Jenny Jones (Green politician)

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For other people named Jenny Jones, see Jenny Jones (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
The Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb
AM
Jenny Jones.jpg
Jenny Jones being interviewed in Norwich in 2010
Deputy Mayor of London
In office
16 May 2003 – 14 June 2004
Mayor Ken Livingstone
Preceded by Nicky Gavron
Succeeded by Nicky Gavron
Member of the London Assembly
for the Green Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 May 2000
Preceded by Constituency Created
Personal details
Born (1949-12-23) 23 December 1949 (age 64)
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Green
Alma mater University College London
recorded February 2013

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Jennifer Helen Jones, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, AM (born 23 December 1949) is an English politician and prominent member of the Green Party of England and Wales. She features in the Evening Standard’s list of London’s 1000 most influential people[1] and in 2004 was named as one of 200 women of achievement by Buckingham Palace.[2]

Jones has represented the Greens in the London Assembly since its creation in 2000. She was the Green candidate for Mayor of London in the 2012 elections, coming third with 4.48% of first preferences. She served as Deputy Mayor of London from May 2003 to June 2004. She was also the sole Green councillor on Southwark Council from 2006 to 2010.[3] In 2008 the council passed a motion introducing a London living wage policy which was proposed by Jones.[4]

On the London Assembly, Jones's prime areas of interest have been transport, housing and planning, and policing, “with a strong emphasis on sustainability and localism.”[3] In addition to her period as deputy mayor, Jones has served as Chair of London Food, Green Transport Advisor, and Road Safety Ambassador, during which time the number of people killed and seriously injured on London’s roads decreased by over 2,000 with 20 mph zones and increased traffic policing.[5] It was announced at the beginning of August 2013 that she is to become a life peer in the House of Lords.[6] She was introduced to the House of Lords on 5 November 2013.[7]

Early life and career[edit]

Jones grew up mostly on the Moulsecoomb estate in Brighton,[8] with spells abroad in Lesotho and The Seychelles.[9] Before entering politics, Jones worked as financial controller in London. She attended the Institute of Archaeology at University College London as a mature student, studying archaeology.[3] She spent approximately ten years as an archaeologist in the Middle East, studying carbonised plant remains, before embarking on a career in politics.[9]

Political career[edit]

Jones joined the Green Party of England and Wales in 1988. She has held several posts within the party, including the position of Chair on the Executive from 1995 to 1997.[3]

London Assembly member[edit]

In the 2000 election, Jones won a place in the inaugural London Assembly as part of a three-strong Green Group, including Councillor Darren Johnson AM and Victor Anderson, who resigned in March 2003 and was replaced by Noel Lynch for the remainder of the term. The 2004 GLA elections saw the Greens lose the seat held by Lynch, leaving Jones and Johnson as the two remaining members of the Green Group, of which she is now the Convenor.[3]

In May 2003, the Green Party, after some internal dissent, accepted an offer from the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to nominate a Deputy Mayor; they chose Jones, who held the post until June 2004. The offer was part of Livingstone's pledge to rotate the position of Deputy Mayor, although he later declined to offer the post to the Conservatives and had an offer to the Liberal Democrats turned down.[10]

As a London Assembly Member, Jenny Jones has promoted the issues of road safety, food, sustainable transport, social justice and the police and civil liberties.[11]

She is a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority,[11] and has issued a report on traffic policing.[12] She sits on both the MPA’s Strategic and Operational Policing Committee and Civil Liberties Panel.[13][14] Elsewhere she has put forward a motion and has put questions to the Mayor calling for progress on women’s issues, specifically in relation to violence against women and support provision.[15]

Jones currently chairs the Planning and Housing Committee, which issued a recent report on food growing and planning in London, Cultivating the Capital.[11] It concluded that "London has only three or four days stocks of food should there be any disruption to supply".[16] Jones issued an individual report in January 2010 on affordable housing in London, which determined that "the cost of buying a home [in London] has risen twice as fast as incomes".[17]

She is also a member of the Confirmation Hearings and Transport Committees.[11]

