Last week, we met with Sadiq’s policy team to share the ideas generated at our January Party Council meeting. We have plenty of co-operative solutions to contribute and are keen to ensure that our co-operative values and principles play a key part in the Mayor’s manifesto pledges this year.

Of course many parts of the movement are trying to influence specific aspects of the manifesto. But we, in the co-operative movement, are attempting something more ambitious. Of course we have specific aspirations – from creation of a London-wide Co-operative Development Agency and a Co-operative Commission for London to commitments on wiping out Modern Slavery and tackling abuse against shop workers in the Capital – but more broadly we are trying to help shape the way in which a new administration would work.

Because it’s about how it does stuff, not just what it does. Here are two examples.

Everyone agrees that the housing crisis must be centre stage for the next administration. Co-operative housing can help block the logjam. Meanwhile, whilst London is perhaps the world’s financial centre, thousands of people struggle with debt and financial exclusion. Conventional, for-profit banks are not helping. Credit Unions empower people that other institutions dis-empower. They promote and enable financial inclusion, while ensuring re-investment in the local community so that everyone benefits.

Building on our success at the 2019 London Labour Conference, where we successfully passed our Motion against Modern Slavery, we hope to see fresh commitment from the Mayor’s team on how we tackle this scourge on our society. A densely populated city, we know that tackling modern slavery in the procurement chains at the GLA-level and through collaboration with the Metropolitan Police is crucial to our ambition of safeguarding our communities against the horrors of this modern injustice.

The elections are not just about the mayor. The co-operative voice on the London Assembly will be strong. We are proud to have a strong list of assembly candidates who are committed co-operators keen to advocate our values through implementation of tangible policy.

At the heart of our Party and our movement is the idea that power should be placed in the hands of local people to shape and drive their communities, bringing about sustainable change. We know that we are aptly placed to tackle the complex challenges within our capital through our Co-operative policy solutions, and we look forward to working with our Sister Party to take these forward.