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Paul newman

I was right( in my deleted post) it is litter next !I must be getting the hang of this

As well as giving awards to encourage beauty, the Mayor will maintain a list of architectural monstrosities that beg for remodelling or demolition,

It is scarcely likely that we will end up with a Mayor who is in any way qualified to make such decisions and I deplore the notion of some central aesthetic enforced by what is , after all , just a state hirelling from one party machine or the other. No such decisions should be devolved to Councils.


Phil Taylor

More bar room politics from Aristiedes.

Chewing gum comes under street cleaning and is an issue for the boroughs - get off my land.

Telephone boxes and street furniture - borough issue not Mayor's.

Civic award scheme - hardly cutting edge.

Kiosk precept/empty building precept - silly new taxes that impinge on borough responsibilities.

Statements from the Mayor will not save the planet.

The Mayor has enough to worry about with the Olympics without too many other flagship projects.

Oxford Street should be able to look after itself, it has transport links, it has successful businesses. Maybe the Mayor could contribute by not clogging it with buses but otherwise let them get on with it.

Mayor as architectural critic - no.

Mayor as enthusiast for effective, non-PC policing - yes.
Mayor as leader in making the fire service an effective fire safety service that is in the right place - yes.
Mayor as transport visionary who can finance his plans and not subsidise empty buses, price people off tubes and crucify drivers - yes.
Mayor as London supersalesman - yes.
Mayor who leaves boroughs to drive their own neighbourhoods forward to create a diverse and multifaceted world city - yes.

Mark Wadsworth

All good stuff, this should get people thinking about what they'd like to see. Or not, as the case may be.

George Hinton

Perhaps Gordo can introduce stealth taxes on gum and Red Ken can introduce local by-laws making it illegal to chew gum and walk.
Chewing Gum is a filthy yankee import and needs to be eradicated from our society.
Why not just simply ban it, apart from Nicorette of course, for those giving up the weed.


>> A Conservative Mayor would seek to introduce a Mayoral precept element of business rates to kiosks in order to rationalise the numbers of telephone boxes. <<

>> he shall seek to apply an additional precept to abandoned and unoccupied buildings in the capital. <<

Could you tell me which part of the GLA act this power would be excercised under? I assume you have checked this before advocating the policy or is this like the 'Sack Ian Blair' idea which the Mayor doesn't have the power to carry through?

IMO going into any election it's pretty important to have policies you can actually deliver and whilst I'm happy to corrected I find it hard to imagine such tax raising powers are laying dormant in the GLA Act 1999.


I can only assume that Mark Wadsworth has himself written this series given that, for 4 days running, he has made a meaningless comment congratulating the writer. It is these kind of superficial 'policies' - and blindly uncritical responses - which will lose us another election.


David - feel free to question any of the assumptions I have made behind the policies I have suggested. You have only made one and it is wrong, I am afraid.

I look forward to seeing your election winning policies that are not "superficial".


Martin - You will notice I said that the Mayor will "seek to" introduce both these precepts. He would not need to seek to do it from the GLA act. He would need to do it from parliament itself. Should this stop him?

I think where I take issue with your opinion is that I do not see that the Mayor is hidebound by the exact prescriptions of the GLA Act to get things done. Sure, he will need to work with legislators, private companies, state organisations, etc. but he will have great authority and huge democratic legitimacy that can "deliver" when exerted effectively in a good cause.

I know you believe that my idea of making the election a vote of confidence in Ian Blair will not result in his being sacked but then you seem to of the opinion that the Mayor could not change a traffic light.

Mark Wadsworth

David, you have just insulted both Aristeides and me.

I post all over the place - and not just on ConHome - using my real name. I have never used an alias, trolled or sock-puppeted. I say what I mean and mean what I say, subject to my basic right to change my mind in the light of new evidence.

I trust that you will withdraw your remark.

Martin, BTW, it is the case that local boroughs can set the level of vacant discounts for council tax purposes. It is also the case that the Mayor can set the level of the GLA precept. Whatever the precise mechanics, do you see any fundemtnal flaw in Aristeides' suggestion?


aristeides - Sorry but this is just guff.

You seriously propose going in to an election promising policies the candidate can't deliver with just the glimer of hope that Parliament might then give the powers?

Every time you proposed a policy you couldn't carry out during the election Livingstone would just point to the fact that you wouldn't have the power and your credibility would be shot.

Mark - there are councils currently up in arms over plans to give the Mayor greater planning issues.

Other councils object to his interventions on social housing issues, why do you think - for example - Labour councils would voluntarily set their council tax in order to further the policies of a Tory Mayor?


Martin - it is your absolute right to call this guff, if you like. However, when it reaches that stage, I am afraid I cannot participate further in the debate.

Mark Wadsworth

Martin, a truly Conservative mayor would not interefere in the housing market to anything like the degree that Red Ken does.

For example key worker scheme nonsense, which is a significant deterrent to building anything - what's the point if you have to sell off half your project at cost price?

A truly Conservative Mayor would just let builders getting on with building homes and flats; the vacant property precept will act as a spur to development, unlike s106 agreements and key worker doo-lally, which act as brakes.

The market knows best!

Hope Nott

Aristeides, you should take comfort from Martin's unpleasant remarks. I made the mistake of spending a minute reading his "Mayorwatch" site, which name is obviously intended to suggest that it's one of those self-selected voice of the people sites, whereas I imagine it's more likely that it exists to be a vehicle for Martin's opinions. Opinions are great, but those he posts here are uniformly anti-Tory (not un-Tory; anti-Tory) so who cares what he thinks? He's so knee-jerk anti-Conservative it's a miracle he doesn't have a comedy slot on Radio 4. Perhaps he does, since he publishes his "Mayorwatch" site under the company name "Beyond Ego".


Hmmm, I'm not sure you have read all my comments if you think I'm "uniformly anti-Tory" or "knee-jerk anti-Conservative".

Anyone who HAS read all my comments will know, my sole interest in the Tory selection process is in a desire to see Londoners offered a real choice in 2008.

I don't happen to believe any candidate should have an election sewn up before the campaign gets underway but sadly it looks like Livingstone may well in that position next year.

Most of Aristeides' ideas have been poorly researched, where they've been researched at all. It's fine for him/her to get huffy when that's pointed out but refusing to engage with reality won't help anyone win an election.

As for my site, no-one's ever claimed it was the "voice of the people" - like every other site or news outlet people opt to read it or not. And I'm pleased you appreciate the deliberate irony of my company being called Beyond Ego. :-)

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