Paddick pledges an end to egos in London mayoral election race

An end to political grandstanding and a mayor who “listens to Londoners” are the promises at the heart of Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick’s City Hall election campaign.

Whether it is the transformation of West Hampstead from a village to a series of high-rise flats or fears over the future of Hampstead Police Station, the former Met Police borough commander has pledged to reconnect London with its mayor.

“With me, you would get a mayor who is going to speak up for local people and who takes a strategic view of things which the current mayor seems incapable of doing,” said Mr Paddick, who is competing with Conservative Boris Johnson and Labour’s Ken Livingstone in the race for the capital’s top job.

“If you take West Hampstead, it seems they are piling houses into the area without considering the impact on its people.

“I used to drive through to get to Scotland Yard and I know how busy it is in West End Lane.

“But also if you look at school provision and the pressure which is going to be put on doctors’ surgeries, it just seems like no one has given it a thought.

“If residents feel like it will change their community beyond recognition, then that also needs to be taken into account.

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“Thinking about the wider scheme of things is exactly what the mayor is for and, if necessary, to overrule local planning decisions and say strategically this does not work.”

Mr Paddick, who served on the Met across London for 30 years and rose up the ranks to become a deputy assistant commissioner, also said there seemed to be a vacuum in decision-making over the future of embattled local police stations.

Police stations

Last night Camden’s borough commander, John Sutherland, was set to address residents’ fears over the future of Hampstead Police Station in Rosslyn Hill after a number of unscheduled closures.

Mr Paddick has proposed that clerical staff be moved from the back office to the front desk to keep police stations open and officers on the streets.

“At the moment we have a mayor and a former mayor who are more interested in their own egos than looking after London,” he said.

“All I want to do is make London a better place and I will always put Londoners and their views first.”