Monday 14 November
Lady Florence Hall (Deptford Broadway)
Ken wants you to elect him Mayor of London in 2012 and needs to know what you want him to do to improve London. Billed as a Tell Ken event (in which Livingstone spends a day in a London borough listening to local residents), we're invited to tell him "our priorities for the area" and voice "our concerns about transport, policing, student fees and the economy".
Ken has lost much of the popularity he enjoyed in the days of the GLC, and to some his glory days are over, but this blogger is old enough to remember those days, and witnessed significant change and improvements in the lives of Londoners (notably enlightened policies on transport and housing, and a celebration of cultural differences that kicked out racism) – only to later see a Blairite government (of which our present borough council administration was and still is a flagship) embrace an agenda that worked against those the Labour Party purported to represent.
We know Ken has already made it a priority to deal with the betting shops, but now so has Boris. But will Ken, for instance, reverse the plans for Crossrail that involve taxing those boroughs who do not benefit from it? Will he take up the cause of local people in their objections to the plans for Convoy's Wharf, even though he is a self-confessed lover of skyscrapers?
Ken's ticket has always been transport (pun unintended), but for Deptford the issue is likely to be housing – that's the issue that regularly fills Joan Ruddock's surgeries to bursting point. Note, it was Ken who introduced the requirement for new developments to be 50% social/affordable housing, a policy that was soon watered down (even in his time), but which has now reached dire levels with Lewisham's leadership willing to go with 15% "affordable housing" (which none can afford) at Convoy's Wharf (let alone the other developments Lewisham has rubber-stamped this year).
Still with housing, maybe you're a council tenant threatened by Cameron's proposed policy on downsizing and would like to see a stronger opposition? If you're worried about unemployment or youth unemployment in particular, please pose your questions now. Perhaps you'd like to see a JOB CENTRE back in Deptford, and a new London Mayor put pressure on the appropriate authorities to provide one, by hook or by crook and no excuses.
Maybe you'd like some support if you're worried about the Thames Tunnel decision to plonk their work station on your doorstep for the next 10 years (see www.dontdumpondeptfordsheart.co.uk/).
Or maybe you eschew local difficulties for wider concerns and you'd like to see Britain pull away from the EU (though you may have very relevant local experience) and want to know where Ken stands? (Expect to see him toe the party-line there). Perhaps you'd like to see better representation of ordinary working people in London in the face of an overwhelmingly banker-friendly government and totally useless local councillors, but are not sure if Ken is up to the job?
Get your questions ready. If you can't make it on Monday, please leave them here in the comments section. There is surely something we've forgotten. More info and a chance to comment directly to Ken at www.kenlivingstone.com/tell.
Meanwhile, here's the list of candidates for the 2012 Mayoral elections, to be held on 3 May, if you didn't know already.
Boris Johnson Conservative
Ken Livingstone Labour
Brian Paddick Liberal Democrat
Jenny Jones Green
Lawrence Webb UKIP
Carlos Cortiglia BNP
Whoever wins will be opening proceedings at the Olympics...