Caroline Pidgeon AM is a Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, and was the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Mayor of London Election in 2016.
Caroline was first elected to the London Assembly in May 2008, being re-elected in 2012 and 2016. She is Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and a member of the Police and Crime Committee and Budget and Performance Committees. She has a long record of campaigning on a wide range of issues, from childcare provision through to tackling knife crime.
Caroline grew up in Hampshire and was the first person in the family to go to university, studying in Aberystwyth.
After graduating she moved to south London. She started work with a local firm of solicitors seeing first hand the pressures on small businesses. Later she worked in the NHS working on areas such as patient information and public health campaigns.
She managed to get on the housing ladder buying a flat above shops on the Walworth Road. Strongly committed to the area, she stood for Southwark Council and gained a reputation for taking on the toughest issues for local people around housing, schools, transport and benefits. She saw how the failing Labour council was resistant to working with local people to change things.
When Liberal Democrats won control of Southwark Council, Caroline became Deputy Leader of the Council and took on a leadership role to improve the way the council worked with local people. She introduced new community councils to open up the council to local people and bring decision making down to local neighbourhoods.
Caroline later took on the job of turning round the council’s failing schools and children’s services. She secured funds to build new secondary and primary schools and ensured huge improvements in youth services and adult education, as well as the support given to children in care.
Caroline saw how this story was replicated across London and sought election to the London Assembly to help change our city for the better. She was determined to see a London that worked better particularly around housing, transport and for children growing up in the city.
She took on the Chair of the powerful Transport Committee and was quickly recognised for her campaigning across London and dubbed a real “Transport Expert”. She recognised that the transport system needed to work for everyone in London - not just 9-5 city workers. So she launched campaigns for a One-Hour Bus Ticket, Early-bird fares and for a part-time travelcard.
She became Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at City Hall and broadened her focus, leading the opposition to the Mayor’s proposals for Water Cannon and highlighting concerns about growing numbers of children in council care who go missing.
Campaigning for London 2016
Now Caroline has a young son she sees the pressures on London families first hand. She sees the problems facing mothers and fathers in finding and affording the childcare they need to keep working and how our public transport network helps and hinders parents with children.
Caroline also recognises that today’s twenty-somethings have a far harder time with their housing whether they are renting or trying to buy. She is determined to see house-building kick-started in London having seen the Mayor fail to deliver the affordable housing we need in our city.