London is facing a critical juncture in its existence. With the population set to burgeon and surpass numbers before WWII, there will be unprecedented strains on the city's infrastructure and services.
If Bermondsey, north Southwark and the rest of south London are to play their role in this exciting future, then we must keep pace with the city's ambition and growth using green infrastructure and better digital connectivity. Only by investing in our local area's future can we meet the diverse and numerous demands that it is sure to face.
Simon has led and is still supporting the following local campaigns:
Bakerloo Line extension:
For too long Southwark has been too much of an empty space on the crowded London tube map. The lack of connectivity to the tube network has real world implications for the people who live and work in our area - making it much more difficult to get to work, and therefore restricting economic potential.
By extending the Bakerloo line the area will be opened up to inward investment around new tube stations, make the area more attractive for business and allow residents to be more actively engaged in the London economy.
A new Rotherhithe pier:
Although we are five years away from the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from England to America, if we are going to have a lasting and practical memorial then it is important that plans are in place soon, so that the new pier can be in use by commuters, local residents and visitors.
The Mayflower sailed and its crew came from this area – so it is absolutely right that Rotherhithe be a central part of the celebrations in 2020, and accessible to the river in the years after.
A new cycling and pedestrian bridge:
It is clear that a river crossing from SE16 to Canary Wharf is long overdue as it will make a real difference to the lives of a great many people - providing us with a safe, environmentally friendly way of crossing the river to work or visit.
The last government made a commitment to take an interest in the proposal for a new cycle and pedestrian bridge, named the Brunel Bridge, in tribute to the great father and son pioneers of UK infrastructure.
It is absolutely essential that pressure is maintained so that the bridge is delivered in the near future.
The slow speed of broadband in much of SE16 and some of SE1 is a real brake on economic development. Businesses and individuals are moving out of their homes and offices to find new property with faster internet speed that can live up to the requirements of 21st century life. Digital connectivity is at the heart of a modern economy, which is why it is so difficult for residents to play a full role in contemporary London without reliable access to the internet.
Improving the health of our local communities:
South London has for many years had some of the greatest health and social challenges in England. Very high teenage pregnancy rates and lower than average educational attainment have been coupled with lower than average life expectancy for many. Among the greatest challenges locally in the years ahead are to reduce obesity, particularly among children; tackle the diabetes time-bomb; reduce the numbers affected by HIV and AIDS and meet the challenges of Alzheimers and dementia. Possibly the biggest challenge of all is to provide a health service which meets the needs of those with mental illness and gives them the best chance of a fulfilled life, with less fear and risk, and much better prospects for work, relationships and happiness.