Useful new politicians

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Monday 15 June 2015 10.16pm
It is early days, but I have enjoyed reading about the new mayor of Barcelona, and her plans to tackle inequality, housing issues, and balancing the needs of residents with those of tourists. Good luck to her, and I wonder if some of our politicians could learn from what is happening in Barcelona. There seem to be many similar issues to ones we have been talking about on the forum.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/13/ada-colau-barcelona-spain-mayor-targets-tourists
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12.14am
That's an interesting experiment, albeit borne from desperation, and I am glad to be able to observe from the outside looking in rather than living it and my life depending on it to work. Catalonians are resilient people, what with all the suffering an brutality Franco put them through.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 1.35pm
Thanks for posting the link, Jazzy.

One of the things that struck me was the mention of using the tourist tax to support the communities affected by the influx of visitors.

I've never quite understood why we don't have a tourist tax in London. Many cities have them and if you can afford a hotel in London, I'm sure you can afford a couple of quid a night extra to help pay for the services you use.

Maybe it'll come up in the Mayoral/GLA campaign next year.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 4.33pm
Rambling Phil wrote:
Maybe it'll come up in the Mayoral/GLA campaign next year.

Possible Tory candidate Ivan Massow has already mooted the idea.

It's not uncontroversial though. Tourist taxes can put visitors off. And businesses that host them already pay for the services they use, not least through rates, in many cases.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 4.55pm
London is expensive as it is, whereas the service provided does not always stack up against other European tourist destinations.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 5.46pm
Tourist tax is an excellent idea.

Even better if we extend it so that we charge extra to all the visitors from the rest of London and the UK who crowd out the South Bank on summer evenings and pretty much every weekend ;0)

We could erect a massive fence around SE1 with toll gates, and also levy an extra fare on any grockle's Oyster when they get off at an SE1 station.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 7.41pm
I was reading this week about a neighbourhood newspaper in San Francisco that is funded by tourist tax - helping to promote and sustain a sense of community in an area under pressure from a high number of visitors.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 17 June 2015 11.41am
Truthmonkey-home wrote:
Rambling Phil wrote:
Maybe it'll come up in the Mayoral/GLA campaign next year.

Possible Tory candidate Ivan Massow has already mooted the idea.

It's not uncontroversial though. Tourist taxes can put visitors off. And businesses that host them already pay for the services they use, not least through rates, in many cases.

Fair points.

The thing about putting visitors off might be a problem if London desperately needed more visitors. It's the most popular tourist destination in the world as it is and I understand there's a desire to encourage visitors to the UK to spend some time in "not London".

The sort of amounts typically charged in other major cities don't even buy a pint of beer in London. I really can't see that putting people off.

PS Personally, living at the end of the borough where the tourists hoard, I'd be quite happy to see fewer of them.

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