London’s new Mayor has now been in the job for almost a month, so how should we pray for Sadiq Khan in his role as he serves our city?
The new mayor set out five priority areas in his manifesto. Let’s pray that he’s able to make the promised progress in each of these:
Housing: Khan says London needs 50,000 new homes to be built each year to keep pace with demand and to defuse the housing crisis. He’s not promised he’ll be able to build that many, but has said he’ll set up a new body called Homes for Londoners to help work towards it. And he’ll also set up a No Night’s Sleeping Rough initiative to try and reduce homelessness across the capital.
Transport: Khan made great play during the election campaign that he was the proud son of a London bus driver. And when he became Mayor one of his first actions was to create the Hopper fare, allowing people to make two bus journeys for the price of one during a one hour window. He now wants to help TfL raise more money by setting up trading arms that can bring in revenue. And he’s also promised to make London a safer city to walk around and to cycle around.
Environment: The new Mayor wants to turn London into one cleanest cities in the world. Plans for doing this include cleaning London’s air by widening the low emissions zone for lorries, and introducing cleaner buses. He also wants to turn Oxford Street into a tree lined, pedestrianised zone, and, rather ambitiously, turn London into a National Park City where over 50% of Greater London is made up of green spaces.
Crime & Security: The challenge from terrorism always hangs over London, and the statistics for violent crime are going up. Khan has promised to create new bodies that will work on reducing knife crime and gang membership, and he wants to make the MET police more representative of the neighbourhoods they’re policing. Alongside this, he’s also pledged to tackle extremism, and has a responsibility to help protect London from any terrorist attacks.
Business: Despite being part of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, Khan has distanced himself his leadership’s perceived anti-business stance. He especially wants to support growth in London’s tech industries, and to help business by lobbying to improve transport infrastructure through the building of Crossrail 2 and 3, extensions to the Bakerloo and London Overground lines, and the development of more river crossings.
So here are five areas where we can pray for Sadiq. Let’s pray that he’s successful in being able to build more homes for Londoners, making our transport system more efficient and affordable, cleaning up the air quality around the city, reducing violent crime and the risk from terrorism, and helping London’s businesses create jobs and opportunities for a new generation of Londoners.
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly for One Rock, a training organisation developing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.