CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Four jobs Sian? Green councillor begins new mayoral campaign with land bank pledge

'We believe everyone in London should have an affordable, secure and warm home'

21 February, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Sian Berry and Caroline Russell

HER Labour rivals once joked she was “Two Jobs Sian” because she split her time between the Town Hall chamber and the London Assembly.

Sian Berry, however, has just added more work to her portfolio of roles by becoming the Green Party’s mayoral candidate. She will stand against Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the Tories’ Shaun Bailey and Lib Dem Siobhan Benita – and anybody else who stands – at next year’s London elections.

The selection was confirmed on Thursday. Ms Berry currently serves as a councillor in Highgate ward, a London Assembly member elected through a list system and is the party’s national co-leader.

Opening her run for the mayoralty, she pledged a new People’s Land Bank policy, which would see people being able to identify empty buildings and unused land and choose how to bring it back to use.

“We believe everyone in London should have an affordable, secure and warm home.  But across the capital empty buildings like office blocks and car parks are left unused – while Londoners struggle to pay the rent or wait for years to get social housing,” said Ms Berry. “That isn’t right, and we have to start planning now for how we bring these underused spaces and empty land back into use.”

Ms Berry will also head the party’s top-up list of London Assembly candidates – members who are elected without a constituency using a form of proportional representation.

The party saw two members elected through this system at the London elections in 2016: Ms Berry, and Islington councillor Caroline Russell.

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