The London Mayoral elections are two weeks away – but do you know what the candidates actually stand for?
For many people the race has turned into a popularity contest between Boris and Ken, but the result will have significant implications for businesses in London and beyond.
We have trawled through the three main candidates’ manifestos to find out what they have to say about small businesses. Next week Simply Business will be launching its very own mayoral manifesto, based on the best bits pledges from each of the three candidates.
Note: Much of Johnson's manifesto is made up of pledges to oppose Livingstone's proposals. We have included here only his own suggestions.
o Cut tube delays by 30 per cent.
o Review parking arrangements in shopping areas to “reduce any negative impact on businesses”
o Lobby for a new hub airport.
o Oppose Heathrow third runway.
o Launch the ‘London Rental Standard’ accreditation. Accredit 100,000 landlords by 2016.
o Invest in carbon-reducing measures for home construction.
Business and infrastructure
o Use Olympic Park as focus for developing London’s technology centre.
o Continue East London Silvertown Quay retail space development.
o Lobby for changes to London’s funding relationship with central government, including ensuring that London gets back as much as it contributes.
o Create 200,000 jobs through City Hall programmes.
o “Drive the creation” of 1,000 apprenticeships a week.
o Create 4,000 apprenticeships in SMEs.
o Increase to 250 the number of firms paying the London Living Wage.
o Launch a new £35 million fund to provide cheap loans to SMEs.
o Launch more Business Development Districts.
o Lobby against new EU taxes.
o Invest £41 million in ‘regeneration’ projects through the London Enterprise Panel.
o Single Oyster fares cut to £1.20. Inflation-only rises from 2014.
o Crossrail extension
o For rerouting of HS2
o Oppose Estuary airport
o “Champion” new infrastructure projects including an expansion of Crossrail. Press for Overground to be taken under London government control.
o Establish a London Lettings Agency providing good quality accommodation, and with low fees for landlords.
o Establish a Tenants’ Charter. Access to the London Lettings Agency will be restricted to landlords who have signed the Charter.
o Push for a landlord registration scheme.
o Push for a London Living Rent.
o Push for better regulation of the private rented sector.
Business and infrastructure
o Extend apprenticeships so there are “enough places for all 16-18 year olds who wish to take up an apprenticeship.”
o All firms with contracts over £1m with GLA required to offer apprenticeships.
o Pre-apprenticeship course for 1,000.
o Use “all available levers” to encourage adoption of London Living Wage.
o Lobby for 4G across London by 2014. Further develop Tech City.
o Expand SME access to GLA contracts. Institute GLA prompt payment plan.
o Consider ways to use European Regional Development Fund to encourage SFX, games, and production companies.
o Lobby to make visa process easier. “Be a champion of London” abroad.
o Support growth of green jobs through GLA contracts.
o Build SXSW-style festival in London.
o Improve West End public realm
o Encourage councils to use discretionary powers to protect High Street shops and pubs.
o Support fair contracts with pubcos. Look at co-op ownership of viable pubs.
o Bring forward tube upgrades.
o Revive the Cross River Tram
o Lobby for minimised impact of HS2.
o Advance plans for Crossrail 2 between Chelsea and Hackney.
o Oppose Heathrow expansion.
o Pedestrianise stretch between Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street.
o Build 360,000 over the next 10 years.
o Force private landlords to undertake energy efficiency improvements.
o More aggressively enforce health and safety aspects of the Housing Act.
o Encourage longer minimum tenancies.
o Create a London Housing Company to “assemble public land and match it with private investment” for house building.
o Create 40,000 homes above shops, and bring 50,000 empty homes back into use.
o Use local authority powers to license all privately rented accommodation in “specific areas”.
o Promote a landlord kitemark, and launch an online portal for “decent” accommodation.
o Develop a voluntary Good Landlord Charter.
Business and infrastructure
o Establish London Small Business Fund with “socially responsible banks” to provide SME finance.
o Establish London Green Investment Bank.
o Will “name and shame” large firms either not paying the London Living Wage or using zero-hour contracts.
o Appoint a Business Board to “align skills development with the needs of enterprise.”
o Expand apprenticeships through an Apprenticeship Alliance with major employers.
o Set “ambitious targets” for Olympic Legacy job creation.
o Require that at least 10 per cent of jobs created by Olympic contracts go to Londoners.
o Launch a ‘Five-Star Fund’ – a voluntary £1 levy on hotel room stays, to fund youth projects.
o Create more local enterprise zones.
o Seek to diversify the London economy away from finance.
o Consider improvements to BusinessLink.
o “Challenge big companies to promote entrepreneurism”.
o Expand SME access to GLA procurement by ensuring all GLA contracts go through CompeteFor.
o Provide business rate relief and preferential rental values for small retailers in “at-risk” High Streets.
o Develop a ‘one-stop shop’ for tourists to book accommodation and tickets, and buy Oyster Cards.
What do you think?
What should the candidates be promising? How will you be voting on 3 May? Let us know in the comments.