She has previously held roles as the Mayor’s Road Safety Ambassador and Green Transport advisor,[3] focusing on road safety and cycling in London[18] respectively, as well as being the former Chair of London Food, a mayoral commission which "aims to give Londoners fresher, healthier and more affordable food while reducing the environmental impact of our current food supply".[19] As Chair, Jones was responsible for drawing up the Sustainable Food Strategy for London[20] and chaired the Food Implementation Group overseeing the strategy[19] More recently she also issued a report on the subject of food security in the capital.[21]

Southwark Councillor[edit]

In the 2006 local elections, Jones was elected as a councillor for the South Camberwell ward in the London Borough of Southwark, the Greens' first councillor in Southwark.[3] She came third in the ward, polling 1014 votes.[22] In the 2010 elections she lost her seat, coming fifth with 1282 votes.[23]

Parliamentary Candidate[edit]

In the 2005 General Election, she stood in the Dulwich and West Norwood parliamentary constituency, coming fourth with 2,741 votes (6.5%).[24]

In the 2010 General Election, she stood in the Camberwell and Peckham parliamentary constituency, coming fourth with 1,361 votes (2.9%).[25]

Mayoral candidate[edit]

In March 2011, Jones was selected as the Green Party’s candidate for the 2012 London Mayoral election winning 67% of the votes against prominent Green Party members Dr Shahrar Ali and Farid Bakht, stating "At this time of savage cuts to essential services, London needs a Mayor who will create a fairer city and reduce the gap between rich and poor. These are hard times for people who care about quality services, local businesses, and protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities. I promise to make fighting cuts to housing benefit, the NHS and youth services a key part of my campaign to be Mayor."[26]

At the election, she came third with 98,913 first preference votes, the highest position of a Green candidate to date, but lost her deposit, scoring less than 5% of the vote.

House of Lords[edit]

On 20 September 2013 she was created a life peer taking the title Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, of Moulsecoomb in the County of East Sussex.[27] She was chosen for this appointment by her party in a ballot of all members. She was introduced to the House of Lords on 5 November 2013.[7] Thus she joins the only other parliamentarian of her party, Caroline Lucas MP, and became the first Green Party peer since Tim Beaumont’s death in 2008.

Political views[edit]

Police[edit]

Jones was a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority from its creation in 2000 "and has worked on a wide range of policing issues, with a particular focus on road safety, violence against women, civil liberties and neighbourhood policing" until it was disbanded in 2012.[28][29] She was outspoken about numerous issues including Mayor Johnson’s demonisation of the youth through use of "baseless" rhetoric on "soaring gang-membership and rising knife-crime", suggesting the mayor created an unhelpful climate of fear.[30] Jones now serves as a member of the MPA’s replacement body, the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee.[31]

In response to the riots in August 2011, Jones and Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas MP co-authored an article in The Guardian, arguing that all cuts to policing should be postponed until December 2012 when a sufficient review of the events has occurred and the lessons from the London Olympics are learned, "In the meantime, the police should focus on spending money wisely, and ensuring that police officers are not burdened with administrative tasks which take them away from frontline policing."[32]

After herself being kettled at a demonstration, Jones was vociferously critical of this police tactic, telling the BBC the police used Kettling to "imprison peaceful campaigners and have shown they can't be trusted with such a powerful tactic", suggesting "The Met's reputation sinks even further every time they abuse their powers and it's time to stop this particular mistreatment".[33]

In June 2014, Jones penned an editorial in The Guardian wherein she criticises the surveillance tactics of police on activists. After going through the process now available through the Data Protection Act to get the police report on herself, she found that she was labeled a potential "domestic extremist." She found that the report contained only publicly available information, such as tweets, and that nothing in it would suggest potentially dangerous activity. She viewed the revelation as both a violation of her privacy and a waste of police resources. She is now calling for a re-evaluation of police policies, especially in regards to political activists.[34]

Healthy Eating[edit]

Jones has argued for big changes to London’s current food culture as Chair of London Food during Ken Livingstone’s second Mayoral term. During her time as chair, London Food released its ‘Food Strategy’ aiming to "help improve food in London’s schools, hospitals and other public institutions" and "offer people on low income better access to healthy and affordable food".[19] Some of the reports key points were:

