A couple of weeks ago Live! asked the candidates for London Mayor to give us a "manifesto for students", setting out why students should vote for them on May 1st. Candidates with no email addresses or working websites were not contacted - this is 2008 after all. Four of the candidates have responded so far: Brian Paddick, Boris Johnson, Alan Craig and Sian Berry. Their responses are shown below, in the order in which they replied.
If you have got any questions for the candidates, post them in the discussion below and we will try to get an answer from them. Remember to tune in on Tuesday evening where we will try to bring you a live feed of the ULU Mayoral Hustings, assuming the technology all works correctly - after Tuesday a recording will be available.
Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrats
As a Liberal Democrat I oppose the Iraq War, ID cards, and Labour plans for 42 days detention without trial. I will champion Londoners? civil liberties.
London?s 300,000 university students face a real struggle with affordable transport and housing, and the threat of street crime. I pledge free travel for students up to first-degree level without time restriction on bus, Tube, DLR, tram and the ?London Overground? rail lines. We?ll put a thousand SmartHire bikes on London?s streets and more secure parking for cyclists? own bikes. We will take urgent action to turn London?s 83,580 empty properties into sustainable homes at affordable rents. By listening to our communities to get vital intelligence, we?ll bear down on muggers and gun and knife crime.
The environment is at the heart of my policies, see www.brianpaddick.org
The Cross River Tram, with a spur down Oxford Street, and ultra-light rail schemes will bring eco-friendly zero-emission public transport to central London. All new major developments will have to be self-sustaining in energy, waste, and water consumption. I will launch a new scheme to plant thousands of new trees in a drive to develop and restore the character of high streets, markets, squares and open spaces across the capital.
Now that the Mayor leads Learning and Skills in the capital, I will work with universities to close the skills gap that keeps too many young Londoners in the poverty trap. Our new green Eco Centre will be a flagship for research into new ?green? technologies. Vote Liberal Democrats on May 1st.
Boris Johnson, Conservative
Students are an integral part of London and make an important contribution to the city's vibrant atmosphere. Yet for too many students the cost of living is too high, and many students feel there are areas in London that they are not safe to walk in. I have a number of ideas that I hope will make life for students living in the capital a little easier.
On transport I support extending travel discounts for students and I want to see the tube running one hour later on Friday and Saturday nights. I will make it safer and easier for students to cycle around London and will spend £2m on secure cycle parking. To make sure students feel safer travelling I will put more uniformed officers on buses, especially on night buses.
Students are disproportionately affected by mugging, rape and burglary. I will free police from the bureaucracy of endless form-filling and put them back on the beat to make your streets safer and reduce petty crime. I will also give police mobile weapons scanners to help prevent gun and knife crime which is escalating in London.
Student rent in the capital costs an average £102 a week , 71% above the national average and as many as 120,905 students will rent in the private sector. This is an issue which needs to be tackled, student life should be enjoyed to the fullest and I am currently consulting with a range of groups to try and find solutions. My first priority will be to encourage boroughs to publish a fair rents guide so that students can ensure that they are getting value for money.
Alan Craig, Christian Choice
The Christian Choice has a six point plan for London which will help students across the capital:
- Getting around - we will commit funding to completing the London Cycle Network Plus, improve signage of the cycle network and support cycle storage and hire in the Capital. We will initiate a cycle planning website showing the best way to complete a journey by bike and how this links to existing cycle routes, bike hire outlets and cycle storage points.
- Being green - we will push for universities and colleges in the Capital to step up their efforts to reuse and recycle, publishing their policies on websites and involving their students in developing them.
- Protecting students enjoying London's night life - The Christian Choice will improve the community support of local police officers through the extension of Street Pastors, helping students return home safely after a night out in town.
- Improving pay for student employment - We will argue for a London Living Wage of £7.20 per hour, helping students who have to work during their course.
- Improving life chances for students - The Christian Choice will help students and ex students looking to get onto the housing ladder by promoting low interest loans for a deposit. We will also pledge £1,000 to every couple getting married, helping them with the financial burden of their big day.
- Tapping the spirituality of students - we will campaign for students to come to City Hall to pray at the start of each day Assembly sitting, asking for God's wisdom to guide decisions made there.
The Green Party puts the rights of future generations at the heart of its agenda. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege ? something vital to a sustainable society. Further and higher education must be free and open to all, supported through grants.
But we must tackle other injustices facing London's students. The Green Party will extend TfL Student Discounts to pay-as-you-go, create a Youth Assembly to empower young people, and establish a Youth Investment Fund to deliver training and leisure projects. We will tackle London's housing costs that particularly hit indebted students by making sure all new developments have at least 60% affordable housing, and slashing household expenses by providing free insulation.
Electing Greens to the London Assembly means a massive shift of investment to public transport and sustainable technology ? meaning the creation of green jobs benefiting graduates. The Green Party will start a Jobs for Londoners initiative to develop training and secure jobs. We'll provide 10,000 places on training courses for green energy measures and create new jobs in creative industries, manufacturing and local public services.
Green Assembly Members have tripled investment in cycling and walking, secured £18m over the next three years to deliver recycling facilities, set up the Living Wage Unit to tackle poverty pay, doubled expenditure on road safety and more. Vote Siân Berry for Mayor and use your 'peach' voting slip to vote Green on the London-wide list ? this is the best way of electing Greens to tackle climate change, provide a Living Wage to all, protect public services and local business and improve public transport.
Change London for Good ? Vote Green in May.