We want London to be a healthier, happier, more equitable city that is a European capital, open to the world. Like many Londoners and members of the Commonwealth, we have had family members lay down their lives for the principles of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights.
The actions of the current UK government - from the Windrush scandal to the 'hostile environment' migration policy and the rejection of calls to feed hungry children through the covid pandemic period - all show that London must build its own path to fiscal and political independence.
Support our campaign to make London Independence a key issue in the 2021 mayoral elections. Together we can do this and demand bold leadership that will create conditions for London Independence this decade. Join us!
We will use the funds raised to publish and launch a detailed platform alongside a multi-channel media campaign that will run from January heading into the Mayoral elections in May 2021.
Support London Independence as a European city state today!
These are unprecedented times but together, we are stronger. London can show the way forward for other UK cities to take back financial and political control from Westminster and determine their own path towards a healthier, more prosperous and equitable future. Help us launch a public plan to transform London heading into the 2021 mayoral elections.
A 10-point plan for London to take back control
1. Issue a TfL London Passport connecting Londoners with European capitals. A passport for all London residents connected with European cities and including a negotiated, reciprocal working arrangement to maintain and grow our personal and professional links with European cities.
2. Move the Mayor of London's office back to the County Hall. Bring London’s government back to its home at the County Hall.
3. Declare an intention to move towards London Independence from the UK as a European city state. It is time to assert our political and economic independence from an increasingly xenophobic and parochial UK government and plan for a new status for London as a European city state, open to the world. Join us to get the ball rolling for London Independence in the 2020s.
4. Introduce the four-day London work week. We all need more time to think, plan, manage our lives and families, maintain healthier lifestyles, and to engage in democracy. It is time for London to follow Finland, New Zealand, and other leaders in adopting a 4-day work week as standard.
5. Transition the Square Mile into the world’s first great traffic-free city centre & create a network of zero emissions town centres across London. London's 200+ town centres all deserve investment in public realm, local high streets and broadband to create a thriving system to support prosperity for all Londoners.
6. Provide high quality free childcare for preschool age children. We know that children are the future and investing in a high quality early childhood care for all families across London will help ensure everyone gets a healthy start, and that parents, and mothers in particular, have more time for a professional career alongside starting a family.
7. Create a truly world-class zero emissions public transport network. Negotiate return of bus and ferry franchise into a single integrated transport system with all electric bus and ferry boat fleets operated by TfL. We will ensure that a fully integrated public transport system is linked to cycling and scooter sharing systems in London and other European capitals.
PAYING FOR IT - London needs local revenue to support its Independence
8. Introduce an empty homes tax. Work with London Councils to introduce a London-wide empty homes tax on around 25,000 empty homes across London to raise revenues, assessed at 3% of assessed property value for all properties empty more than 6 months out of the tax year. This would build on the Vancouver model.
9. Legalise cannabis and support a local retail market for London to generate jobs & local government revenues. Bring the benefits of cannabis legalisation and taxation to London, based on lessons from legalisation in Canada, California, Colorado, and cities like Chicago, and Atlanta. Currently, around 16,000 Londoners are arrested each year on cannabis possession or supply charges. Yet the UK is the world’s largest exporter of medical grade cannabis and companies like Savills offer corporate clients “turnkey” commercial growing greenhouses and the London Stock Exchange hosts cannabis ETFs. With a market in the billions of pounds, it is time to legalise and regulate a local cannabis market for London, and to provide a streamlined, comprehensive clemency programme for anyone convicted of simple possession drug offences.
10. Introduce road user charging on all TfL routes. With the phase out of internal combustion engine vehicles, it is time to shift local government revenue to road user charging and London can lead the way, starting with TfL and rolling out smart road user charging across all roads.
11. Accelerate the systematic land use transition away from redundant roads & parking. Roads and parking currently take up 80% of all public space in London. There are 6.8 million parking spaces across London, even though most Londoners don’t own a car. We can build on the leadership of Anne Hidalgo in Paris and transition on-street parking and public parking lots to new public parks, food producing allotments, energy gardens, parklets, housing and commercial space.
12. Improve and extend separated cycle lanes & landscaped walking routes across London. London deserves a complete network of separated cycle lanes across the whole city. We would accelerate plans for this and shift budgets currently allocated to the Silvertown Tunnel to build out a world-class cycling network, and landscaped, public walking routes connecting London’s unique constellation of town centres and public parks. London's communities, architects and landscape architects can build out truly world-class walking and cycling infrastructure accessible to all residents.
13. Transition all TfL routes to zero emissions only vehicles. Embrace the future with a zero emissions vehicle standard on all TfL routes.
14. Phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025. London can be the first great city to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine vehicle by 2025.
15. Require all new buildings to meet Passive House standards or be energy positive. The built environment is in London’s DNA and we can join other leaders around the world in ensuring that all new buildings meet the highest efficiency standard, and also get serious about Building Integrated and district clean energy systems in all new developments. The technology is there, so it’s time to make it happen!
16. Make London’s net zero waste targets a reality in time for 2030. We will work with all stakeholders to ensure that there is a plan to improve waste disposal, recycling & reuse and composting systems across London. This has to be done at scale and quickly to meet our net zero waste targets by 2030.
17. Revise council tax bandings to be progressive. En route to taking back control of the property tax system as an independent city state, we will work with the central government to open up the council tax system to make it more progressive. We would also ask for council tax to be paid by the property owner rather than the renter in line with practices in other OECD countries.
18. Introduce a London land value tax & affordable housing requirements. Development levies and other forms of land value capture have operated across UK cities but are not uniformly and transparently applied across London. We would create a simple, transparent and uniform framework for applying land value capture principles to all re-zoning and development planning grants, and would ensure that property developers provide a minimum social housing component in all new builds. This has been done in the past and works.
19. Enable new Play Streets in every borough. With around 2 million children in London, there is an acute need for more safe space to play and engage in the community, and Play Streets are an easy way to make this possible. We will create a simplified process to enable new Play Streets requested in any borough in partnership with London Councils.
20. Celebrate Londoners' human connections that link us to communities across Africa, North and South America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia and deepen our city’s engagement and leadership on building a more inclusive, equitable and connected global community.