Shaun Bailey

Mayoral candidate blog – Shaun Bailey

Age UK London recently hosted its Older Londoners’ Election Hustings 2021 and have also released its Manifesto.

We asked the leading London Mayoral Candidates if they would write a blog post for older Londoners. Here we have the third piece from Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate.

It is crucial that we have a city that works for everyone, including older Londoners who have experienced our city’s history and can guide us towards the future. My grandfather was a Windrush immigrant who fought for Britain in the Second World War. His grandson is the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London. This story is only possible in London.

London is the greatest city on earth. But we face big problems — and the pandemic exposed how deep those problems run. Knife crime is at a historic high. Good homes are unaffordable. Investment in our transport network has dried up. The cost of living keeps rising. And the Mayor of London won’t take responsibility for any of it.

Older Londoners are business owners, grandparents, police officers, and NHS and care workers. They are our family, our neighbours, and the backbone of our community. For London to recover, we can’t go back to how we were before. We need a fresh start. And that means new leadership in City Hall. Safe streets and a functioning transport network are not a luxury; they are a necessity and they are the responsibility of the mayor. That’s why as mayor, my priority will be improving public safety and fixing and funding TfL.

In 2020, London was less safe than in 2016, when the current mayor came to power. Robbery was up 86% by March 2020 compared to 2016. Knife crime was up 60% over the same period. Our grandparents can’t walk London’s streets safely because Sadiq Khan is more concerned with press officers than police officers.

This has got to change, and as a former youth worker I understand that you need to address both public safety and the root causes of crime. I have lived through the problems that so many Londoners face, and spent twenty years as a youth worker helping Londoners have a fresh start.

That’s why I will make our streets safer by hiring 8,000 more police officers and reopening 38 police stations. In addition to stopping crime, I will nip future crime in the bud by building 32 new youth centers and hiring 4,000 new youth workers.

In the middle of a pandemic, Londoners need support from their mayor. But since the coronavirus hit, Sadiq Khan has continued to hammer Londoners, raising the cost of living to make up for his own financial mismanagement, and making London inaccessible for so many.

Sadiq Khan raised the congestion charge to £15 a day, seven days a week and is extending ULEZ to the North and South Circular roads. The fact that before the pandemic nearly 200,000 older Londoners could go for up to a month without being visited or visiting a friend or family member is unacceptable.

I will scrap Sadiq Khan’s expanded Congestion Charge Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone without hesitation. Many older people rely on cars and blue badges to visit friends and family. I will commit to making it easier for older people to move around London by reversing Sadiq Khan’s road taxes and most importantly exempting blue badge holders from ULEZ and any future road taxes.

I am also committed to fixing Transport for London’s finances — to protect services and deliver a better transport for all Londoners. London’s transport network is the fuel for our city. It’s how businesses get around. It’s how we visit friends, family, and care for our loved ones.

But over the last five years, our transport network has struggled to cope. Sadiq Khan’s mismanagement has cost TfL £9.56 billion since 2016 and threatened vital amenities like the free over-60s travel and the Freedom Pass. These services are crucial; it is how older individuals are able to see friends, support families and participate in our communities.

I will ensure that free travel for over-60s and the Freedom Pass are protected by introducing corporate sponsorship to the tube network. TfL has now been bailed out multiple times by the taxpayer. We need a fresh approach to restoring TfL’s finances once and for all.

This is a priority issue in your Manifesto, and a priority for me too. As mayor, I will guarantee the Freedom Pass, and invest in vital transport upgrades, including lavatories in Tube stations and Step Free Access.

I commit that under all seven of the mayoral strategies the needs of older Londoners will be catered for. As mayor I will commit to represent and include older Londoners and ensure that
London works for people of all ages.

Shaun Bailey

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative Party’s candidate to be Mayor of London, was born in a council house and raised by a single mum. He went through periods of homelessness and unemployment. Shaun spent twenty years as a youth worker, getting kids out of crime and into work. His youth work brought him to the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron, who asked Shaun to join the team in Downing Street. During his time in government, Shaun helped to deliver the National Citizen Service, the largest youth programme in British history. And he helped to expand access to the Army Cadets, a programme that helped Shaun stay on the straight and narrow in his teenage years. Shaun has spent the last four years as an Assembly Member in the Greater London Authority and says this has made him see how politicians are failing Londoners.

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5 thoughts on “Mayoral candidate blog – Shaun Bailey

  1. We older Londoners need a mayor of London that understands the needs of we elderly Londoners making traveling easy to be able to communicate with our family to have opportunities with the freedom pass and we are looking forward to scrap the TV licence for age 75yesrs as promised and practiced before keep the road safe and our environment looking forward to a Great London

  2. From what the present mayor record in office over the last five years has shown He has been a failure.therefor we should go out in masses . On polling day and make sure he is replaced by someone who will take responsibility. And stop putting up taxes on hard working people and wasting them on his own pet projects. Before it’s too late.

  3. Shaun Bailey
    Straight to the point
    1) I have been staunch supporter of Age UK London: we strongly protested against the TV licence being scraped, downloaded (dropped) boxes full of thousands petition signature at the doors of BBC House, but failed.
    2) The new Congestion Charge Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone charge and extending ULEZ to the North and South Circular roads will a definitely kill business all round locally or the city and West End, this will be deterrent to Older Londoners socially from visiting and meeting family and friends who live in different Boroughs which is covered by North and south circular. Therefore NO, NO, NO.
    3) Most Important to the Older Londoners, not owning cars, is Freedom Pass Under no circumstance be scrapped. A pledge is sought.
    Our previous Mayor despite promise made, Has failed miserably on many issues.

  4. I am thankful to you that you published the views of all Mayoral candidates.
    Our votes will go to the person who is helpful to our group of elderly community.
    We have lost the TV licence and Freedom pass was also going to be taken away. Thanks for your campaign that the present Mayor agreed to delay the withdrawal.
    Our group has to act wisely.

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