set all the targets in the world, it matters not a jot, if you've not developers with cash to meet them.

    If you make developers give 50% of all homes they build to affordable, it means that they have to make the open market homes more valuable so they can at least make up their costs, not to mention their profit.

    The reason the 50% target failed to deliver before, is the same reason why it will fail to deliver again. Developers need to make money to build, if you stymi their cash flow by imposing arbitrary targets that bear no corrolation to actual need, then you reduce their ability to build.

    Despite the furore over the Tottenham deal, it was actually well thought through. The Council identified that there was not a need for affordable housing in the area and allowed a solely open market development to take place. Put aside the social engineering hat and look at housing need and it was a good decision.

    Centrally set targets do nothing but give people a target. In the public sector it leads to an abundance of employees, employed specifically to make it look like the target has been reached. In the private sector it's just ignored if it is not achievable.

    As for the rest of his 'manifesto', it's just same old red Ken.

    Vote Borris!

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