Conference speech: “We will give London back to Londoners”
In my speech to the Green Party conference today I’ve set out plans to work with Londoners to reshape their city.
Speaking to delegates in Bournemouth attending the largest Green Party Autumn Conference to date, my speech had the theme “Giving London back to Londoners. Working with campaigns and citizens to bring their voices into City Hall”
As part of that message, I announced that a Green Mayor would block the Earls Court development, with just 11 per cent affordable housing, and set up a new Community Homes Unit in City Hall to give expertise and money to residents to make their own redevelopment plans.
“As a Councillor in Camden I meet people every week in severe housing need. Families living four in a single room, and they can’t understand why there aren’t new homes for them to move into. And new developments all over London are just failing these families.
“And this is happening not just under Boris Johnson’s gaze, but with his active help, overriding local communities and councils to push these deals through.
“In City Hall, we will be different. I will block the Earls Court development. And Greens will put resources and staff into a new Community Homes Unit to support community-led housing schemes, including and especially in estate regenerations and large brownfield sites.
“There is a thread running through all the ways we can solve our problems in London. We don’t want to win a Green Mayor and Assembly Members to take power for ourselves.
“Greens will give London back to Londoners, bringing the voices of its amazing campaigns and citizens into our campaign and then into City Hall. London is at the heart of the crises we face and it will be at the vanguard of how they are solved.”
The Community Homes Unit would:
- provide expertise and grants to get involved in planning at an early stage and develop viable proposals.
- help residents fighting their council to set-up their own community homes body and take ownership of their estate through a ‘Right to Transfer’ notice.
- help them clear the legal hurdles needed to get these notices approved by the council or Secretary of State.
- help residents all over London develop their own masterplans for the kind of refurbishment and redevelopment they want for the areas they call their homes.