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Caroline Pidgeon - The Experienced Candidate

A profile of the Liberal Democrat standing for Mayor of London

Image credit: London Liberal Democrat Campaign

 

“The Liberal Democrats have a positive and ambitious vision for a better London. Radical and realistic, a Liberal London would be fairer and greener, made possible because it is safer.”

Caroline Pidgeon’s manifesto

 

If the Mayor of London was appointed, not elected, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon would be the frontrunner as the candidate with most experience of the workings of the Greater London Authority [the correct term for the London Assembly and Mayor of London]. “Obviously Sadiq [Khan] and Zac [Goldsmith] have to speak for themselves, but they’ve never appeared to me to show any interest in London government until now," she says in one interview, and in another: “I’m running for the post of mayor, not because I want to be something, but because I want to do something”.

 

Caroline was the first person in her family to go to university and graduated from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in 1994. On moving to London she started her career working for a firm of solicitors before going on to work for the NHS on various public health campaigns and in the area of patient information.

 

Her political career began in earnest in 1998 when she won a seat on Southwark Council. She excelled there and went on to become its Deputy Leader, setting up ‘community councils’ to bring decision-making closer to the people, securing funding for new schools and improving adult education and youth services.

 

In 2008, Caroline was elected to the London Assembly, the body that holds the Mayor and his advisors to account, and she’s standing for re-election to the Assembly as well as for Mayor.

 

When Impolite Conversation asked her what are her proudest achievements in the role she said: “I have done a lot of work on making transport work better in London. Maybe two of the most important [achievements] have been that after the Mayor rejected my plan for part-time travel cards, I was able to force him to introduce lower daily caps on Oyster’s Pay As You Go, leading to a far better deal for people who work part-time, flexible hours each week or regularly work from home. I also exposed how thousands of Oyster card users were being wrongly overcharged. Transport for London finally accepted the need for automatic refunds for some passengers, which have totalled over £8.5 million since 2013.” You can read our full mini-interview with her here.

 

“London needs to work for everyone,” she says in her manifesto, “not just the lucky few who can afford to isolate themselves from the problems facing most Londoners: a crisis in housing, cuts in community policing, crowded and expensive public transport which is ill suited to London’s dynamic economy and flexible working, overcrowded schools and poor childcare for working parents, and dangerously polluted air.”

 

You can find out more about Caroline and her campaign here.

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