Wednesday, 4 September 2013

London: World Capital or a collection of feudal villages?

I was a bit of an oddity standing as London Mayoral Candidate and I reckon nobody can question me more than I questioned myself for standing for what was obviously impossible to achieve. Adding to the difficulty of performing the task in hand, we had Nationalists - some of them elected with British National Party support - stabbing us in the back and even allowing themselves to be used so that they could carry out their pitiful little revenges against the British National Party.

Now, the election and the little revenges are in the past but what isn't in the past is the obvious need to change the way London is run because London has increasingly become a joke of a city with a myriad of problems that cannot be sold unless we have what I proposed for London during the GLA Elections: A Master Plan for the Entire Region of London.

London is in fact a collection of villages dating from feudal times with thirty-three different administrations that collide with the newly instated Greater London Authority and with existing governmental organizations and in this kind of political environment responsibility for whatever happens in London gets diluted.

Other major cities have one single authority in charge and this speeds up resolution processes and makes possible to have a single Master Plan that ensures that there is across the board consistency in terms of planning and development.

Duplications or even triplications in terms of organizations that are supposed to deal with London's problems is a very costly, very bureaucratic and also a catastrophic way of managing London. Overlapping powers become confusing hurdles along the way and when you calculate a budget such complexity increases costs and creates unnecessary delays.

Increasing congestion charges is merely a money making strategy and has nothing to do with improving the health of people and of the transport network. Narrow roads, many of them one-way roads, will forever be narrow and no amount of taxation will solve the problem of traffic congestion unless we are willing to stop treating London as if it were a Museum. We need people to move around to generate economic activity so penalizing people for using services that they are supposed to use to generate economy activity is absolute madness.

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