Sadiq Khan has simply been re-elected as the mayor of London.
From the heated debates over Brexit and the more and more crude tradition warfare that’s pushing us additional aside, to the best way areas and nations throughout the UK are being pitted towards one another, creating additional resentment.
As we search to rebuild from this horrible pandemic, as cities, areas and nations within the UK, we merely should use this second of nationwide restoration to attempt to heal these rising divisions. That’s why, since being re-elected as Mayor of London, I’ve made reaching out and constructing bridges between our capital and different areas across the UK a precedence.
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Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is because of go to Yorkshire at this time.
Rather than specializing in what divides us, I wish to focus extra on what unites us, each culturally and economically, and the way we will work along with widespread goal. As half of this, I’m captivated with guaranteeing that London performs its half within the nationwide restoration effort.
Our native economies, cities and areas don’t exist in isolation. We are sure collectively greater than ever by provide chains and a fancy net of social and business ties. Today, for instance, I’m visiting North Yorkshire, together with the newly-elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, to see first-hand the state-of-the-art electrical buses which might be being manufactured for Transport for London (TfL) by Switch Mobility in Sherburn-in-Elmet.
There are at present 67 Switch electrical buses in operation in London, with the supply of 30 extra set to develop our fleet. The Yorkshire agency estimates that round 50 per cent of its income got here from TfL contracts final yr, whereas our goal of making all London’s buses zero-emission by 2030 implies that our metropolis has additionally positioned orders with firms primarily based in Scarborough, Falkirk and Ballymena. All of that is serving to to create high-quality jobs and to spice up native economies throughout the nation.
Tracy Brabin is the brand new mayor of West Yorkshire.
I believe it’s vital to spotlight these varieties of hyperlinks as a result of it helps to problem the view that the easiest way to stage up the nation is to stage down London. Levelling up our cities and cities shouldn’t be seen as a zero-sum sport. We shouldn’t fall into the lure of believing that there’s a easy selection between investing in London or the remaining of the UK. This notion that’s being pushed is solely one other kind of divisive politics that may fail to ship the roles, progress and prosperity we want throughout the UK.
The suggestion that we’re opponents, reasonably than companions, is in no-one’s pursuits. This could also be politically handy for some within the short-term, however it’s disingenuous and damaging to our sense of nationwide unity and satisfaction.
Clipping London’s wings won’t help different areas to soar, whereas a failure to spend money on infrastructure, inexperienced know-how and regeneration schemes within the North and the Midlands will solely make us all worse off. The reality is London succeeds when the remaining of the UK succeeds – and vice-versa. That’s why we must always at all times attempt to elevate one another up.
We additionally should not neglect that there’s nonetheless an enormous job to do to stage up inside our cities as nicely as between our areas. As the son of a bus driver and somebody who grew-up on a council property in South London, I can converse from expertise in regards to the financial inequality inside my metropolis, which has been getting worse over current a long time. A toddler born into poverty in Lewisham or Stratford is blighted by deprivation and inequality in a lot the identical approach as a baby born in comparable circumstances in Leeds or Sheffield.
So we have to put the politics apart and work collectively to progress a real levelling-up course of throughout the nation. London stands able to play its half. Part of the answer shall be larger devolution throughout our nation. What we have to see is way more management over funding and powers being handed right down to all our native authorities, cities and areas throughout England. This would help to drive our nationwide restoration, create jobs and goal funding at those that want it most – wherever they dwell.
Contrary to what some folks may assume, I do know that as a Londoner I’ve loads in widespread with folks throughout Yorkshire. Not only a ardour for cricket and cups of tea, however issues which might be way more elementary – a want to see the subsequent technology do higher than the final, a want for dignity in previous age, and a want to see respectable, safe, well-paid jobs being created for our communities.
We additionally wish to guarantee we have now reasonably priced properties for our households, correct abilities and coaching programmes for our younger folks, secure streets, and trendy, dependable and sustainable public transport programs that don’t break the financial institution for commuters.
I do know we will make extra progress in the direction of these shared targets by working collectively. I look ahead to working intently with Tracy Brabin and different mayors throughout the nation, and I sincerely hope that, over the essential months and years forward, we will present how London is an ally, reasonably than an adversary, within the very important mission to stage up our cities, cities and areas throughout our nation.
Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London.
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