Yes, it's time for the long-awaited elections bunfight ...
There are two sets of elections going on which affect Brockley residents - for the Assembly and for the Mayor. BC is going to focus on the policies of the major parties which are contesting both sets of elections, but in the interests of balance we've included a full list of candidates too.
We've used each candidate's official election materials to pull out a selection of their policies and promises which have some relevance to Brockley, and tried to present them in a balanced way. If you feel we've missed out or misrepresented something important then do please tell us so via the comments section!
The mayoral elections:
The high-profile struggle between Boris 'scourge of Liverpool' Johnson (for the Conservatives) and Ken Livingstone (nominally Labour, though you wouldn't notice it from his publicity materials, which stick to a fetching shade of purple) has been hogging the headlines, but Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrats) and Sian Berry (Green Party) are also in with a chance of a decent showing. They've all got policies that could affect Brockley, so let's have a quick look at the highlights ...
- increasing police numbers and cutting red tape: could this affect the status of Brockley's local cop shop?
- Arm the police with hand-held weapons scanners: could this target Brockley's local villains?
- Live CCTV on buses and a community service scheme for young people who abuse free travel: well the Brockley Cross Action Group could do with some help on their station clean-up days ...
- More uniformed officers on buses and station platforms: would this make those who use Brockley transport at night feel safer?
- Protect our green, open spaces and encourage more recycling: good to hear Boris is a fan of Hilly Fields; perhaps he could do something about those big recycling bins outside the sorting office on Brockley Road?
- Work in partnership with local councils to build the homes that people want and can afford: but would Lewisham mayor Sir Steve Bullock want to work with him?
- Continuing to improve bus services, renewing the Tube, bringing more rail services under London's control to raise standards: trains are a perpetual gripe, so this measure could win over Brockley's commuter crowd ...
- Basing a permanent police team in every neighbourhood: a concrete promise that could combat Brockley residents' complaints about a lack of bobbies on the beat.
- Building at least 50,000 new affordable homes over three years and maintaining the policy that at least half of new homes are affordable by ordinary Londoners: is Brockley affordable?
- New opportunities for young people in education and training and providing new safe places to go outside school hours: Brockley currently lacks space for young people; can Ken deliver?
- Make the Freedom Pass operate 24 hrs a day, free bus travel for under-18s, extend student discounts to Oyster pay-as-you-go: older people, kids and students are three well-represented groups in Brockley, will they cheer for cheaper public transport?
- "If I can't cut crime and make our streets safer, I'll quit": but does he approve of the yellow signs?
- Fighting to stop the closure of smaller police stations across the capital: can Brian bring bobbies back to Brockley?
- Improve bus services, particularly in those areas outside the tube network: this includes large parts of Brockley.
- New technology will be introduced to provide better information to passengers about bus services: but can he make them run on time?
- Opposes Heathrow expansion: could cut noise pollution in Brockley's skies
- Cut the cost of living: Dandelion Blue, are you listening?!
- Slash the capital's carbon footprint: Brockley's good recycling service could give us a head start on this target, but she's also promising free insulation for every home that needs it (plenty of Brockley's old Victorian buildings do - they're draughty as hell). And she wants to see solar panels on 100,000 roofs by 2015. How many of those will be in Brockley?
- Cut all bus and off-peak Tube fares by 20p: leaving more money in our pockets for those Friday night trips to City Noodles ... not to mention her promise of a London 'living wage' of at least £7.20/hr.
- At least 60% of new housing will be affordable: Brockley could become even better value for money.
- Oppose all airport expansion in London and the South East: Less air and noise pollution for Brockley, but what about our cheap fun in the sun?
- Round-the-clock community policing through Safer Neighbourhoods Teams: does that mean round-the-clock yellow signage too?
In the interests of balance, the other mayoral candidates on your ballot paper are:
Richard Barnbrook, BNP
Lindsey German, the Left List
Gerard Batten, UKIP
Alan Craig, The Christian Choice
Matt O'Connor, the English Democrats
The assembly elections:
Bit of a tricky one this. You cast two separate votes in this contest - one for a named individual and one for a party. This is because of the complexities of proportional representation. The individual with the most votes wins the constituency member seat on the assembly. Additionally, the votes from all constituencies are totalled up; any party that gets more than 5% of the total vote gets a seat. The number of seats a party gets is proportional to its share of total votes cast.
So, Brockley falls into the Lewisham & Greenwich constituency, and the individuals competing for your vote are:
Tess Culnane (National Front)
Len Duvall (Labour Party, and current L&G representative on the Assembly)
Chris Flood (Socialist Alternative)
Stephen Hammond (Christian People's Alliance and Christian Party)
Andy Jennings (Conservative Party)
Jennifer Jones (the Left List)
Susan Luxton (yes, that one - the Green Party)
Johanna Munilla (English Democrats)
Brian Robson (Liberal Democrats)
Arnold Tarling (UKIP)
In addition you are asked to cast a vote for one of the following parties:
Abolish The Congestion Charge
One London (Leader Damian Hockney)
Respect (George Galloway)
Unity for Peace & Socialism
Rathy Alagaratnam (independent)
So those are your choices - now it's up to you to decide who's best for Brockley on May 1st. Who's it going to be?
Yes, it's time for the long-awaited elections bunfight ...