It can’t have escaped your attention that there’s a bit of an election coming up this week. On the May 3rd to be precise. And it’s not just any election, we’re talking here about a London election. It’s your chance to decide who should be the next Mayor of this great city of ours, gawd luv it. Should it be the bumbling blond bombshell who’s made a career from “being Boris” or should it be Ken, the “professional maverick politician” who’s manner frequently seems less maverick and more “lecturer in politics at a suburban sixth form college in 1989”. There are other candidates standing but it’s essentially a two horse race… although unlike Boris and Ken there are no recorded incidents of horses squaring up to each other in office lifts over their tax arrangements.
In addition to the Mayoral election you also get to complete two, yes two, ballot papers for London Assembly members. The London Assembly is a bit like a TV show presented by Nick Knowles. You’re aware that it does exist, you’re just not quite sure why. Apologies, that’s harsh. The London Assembly has an important role in holding the Mayor to account, championing the causes and concerns of Londoners and in ensuring certain policy areas get a proper London-wide approach rather than being left solely to the 32 Boroughs. A kind of GLC-lite for those with long memories. On Thursday you’ll get to vote for your constituency representative for south west London. Currently it’s Tony Arbour (Conservative) and he’ll be standing again, trying to fend off the challenges of the other parties represented by Munira Wilson (Lib Dem), Lisa Homan (Labour), Daniel Goldsmith (Green) and Jeffery Bolter (choice party or summat like that). In addition to your constituency member you get to vote for London-wide members. As you’d expect this features all your favourite parties, a couple of independents and a few groups banging on about putting something or other first (England, London, marriage, etc).
Sometimes this whole Mayor thing can seem a bit remote from life in London’s premier suburb, after all, there are no Boris Bikes and no Congestion Charge around here and nor is there much cash coming our way from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund. Yes LBRuT secured some money in the first round but then got nothing from the funding awarded in January 2012. Thanks for that. However, even though some of the priorities for London can seem less pressing in the leafy and (relatively) affluent streets of Twickenham than elsewhere, issues such as affordable housing, jobs, transport and crime are still relevant here. We’re still part of London, after all. Happy voting. What will Twickenham decide?
* London Elects