News Release: London Green Party

9th September 2002

London Green Party Federation rejects Mayor's Plan

London Greens from across Greater London met at their annual conference yesterday to discuss Ken Livingston's draft London Plan - rejecting it as failing to protect the environment or improve quality of life for Londoners.

The conference - attended by London's Green MEP, the Mayor's Environment Adviser, Green members of the London Assembly, and prominent Green campaigners and party members - voted overwhelmingly to "oppose the plan as it has been drafted".

The Greens will also make a detailed submission to the Mayor, recommending 40 major changes to turn the Plan around - on social, economic and environmental issues. Victor Anderson, the Mayor's Environment Adviser and Green Assembly Member, gave a presentation on the Plan to the Conference. He said: "This is the most important document to come from the Mayor, affecting London's future for at least the next 15 years. But as it currently stands, it will benefit big business and global investors, not the environment or ordinary Londoners".

As well as planning for the wrong sort of economic development, Mr Anderson told the conference how the Plan "fails to include important targets on greenhouse gases, air quality, traffic reduction and other measures to improve the environment and tackle social injustice".

Danny Bates, the Greens' Policy Co-ordinator for London and main author of the submission added: "We are hugely disappointed with Ken on this. London needs a plan which benefits local communities and reduces the huge gap between rich and poor, whilst also tackling our chronic transport and pollution problems. This can be done - but not with what Ken has put on the table. Our submission will make the detailed case for turning the plan around - putting ordinary people and the environment before big business".

London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, agrees. "What is currently proposed won't improve quality of life in London. Ken's plan to promote financial services and globalisation will mean more commuters and an overheated, overpriced city centre. Many European cities have a very different approach."

Hackney is one area where the practical implementation of the Plan is of great interest. Green candidate for Hackney Mayor, Crispin Truman, voiced his concern about the Plan's failure to help strengthen Hackney's local economy and provide more local jobs. "Hackney has the highest unemployment in the UK", he said, "but the Plan doesn't focus on the type of economic development which could address these kinds of needs. Rather than focusing on city jobs for commuters, the Plan should concentrate on developing more local employment nearer to where people live, and in labour-intensive, 'green collar' sectors - like transport, recycling, refurbishment and renewable energy. The Plan pays lip service to these ideas, but offers nothing to really benefit those in need".

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The London Federation of Green Parties, London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, the Environmental Adviser to the Mayor, Victor Anderson, and the Green Group on the London Assembly are all signatories to the Green Submission on the London Plan.

Contacts: Dean Walton on 07880 748 259