Ronald Stewart for the London Assembly – Vote for Change
Who is Ronald Stewart?
I’m not a career politician. I’m a local resident who wants London to be the best place for people to live and work and enjoy. That means change.
Being a member of Generation Rent, I've lived in six properties and three London boroughs since 2005. This shows me housing conditions are getting considerably worse for private tenants and social tenants alike. Community centres and local businesses are suffering, with the opportunities we all need being lost and people being driven out of our city. Our public land must be seen as essential space for local people, not as a one-shot chance for councils to cover their budget shortfall. Our property must be seen as housing and business locations for local people, not as an investment vehicle for the super-rich.
I have worked as a local tutor for ten years, building confidence in maths, and I enjoy cycling around to visit students in places from Palmers Green to Muswell Hill, and Manor House. So I will be using and supporting the Cycle Enfield initiative to make our city safer and more pleasant for all cyclists and potential cyclists.
What will I work for on your behalf?
Housing - honestly affordable for ordinary people
- Rent control in the private sector to make sure that ordinary people - and especially younger people doing essential jobs in London - can afford to live here
- More social housing (both Council and Housing Association owned and managed) that people on average incomes can actually afford.
- Energy-efficient housing to make sure people can afford to live in and heat their homes (and to cut our carbon emissions); redevelopment and regeneration needs to have energy efficiency top and centre of the agenda
Planning - shaping our city for the common good
- Community-led regeneration projects that put local residents and their needs first and before the profit of private developers.
- Support for non-profit Community Land Trusts who can develop and steward the regeneration of local areas
- Ensuring that smaller scale developments have a chance so that they can provide more competition and more chances for local businesses than the big developments.
Transport - fair fares and safe streets
- Fair Fares! Transport is vital to keep the city going. We have to be able to travel to work, school and social activities and back safely, at the times we need to travel and at a price that is affordable and fair.
- Flat fare zones (or, in the longer term, a single fare zone) with tickets valid for a certain amount of time rather than being based on arbitrary zone boundaries
- Making the streets safer for all by reducing car and lorry volumes and speeds, by providing safe and efficient cycle routes and by ensuring that pedestrians are also given a fair share of the public space.
Airports - no new runways, close City airpport
- You’ll hear a lot about runways in this campaign. From me, you won’t hear arguments for or against a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. From me you’ll get just one message: we don’t need any new runways in the southeast.
- We have enough airports. In fact, we have one airport too many. A Green-led City Hall would close City Airport, reducing pollution, noise and traffic. But we’d go further: we would use the land to provide space for housing and business premises for local people. This will support people who need truly affordable housing and business premises to express their creativity and pursue their dreams.
- We do not oppose flying per se. But we do oppose needless frequent flying. Most flights are taken by people for business or to visit their second homes (and half of us will take no flight this year). Yes, people should be able to have a trip abroad now and then. And yes, sometimes that will involve flying. But that is only a third of all the flights made. So to ensure that you can have that holiday in the sun, we don’t need any new runways.
Air Quality - London air fit to breathe
Ronald setting up air pollution monitoring tubes in Haringey
- Over 9,000 people a year die in London as a result of air pollution. That is a scandal. It ought to be a crime. I will work for the reduction of pollution to safe and legal levels. Enfield and Haringey Green Parties have already started to monitor air pollution in the boroughs and will be publishing their results.
- Children are particularly vulnerable, their lungs are still developing. Their development is harmed by air pollution but on London’s streets our children breathe toxic fumes all the time. That’s why we measured the air quality around local schools and that’s why I will work to reduce pollution on school routes.
- The protection of public open spaces will be a key priority because of their importance as public amenities and because they help to improve the air quality.
Policing - for our communities to keep us safe
- The Mayor has overall responsibility for policing policy and strategy in London. With a new Mayor coming in, I will work to ensure that the current arrangements do not get watered down and that the Assembly’s right to ask the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner questions is retained and enhanced.
- The security of local people is critical. But the ‘Prevent’ strategy introduced by the government to combat radicalisation is undermining free speech and actually preventing young people in schools and colleges from discussing the questions they have. That makes us less safe. And teachers and lecturers are caught in the crossfire. Green Councillors have already started to tackle this issue at local authority level. I will do the same at the Assembly.
- Boris Johnson spent public money to purchase 3 water cannon. London’s police can’t use them - rightly - because the Home Secretary hasn’t given permission. I don’t believe in the use of water cannon against demonstrators. I don’t believe in the proliferation of weapons in the police. I will work against the militarisation of our police and for a return to policing by consent.