Once again Ken Livingstone is showing us just why he should beLondon’s next Mayor. Ken has plans to benefit the vast majority of Londoners after the 2012 mayoral elections. We know Ken will deliver, just as he did during his previous eight years as Mayor when his achievements included the congestion charge, vastly improved bus services and road improvements, including Trafalgar Square, to name but a few.
I really enjoyed listening to Ken address a fundraising dinner organised by Putney Labour Party last Thursday. Ken spoke about his fairer fares campaign which will be a key plank of the Labour campaign in the Londonelection next year.
New figures confirm the positive impact of Ken’s pledge to cut the fares. While Boris Johnson is committed to year on year fare increases at two per cent above inflation for 20 years, Ken has pledged to cut fares and keep them lower than Boris Johnson’s plan. A comparison of the effects of the two policies after four years confirms Londoners would not pay any fares after 8th November compared to Boris Johnson’s ‘high fare’ policy which would see Londoners pay fares to the end of the year.
Ken’s Fare Deal will, in fact, see the average Londoner saving £800.
It was also good to have the opportunity to chat to Ken during the dinner. Livingstone conversations are always interesting and sometimes unexpected. I never thought that the Putney dinner would lead to an exponential increase in my knowledge of garden compost, worms and associated matters. Ken has seemingly moved on from small reptiles to small invertebrates, aiding the environment in the process.
A very pleasant evening ended on a high note when Rex Osborn arrived at the dinner late and sat next to me. Rex, now leader of the Labour Group on Wandsworth Council, is a very old friend. We once shared an office in County Hall when working on the campaign to save the GLC. I hadn’t seen Rex for a long time and it was great to meet up again.
I was also pleased to see Leonie Cooper, another person I have known for a long time. Leonie is the GLA candidate for Merton and Wandsworth who is fighting a cracking campaign. We all wish her the very best.
So all in all an excellent dinner. My thanks as ever to Putney Labour Party, Councillor Peter Carpenter, former Party Chair, Hans Pauley, the current Chair, Sean Lawless who organised the event, Tony Belton and Penny Corfield plus the seventy other guests who all contributed to making the evening such a resounding success.