"Consideration will be given to the role that the public sector can play in helping to facilitate more producer collaborations and logistics and distribution partnerships, to help smaller producers to compete in the market, and to encourage new entrants"


"Directing better the existing resources available for business support for specialist food manufacturers and processors, particularly on consumer market trends and collaborative working, and particularly for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that reflect London’s diverse communities"

"Promote and expand opportunities for small-scale food production for individuals and communities through gardens, orchards, schools, allotments and parks and open spaces"

"Continue to increase the amount of organic and local food provided through public sector services in London in response to growing consumer demand"

"Research and promote the positive benefits of nutritious food for children."[19]

In 2008, Jones released a report ‘Why London Needs to Grow More Food’ stressing "The Mayor of London has planning and development powers, which could be used to support widespread urban agriculture in London through the commercial and voluntary sectors, community-led social enterprises, and by engaging the unemployed, elderly, and lower skilled groups".[21]

Transport[edit]

Jones commissioned the initial TFL report into promoting cycling that paved the way for the London Cycle-hire scheme.[5] Ashok Sinha, Chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign, said of Jones "In 2008 the London Cycling Campaign gave Jenny Jones a Special Award for her Lifetime Services to cycling. This was in recognition of her success in helping to push cycling into mainstream politics, her efforts to deliver many cycling projects on the ground, and her energies as cycling champion in general.".[5] In a confrontation with the Mayor over cycle safety, Johnson said:

(it is) your duty as an honest politician to tell people the truth that cycling is actually getting safer, when you consider the number of people on the roads.

[35]

Mr Johnson’s advisor wrote to Jones claiming there had been:

…a reduced number of cycling collisions in the last ten years

Which turned out not to be true.[36] In a written statement Jones said, "we know that cycle safety is the big problem which puts Londoners off jumping on their bikes. There are a growing number of deaths and injuries of cyclists and trying to cover that up by issuing factually inaccurate statements won’t change the reality," continuing, "We urgently need to fix the most dangerous junctions and reverse the Mayor’s policy of giving priority to motorised traffic. The Mayor needs to stand his policy on its head and give legal priority on many local roads to pedestrians and cyclists."[36] Jones has also been critical of Johnson's neglect of cycling in outer London, stating "given that 70% of the potential new cyclists identified by TfL are outside of inner and central London, it is shocking that the Transport Strategy has no clear plan for cycling in the suburbs and outer London."[37]

Jones has spoken against Mayor Johnson’s transport policy of "making motoring cheaper in London, whilst public transport fares are raised above inflation".[37] At Mayor’s question time, Jones highlighted a "promise" Johnson had made in 2008 to make all new buses hybrid by 2012 when in reality less than 10% had met this criterion [38] Jones wishes for a reduction in the burden for Londoners felt by Mayor Johnson's price increases and proposes a reduction in fares of about 4%.[39] Jones supported the congestion charge as a way to lower pollution and road casualties and spoke against the mayor's cancellation of the Western extension, arguing that it made London dirtier, more crowded and less safe.[40] Jones favours replacing the congestion charge with a "smart, pay-as-you drive scheme".[41]

The City[edit]

In her statement of policy for the 2012 election, Jones proposes several ideas to bring "a renaissance of micro, small and medium businesses" in order to spread "wealth to all Londoners", seeking "a financial services sector that works for them".[42]She argues for a system that rewards good long term investment "instead of trying to make a fast buck" and proposes a good financial example to be Sweden’s Handelsbanken which gives "good basic pay and no bonuses."[42] One of her candidacy’s most distinct positions is with respect to The City with ambitions to "Abolish the City of London Corporation and replace it with a democratic London borough", "support new institutions like local community banks focused on lending to small businesses and social enterprises" and "Promote building societies and credit unions and lobby the Government to put its remaining nationalised banking assets into one of these models rather than a bank".[42] Elsewhere Jones has been critical of excessive top-level remuneration, stating, "It's difficult not to feel enraged" by statistics showing the average FTSE CEO earns 565 times the national average.[43]

Fair Pay Ratio[edit]

