Luisa Porritt prioritises local businesses as she launches London Mayoral campaign

Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt has launched her campaign to become London's next Mayor with a promise to focus on jobs, homes and clean air

As the capital emerges from the pandemic, Luisa and the Liberal Democrats believe it is an opportunity for real change and time to take London forward.

Setting out her plan, Luisa criticised the Tory Government's failure to support London. She said: “Unemployment is currently worse in London than any other part of the UK as a result of the pandemic. You wouldn’t know that from the Government’s lazy narrative about levelling up, where the Tories try to pit us against the rest of the country. 

“Small businesses are on their knees, with debts piled up during the pandemic through no fault of their own and Brexit already squeezing their margins. 

“My plan for jobs includes reinventing every high street in the capital so that, once again, they become thriving places at the heart of our communities.

“That means no longer relying solely on retail, by introducing a range of services that local people want and need - from shared working spaces to childcare, to more places to eat and drink after work.

“Lib Dem-run Sutton Council is already leading the way on this. Taking ownership of buildings and bringing in a mix of uses to meet the local community’s needs.

“As Mayor, I would establish a Reinvent The High Street Taskforce to showcase best practice, gather data, raise funds and provide the technical support to local councils needed to make these transformations a reality all over the capital."

Luisa's plans to support business, the self-employed and jobseekers also include fighting for a rent relief fund to help small businesses clear debts piled up in the pandemic and a London Apprenticeships Hub to offer technical support to businesses to unlock more apprenticeships and help young Londoners find more opportunities for skills training and work.

London goes to the polls on May 6, with three ballot papers: the Mayor of London, the London Assembly list candidates and a constituency candidate. Richmond is in the South West London constituency, which also includes Kingston and Hounslow, with Cllr Gareth Roberts, leader of Richmond council, our Lib Dem candidate to be a strong voice for South West London in City Hall. 

Gareth is already leading on making sure Richmond council is offering the best support to local businesses.  

He said: "Your local council has been ensuring that the financial support is being rolled out as quickly as possible. We’ve launched the Shop Local campaign and approved £70k investment to support at least 200 existing businesses and 50 start-up businesses by the end of 2021.

"The Lib Dems will make sure that local business is at the heart of the Covid recovery."

Cllr Gareth Roberts in Twickenham

Luisa said: “At this crucial moment for our capital, we have a choice: Do we return to the five-day office commute, miserable for most and often unsafe and inconvenient for women? Do we stick with the same way of doing things that’s led to high rents, poor landlords and the pipe dream of home ownership? Do we consign ourselves to breathing polluted air? Covid-19 isn’t the only silent killer on the streets of London.

“Or do we choose another path? Not to reset, but to move forward - to a happier future, where people can thrive.

“The Liberal Democrats have a plan to do just that. A plan to Take London Forward with three simple priorities: Jobs, Homes and Clean Air.

“Our city has changed radically in the last year, and with big change comes big opportunity. 

“With the right leadership, I know we can take London forward."

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