Good Attendance For Mayoral Hustings in Chiswick

Candidates differ on alternatives to third runway


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Alternatives to a third runway and Uber taxis versus London cabs, were two of the topics for discussion at the final Conservative Mayoral hustings in Chiswick on Tuesday.

The race to choose the Conservative candidate to run against Labour's Sadiq Khan (and other party representatives) and replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London is well underway.   The event took place in St Paul's Church in Grove Park on Tuesday, organised by the Chiswick Conservative Patron's Club and hosted by broadcaster Beverley Turner.

Favourite Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, was a popular draw, but the audience also heard from Andrew Boff (currently a London Assembly member), Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor responsible for Policing) and Syeed Kamall MEP. 

After each candidate was allowed five minutes to set out their policies, Beverley Turner took questions from the audience which were fielded in turn by the candidates. 

Heated discussions developed over several question topics, including the issue of the third runway at Heathrow, which all oppose,  but differences exist between the candidates in relation to alternative options; Zac Goldsmith favouring a balanced expansion of London's other airports over time, whilst Syeed Kamall and Stephen Greenhalgh both urged a more radical move to the Thames Estuary, Kamall even claiming to have found oversees financiers for such a scheme. 

(l-r) Zac Goldsmith, Andrew Boff, Stephen Greenhalgh, Syeed Kamall

The issue of Uber also divided opinion and whilst all agreed competition was generally good, Zac Goldsmith supported the institution of the black cab and the value of 'the knowledge' and Stephen Greenhalgh urged tighter regulation of licensed minicabs. 

Andrew Boff was the surprise of the night. Bearded and compared by some, in appearance at least, to Jeremy Corbyn, he had perhaps the most radical opinions, on matters from policing and crime to cycle safety and self-build housing. 

The ballot to select the Conservative candidate is open now to pre-registered voters in a cross London primary election, and closes at the end of the month when an announcement is expected.

The Chiswick Conservative Patrons' Club was formed 3 years ago to support Mary Macleod and future local Tory political representatives.  

September 24, 2015

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