At Co-operative Party conference held in London over the weekend, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London Ken Livingstone launched the London Co-operative Party manifesto for the 2012 elections.
Our manifesto seeks to address the real needs of Londoners using co-operative structures and co-operative principles. Londoners are facing a cost of living crisis – fuel and transport costs are rising rapidly, housing is increasingly less affordable and not enough is being built, and affordable lending for families and businesses alongside the slowdown in the economy and jobs is a key political issue. Our ideas for energy co-ops helping Londoners get cheaper, greener energy, for new affordable mutual housing models, for helping co-operative businesses borrow and grow, and for credit unions to reach every Londoner to offer responsible savings and loans are some of the ways we want to help Londoners get back on track, and to help Ken Livingstone win next May’s election.
At a reception hosted by London Co-operative MP Gareth Thomas and surrounded by Assembly members and candidates, London councillors and Co-operative party activists, Ken acknowledged the importance of the manifesto and welcomed its proposals. “I’ve read the manifesto and there’s not a single sentence I don’t agree with,” was Ken’s verdict on the document. The mayoral candidate particularly welcomed our housing proposals, specifically our New Foundations model for mutual home ownership on community land trusts. As prominent London commentator Dave Hill reported in the Guardian, this was something which Boris Johnson too had promised – and indeed it was in the Co-operative Party’s manifesto four years ago too – but there has been no action on this front by the Conservative Mayor. It’s excellent news that Ken continues to be committed to expanding affordable housing on co-operative lines.
Gareth and Ken also paid tribute to Val Shawcross, the Labour & Co-operative Assembly Member and Ken’s running mate who has done much to raise the profile of co-operative issues in the Greater London Authority and in Ken’s campaign.
Download the London Manifesto 2012 here.