Jones and the Green Party, alongside others,[44] are deeply critical of the inequalities in pay between rich and poor.[43] Jones supports calls by the New Economics Foundation to introduce a 10:1 pay ratio, whereby the highest earner in a company or institution should earn no more than 10 times the lowest paid employee.[43][44] Jones’s policy indicates that, if elected, this would be instigated in "City Hall, Transport for London, the fire brigade and the police",[45] and she claims "more equal societies tend to be happier and healthier as well as experiencing lower levels of violent crime."[43] This is a high priority for her candidacy and she states that "this would mean that no City Hall cleaner could earn less than a tenth the Mayor’s salary, and the Commissioner of the Met Police couldn’t earn more than ten times a young recruit."[46]

Housing[edit]

Jones sees tackling homelessness as a key and achievable target and criticised Johnson's poor record: "This rise in homelessness is unsurprising and depressing, but completely avoidable. One fifth of people became homeless just because their insecure tenancy ended, another fifth because they have had to move out of their parents’ home into the incredibly expensive rental market. With housing benefit cuts now biting deep into people’s incomes, this is only going to get worse."[47] Jones proposes to "bring all grants for pan-London homelessness services into the GLA to protect frontline services, and work closely with homelessness organisations to ensure nobody needs to spend a second night out sleeping rough on the street."[48]

