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Hi Folks! Another episode is up. We introduce to you our guest for today, Caroline Russell.


She’s a London Assembly Member, not to be confused with the London Coworking Assembly. She is part of the Economics, Transport and Environment Committee. And she’s doing good work with these committees particularly about sustainable transport systems, air pollution and different models of working. She is currently helping with affordable rent with East End Trade Guilds and Guardian of the Arches.


And we are all going to be talking about pushing affordable rent for micro businesses. About London as a 15-minute city, the effect of the pandemic, of course, and we also delved about what casual work means for the younger generation.

What is the East End Trades Guild working on?


Well, there’s some really interesting work going on, that these East End Trade Guilds have been working on with the new economics Foundation.


I’m looking towards a working rent. So that’s a bit like the concept of a living rent, which is a rent that is affordable for people on ordinary wages. A working rent is a rent that is affordable to people running small and micro businesses. And so it’s a fair rent, it’s a transparent rent, it’s and it but I think that’s where we need to do some real resetting of the way that the commercial property market has worked. 


And I suspect that landlords and business building owners will be open to a bit of a rethink, because they’ve, they’ve had for years, they’ve been able to just, you know, do what they like, and I’m and now we’re in a situation where actually people have seen in a really radical way, that they don’t need to inhabit those big city centre, office buildings, they can work in a much more flexible and different way. 


And, so I think, the boots on the other foot, and I think there is a big opportunity to get some fairness where, you know, I think I talked earlier about public purpose being put at the centre and foreground. 


So if you’ve got a landlord, who takes a more long term view, that they want to support sustainable, resilient, small businesses and micro businesses, then you can see you can actually build a case for it being in their interest to have rents that are affordable to people running small and micro businesses. 



Caroline Russell AM

Caroline on Twitter

Guardians of the Arches — Twitter

East End Trades Guild

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