Vauxhall: Mark Chapman (Pirate Party)

Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Parliamentary candidate for Vauxhall

The Pirate Party has traditionally drawn support from young people, and we are very aware of the level of housing inequality in the country, and in Brixton in particular. We have strongly opposed the Labour Lambeth Council’s Estate Development programs which have sought to remove long-term residents from their homes in order to sell the land onto developers. It is wrong that council tenants are being removed from their homes, and yet developments along the river at Vauxhall are being ‘bought to leave’ by overseas investors interested only in capital and using it as a deposit of wealth.

We would seek to introduce a Land Value Tax – it being the one asset which cannot be hidden in a foreign bank account – which would ensure that people make fair use of the housing which they own.

We also know that those in the private rental sector are suffering too. We would like to see a renting culture much more akin to that of Germany – where tenants have a much greater security of tenure – so they can’t be thrown out at the whim of the Landlord or repeatedly suffer iniquitous agents fees. To put this in place we would seek to increase regulation of the private rental sector, and agents in particular.

2. Environment

It is great that this long-standing issue is finally getting the recognition that it deserves and making it a concern for people. As a regular cyclist I know that it is key to focus on reducing car use for short journeys by building segregated space for cycling. As we can see in the Netherlands this would massively reduce car use for short journeys, increase active travel and thus improve health for all. The Pirate Party has a focus on Evidence Based Policy and on this matter the evidence is very clear – we need to reduce air pollution in order to improve lung health for all.

3. Brexit

I have committed to pushing for unilaterally enabling EU residents currently here to remain in the UK. Peoples lives and families should never be used as bargaining chips. The Pirate Party is committed to Freedom, and in any post-Brexit Britain we would be pushing to ensure that we remained open and engaged with both Europe and the wider world.

4. Local business.

I would certainly stand against the removal of long-standing businesses from Brixton Arches and recognise that the vibrancy of Brixton which is so attractive comes in part from the local businesses that are here. Transparency and Openness of Government is a key feature of Pirate Politics and we would look to open-up the scrutiny of Lambeth Council when negotiating with local businesses to ensure that all is open, transparent and above board.

5. Education

As a local Primary School Governor, who also has children in Primary school I am deeply committed to local education. I am strongly agains the the proposed Education Funding Model which will take an average of £800 per pupil in real terms. Our children are our future and it is imperative that we provide them with the support that they need to learn. It is also very short-sighted – if schools end up struggling more for funding, then those children with special needs who attend mainstream schools will not be given the same support and may well end up moving out of mainstream eduction to much more expensive specialist services.

You can see the full list of questions here


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