The competition for the Conservative nomination in the upcoming London mayoral election has gained momentum as a candidate unveiled an ambitious proposal to construct 50,000 homes. Alex Challoner has emerged as a contender, putting forth a visionary plan to establish five market communities within the capital.
The plan for development
Challoner, a 53-year-old housing sector veteran, envisions financing the project through a 15 percent infrastructure levy imposed on upfront development, which he estimates could generate millions of pounds. His goal is for each of the five communities to encompass 10,000 new homes, developed in consultation with councils throughout London.
Emphasising his determination to tackle London’s housing crisis head-on, Challoner declared, “London’s housing crisis can be fixed by a bold mayor, and I will be that bold mayor.” With over two decades of experience in the housing sector, he brings expertise and a fresh perspective to the table.
Enhancing public Safety
In addition to his housing-focused agenda, Challoner aims to enhance public safety. He intends to increase the number of police officers dedicated to Safer Neighbourhood Teams by a third and recruit an extra 1,000 officers to support a specialized police unit targeting burglary and car crime.
Transport is another crucial aspect of Challoner’s campaign. The former journalist advocates for the complete automation of the Victoria Line on the London Underground by 2026, with a broader objective of automating the entire Tube network within two years. This proposal seeks to streamline operations and improve efficiency in London’s transportation system.
Meanwhile, London Assembly member Nick Rodgers has withdrawn from the contest, pledging his support for Paul Scully, the Minister for London, who announced his candidacy last Thursday. The Conservative Party plans to narrow down the field to a shortlist of up to three candidates, with the final decision being made through voting by party members on July 19.
The race for the Conservative nomination has attracted an array of contenders. Alongside Challoner and Scully, former Downing Street advisers Daniel Korski and Samuel Kasumu have thrown their hats into the ring. London Assembly members Andrew Boff and Susan Hall have also joined the competition. Duwayne Brooks, who was with Stephen Lawrence during the racially motivated attack that claimed Lawrence’s life 30 years ago, has expressed his intention to seek the party’s nomination as well.
Kasumu, in addition to his candidacy, unveiled a plan to recruit a new generation of volunteer police cadets. This initiative aims to rebuild trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police, fostering positive community engagement.
Responding to the Conservative race, a Labour source emphasized that incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan is committed to building a better London for all residents, highlighting his accomplishments in delivering a record number of council homes.
As the nomination race intensifies, the Conservative Party faces the task of selecting a candidate who can offer innovative solutions to address London’s pressing challenges, including housing, public safety, and transportation. The outcome of this race will undoubtedly shape the future of London’s political landscape and influence the mayoral election.