In her campaign for Mayor, Jones has spoken against the inflationary effects of certain businesses, stating, "we want to change the housing market from a playground for speculative investment to a source of secure, affordable homes".[48] Jones has spoken in favour of community engagement in planning, specifically with regards to housing co-operatives.[48] To help co-operatives develop, she proposes to "establish the London Mutual Housing Company to help communities set-up Community Land Trusts, which will give them control over the design, development and management of permanently affordable homes."[48] In addition to this, she proposes a scheme to build affordable homes and to give communities the means to bring unused buildings back into use.[48] For the Greens fuel poverty is a big issue and "Green London Assembly Members worked to secure the city's largest home insulation programme and demonstrated how it could be funded to reach over a million homes."[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "''Evening Standard'', November 9th 2011 - ''London's 1000 most influential people 2011: Running London & 2012 Olympics''". Thisislondon.co.uk. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  2. ^ "''Housing Excellence'', no date - ''Jenny Jones takes the chair''". Housingexcellence.co.uk. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Cllr. Jenny Jones AM's Green Party Website Biography". Greenparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  4. ^ [1] Southwark Greens Stop paying council cleaners poverty wages
  5. ^ a b c "' 'Jenny For London'', March 12th 2011, ''" A transport system that works"''". Jennyforlondon.org. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  6. ^ Working Peerages announced Gov.uk
  7. ^ a b http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-lords-24554846 http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2013-11-05a.97.2
  8. ^ Vowles, Neil. "Baroness of Moulsecoomb gives first speech in House of Lords". The Argus. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "''Channel 4'', February 22nd 2012 - ''An Evening Discussion: Young People, Equality, Diversity and the Mayor''". 4talent.channel4.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  10. ^ Andrew Clark (2003-02-19). "''The Guardian'', February 19th 2003, ''"Greens select Livingstone's deputy"''". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  11. ^ a b c d "London Assembly Biography". London.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  12. ^ "''Jenny Jones'', 2007, ''"London’s Lawless Roads: Why traffic policing must improve to prevent road death and injury"''" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  13. ^ Strategic Operational Policing Committee, part of the Metropolitan Police Authority
  14. ^ "Civil Liberties Panel". Mpa.gov.uk. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  15. ^ 'The Guardian, October 21 2009, "Boris Johnson urged to honour rape crisis centres pledge"[dead link]
  16. ^ "''Planning and Housing Committee'', 1 January 2010, ''" Cultivating the Capital - Food growing and the planning system in London"''". London.gov.uk. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  17. ^ "''Jenny Jones'', January 2010, ''"Coming Home to Roost: How two Mayors have failed to make housing affordable"''" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  18. ^ The Independent, 4 September 2007 “Stop Your Engines With the Bike Rental Scheme”
  19. ^ a b c d "''London Development Agency'', May 22, 2006, ''"Mayor of London unveils first strategy to improve London's food" ''". Lda.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  20. ^ "''London Development Agency'', May 2006, ''"The Mayor’s Food Strategy: Healthy and Sustainable Food for London"''". Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  21. ^ a b "''Jenny Jones'', 2008, ''"Why London Needs to Grow More Food"''" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  22. ^ Southwark Council | Your Council | Your Vote | Results of Borough Council Elections 4 May 2006 | Local Election Results 2006[dead link]
  23. ^ "Election results for South Camberwell | Southwark Council". Southwark.gov.uk. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  24. ^ "Council and democracy - Southwark Council". Southwark.gov.uk. 2005-04-01. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  25. ^ "General election 2010 - Southwark Council". Southwark.gov.uk. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  26. ^ "''Green Party'', 2012, ''"Jenny Jones Mayoral Candidate"''". Greenparty.org.uk. 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60638. p. 18895. 25 September 2013.
  28. ^ "' 'Metropolitan Polica Authority'', no date, ''" Jenny Jones MPA Member"''". Mpa.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  29. ^ "'', 12th January 2012, ''" MPA Holds Last Meeting"''". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  30. ^ "' 'Green Party'', 2008, ''" Myth-busting report criticises London Mayor's demonisation of youth"''". Greenparty.org.uk. 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  31. ^ "' GLA'', 2012, ''" Police and Crime Committee details"''". London.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  32. ^ Lucas, Caroline (2010-07-16). "' 'The Guardian'', August 22nd 2011, ''" To recover from the riots we must rebalance the inequalities of society"''". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  33. ^ "' 'BBC'', January 27th 2011, ''" Petition against Metropolitan Police 'kettling' tactic"''". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  34. ^ Jenny Jones, The Met turned me into a domestic extremist – with tweets and trivia, The Guardian, 13 June 2014.
  35. ^ "' 'Mayor’s Question Time'', November 2011, ''" Jenny Jones AM questions Boris Johnson on cycle safety"''". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  36. ^ a b "' 'GLA'', February 2012, ''" Cycling not getting safer"''". London.gov.uk. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  37. ^ a b "'GLA'', July 2009, ''"Consultation Response to Mayor’s Transport Strategy Statement of Intent"''" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  38. ^ "' 'Mayor's Question time'', February 2012, ''" Jones grills Boris on Busses"''". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  39. ^ Starkey, Gerard (2012-02-03). "' 'Arts London News '', 3 February 2012, ''" London Mayor elections: Jenny Jones"''". Artslondonnews.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  40. ^ Jones, Jenny (2010-07-16). "' 'The Guardian'', 28 november 2008, ''"Boris's C-charge blunder"''". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  41. ^ "' 'London Green Party'', March 2012, ''"Our Manifesto: Let's transform public transport"''". Greenparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  42. ^ a b c "'Jenny for London'', February 2012, ''"Making the City work for London"''" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  43. ^ a b c d Jones, Jenny (2010-07-16). "' 'The Guardian'', October 14th 2011, ''"Londons City Hall must lead on closing Britain’s pay gap"''". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  44. ^ a b "' 'The New Economics Foundation'', July 4th 2011, ''" Common sense controls for executive pay and revitalising UK business"''". Neweconomics.org. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  45. ^ "' 'Jenny for London'', accessed February 2012, ''"Fresh Ideas for London"''". Jennyforlondon.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  46. ^ "' 'Jenny for London'', November 25th 2011, ''"Make London a Fair Pay city"''". Jennyforlondon.org. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  47. ^ "' ' Greater London Authority'', March 8th 2012, ''"Lower rents and more security needed to stop rise in homelessness"''". London.gov.uk. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  48. ^ a b c d e Francis, Martin (2012-03-17). "' ''Wembley Matters'', 17th March 2012, ''"Housing:The Brent Crisis and Jenny Jones's Solutions"''". Wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  49. ^ "' ''London Green Party'', March 2012, ''"Let’s make housing affordable"''". Greenparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicky Gavron
Deputy Mayor of London
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Nicky Gavron