Bridget Fox, who is a Liberal Democrat candidate for the Greater London Assembly, was also present and spoke on a number of issues and showed her excellent knowledge on air pollution and other environmental matters.
The main points from the evening were:
- Brian Paddick has a track record of success. He started off as a police constable and ended up as one the Met's highest ranked officers. He knows how to reduce crime and has given some very productive advice on why the riots started and how we can avoid them in the future.
- Ken Livingstone is a man of the past; Boris now has a track record (and not a very good one, given his poor judgement in spending our money)
- Talking about bus fare he said it was very easy for Ken to promise to reduce them but it isn't sustainable. Ken promised the same before and then they rose and rose AFTER the election! Brian thinks the key is to reduce spending on non-priority items (such as the £9 wasted by Boris on 6 Routemaster buses or the expensive cable car across the Thames) and then ensure that fares are fair. Fair's Fare.
- An example of a fairer bus fare would be to introduce a one-hour ticket. This would mean that those who use two buses in the same hour would only pay once. The proposal would not cost that much and would help those on low and fixed incomes.
- About hospital closes Brian said that he is totally against merging hospitals' Accident and Emergency and Maternity services. These should be local and are needed so that friends and families can visit those who are sick or have had children.
- There was a need to create more affordable housing. One suggestion was to both protect green spaces but building one brownfield sites such as those which Transport for London owns. They could lease them and some of the money could come from banking organisations who many feel owe us all something.
- Bridget Fox said she wanted to see Youth Workers attached to each local police team. This would cost money at the beginning but would help a lot of teenagers and would probably reduce future spending on issues that could have been avoided.
- With the Olympics nearing us it was mentioned that more needs to be done to ensure that the new stadiums and facilities are not left dormant after the Olympics. Brian also said that he wanted to see lots of children able to take part in sports after the Olympics have occurred. Quote right.
It was a great night and it is good to see politicians travelling around London to hear what people want and what they things about how things are now.
If you want to contact Brian or Bridget why not use their twitter accounts: @brianpaddick and @BridgetFox