Women at the fore as Khan names top team
2 June 2016, Blog
Last week Sadiq Khan named his mayoral team, with housing delivery and cooperation with national government being clear priorities for the new man in City Hall. It has been women however who have shone, with four of his five appointments going to female colleagues. Topping the list of names is Valerie Shawcross, who will be Khan’s deputy mayor for transport and will likely become the deputy chair of the Transport for London board. Having just stepped down as a London Assembly member of 16 years, she has extensive experience of the Capital’s transport system, finances and issues. Shawcross will be instrumental in delivering the new mayor’s transport pledges to improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrianising Oxford Street and implementing a four-year fares freeze without damaging the capital’s transport investment programme.
On housing, Islington’s James Murray will become Khan’s deputy mayor for housing. Murray worked closely on the candidate’s housing policies, has a good record of addressing the housing need in his home borough, and is said to have good relationships with developers. He faces the mountainous challenge of driving more housebuilding whilst increasing the number of “genuinely affordable” homes delivered within that total.
Deputy mayor for policing and crime will be Sophie Linden, a former adviser to David Blunkett at the home office and presently deputy mayor of Hackney Council. Completing the line-up is Labour AM Fiona Twycross as chair of the London fire and emergency planning authority, joining a team that already includes Joanne McCartney AM as statutory deputy mayor.