The London Mayoral Elections are always an interesting and exciting time for our capital city. The differing political views and policies leave a huge mark on London, such as the Congestion Charge and the Bike Hire Scheme. This year, we have seven candidates standing in the Elections, and I am proud to have been the chairperson at the Mayoral Hustings in the City on 2nd April 2012 where I put questions from the public to representatives of six of those candidates.
The Mayoral Hustings in the City was a collaborative project between the Deloitte Diversity Networks and the City Sikhs Network (CSN – www.citysikhs.org.uk), in order to ensure that the BAME communities that form over 30% of the population of London had an opportunity to seek direct answers from the person who might be the next Mayor of London.
We at CSN were looking for a partner organisation to host the event with, and we were put in touch with the Deloitte Diversity Networks by one of our members late last year. The partnership proved to be a mutually beneficial arrangement in that CSN were to liaise with the various candidates whilst Deloitte Diversity Networks would take the responsibility of the venue. We publicised the event jointly, and the attendance on the day was about 250 people, with the majority of the attendees being CSN members. The event was mentioned in ITV’s London Tonight, as well within various articles in the national and regional press.
The diversity of the event was reflected not just in the audience, but also in the way that the hustings was managed, with each candidate being given equal time to put his or her message across, and it was well received by all, with many of the candidates noting that this was perhaps the best organised hustings that they had spoken at during their entire campaign.
The marginal candidates from UKIP, the Green Party, and the independent candidate all voiced their pleasure at being able to voice their opinions in a fairly conducted manner rather than being pushed to the sidelines as is all too often the case for them. As to whether they managed to sway any floating voters, well that is a different question entirely.
At a time when many big businesses are being maligned due to their unethical practices, it is a pleasant surprise to work with a company which takes its corporate responsibility seriously enough to be involved in such a community-led initiative. We at CSN thoroughly enjoyed working with the Deloite Diversity Networks on this project, and we sincerely hope that our relationship with Deloitte will continue to flourish.
There is a short video available of the evening on our Youtube Channel.
Jasvir Singh Degun – Director of City Sikhs Network