We're not so used to the Guardian saying nice things about Liberal Democrats these days, but Dave Hill is full of praise for the London Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the Mayoral and Assembly elections which was launched yesterday, calling it liberal, progressive and bold. This is what he has to say about policing and transport proposals:
Mayor Paddick would give each London neighbourhood its own "plan for policing," with local residents and businesses having input into policing priorities in their areas. His "Paddick patrols" of community groups and residents associations would act as the "eyes and ears" of the police on the ground. He wants stop-and-search directed only at criminals and an end to the concentration on ethnic minority groups. It's a properly liberal and progressive agenda. Ken Livingstone has the best policy on serious youth crime I've yet read, but for me Brian still leads the field on policing as a whole.
I was quite surprised by his boldness on public transport fares. He and Pidgeon have been banging the drum for their one hour bus pass and "early bird" concession rates for a long time now, but the manifesto pledge not to increase fares overall above the inflation rate over a four-year Paddick term is quite striking by comparison with Boris's commitment to annual increases of RPI inflation plus two percent, though modest next to Ken's "Fare Deal," which the Lib Dems think over the top.