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Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Boris ignores call to “drop frontline fire cuts” - Brent

Yesterday (Monday) I voted against the Mayor of London’s draft budget which proposes to close Willesden Green and Harlesden police station in Brent. This was the final chance to debate and vote on the Mayor’s overall draft budget for London.

The London Assembly required a two-thirds majority to amend the Mayor’s budget. At the first meeting the three opposition groups passed a ‘Technical Amendment’ which forced Boris to review freezing the council tax precept, rather than cutting it by one penny a day for an average household. This would raise £9.6 million, which could be used to keep all of London’s fire stations open and maintain police front counter provision across London.

In Brent this would have:

  • Helped 255 Londoners under 24 out of work for more than a year into work through Labour’s Jobs Guarantee. This scheme would give 21 hours per week of work experience, paid at the London Living Wage for six months.
  • Saved residents £165 by cutting transport fares by 1% so they are in line with inflation

 Yesterday I joined residents at my local train station to spread the message about the Mayor of London’s cuts being too far and too fast. Boris had a clear choice between cutting council tax by one pence a day, or freezing it and using the money to keep fire stations open. But Boris chose to carry on with his foolish plan to axe 12 fire stations and 18 fire engines. 

Boris is needlessly jeopardising the safety and security of Londoners. We presented the Mayor with a fully costed plan which keeps much needed front line services but he wants to continue with his ill-thought out proposals. 

Boris has cut his share of the council tax by one pence a day per household, but at the same time has whacked up fares above inflation for the fifth year running. If he had taken on our budget proposal to cut transport fares by one per cent he could have saved residents in Zone Four and travelling to Zone One £282.74 over the course of a year. It’s time for Boris to get serious and stand up for Londoners instead of campaigning for tax cuts for millionaires.

 

Ends

Notes

  1. The Cross-party amendment can be found here: http://cityhalllabour.org/cross-party-budget-change-forces-boris-to-ditch-frontline-999-cuts/
  2. The Budget meeting took place at City Hall on Monday 25th February 2013. You can watch the meeting here: www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts
Permanent link to this article
26th February 2013