Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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Navin's News for August 2015

Brent is the third least affordable place to rent in the country

I recently read an article in Brent and Kilburn Times which said that “Brent is the third least affordable place to rent in the country” highlighted one of the most biggest challenges facing local people. With soaring rents putting huge pressure on Brent residents, the impact of the Mayor of London’s failure to adequately protect private renters during his eight years in office is plain for all to see.

Under Boris Johnson our housing shortage has become a housing crisis. We simply do not have enough homes and the insufficient housing supply means that rents are being increasingly pushed up. Meanwhile, the Mayor readily implemented the Government’s policy of setting affordable rent at 80% of the market price – a price which is not ‘affordable’ for many residents in Brent.

The result is that some residents in Brent could be paying as much as 78% of their salary on rent. With real wages falling and rents rising, the worry is that this could see some residents forced out of the borough.

We need a real change in the private rented sector, with better protection from soaring rents and bad landlords. This should have been amongst Boris Johnson’s key priorities. Sadly, it’s yet another failed legacy to add to his growing heap.  

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Mayor’s secret plan for affordable home target of only 25% is an "absolute scandal"

The Mayor of London must come clean following reports from Property Week magazine that the he is planning to fix a target of 25% for affordable homes in the capital’s key Housing Zones and opportunity areas. If introduced, the target would effectively prevent local authorities from being able to negotiate the number of affordable homes on a development above the 25% threshold.

A 25% target would be far lower than the those currently demanded by many local authorities. The Mayor needs to adopt far more ambitious targets for affordable housing provision and to allow local councils a say in what the affordable target should be for major developments in their area.

For eight years Boris Johnson has failed to deliver the affordable homes we need, now he looks set to tie the hands of a future Mayor by setting a scandalously low target for affordable housing on major development sites. If true, not only would it stack the deck in developers’ favour, it would let them totally off the hook from their duty to provide the optimum number of affordable homes.

 You don’t get the affordable housing which London needs by being soft on developers and tying the hands of local authorities – we need as many affordable homes as possible. The capital’s housing crisis is growing by the day and people are crying out for homes that they can actually afford to live in. Instead of dealing with this challenge, Boris Johnson seems to be the only person in London who thinks that it’s acceptable for three-quarters of new homes to be unaffordable.




-       The Property Week article, Boris Johnson mulls fixed affordable housing target, is available here

My thoughts on the Tube Upgrade

Local commuters relying on the Metropolitan line will be understandably disappointed to hear that they must wait a further five years until “faster and more frequent” services are delivered as part of the long promised tube upgrade.

With rush hour tubes full to capacity, leaving commuters struggling to get to work each day on overcrowded services, upgrading the tube has to be the single most important transport project in London.

Yes there have been a number of obstacles, such as the failed Bombardier deal and large scale Government cutbacks. But it’s simply not good enough that, after eight years, the Mayor of London has failed to complete what is not only the most cost efficient upgrade to the London Underground, but the most beneficial to passengers and London’s economy.

This should have topped the Mayor’s list of priorities. Sadly, his inability to stay focused means that many local people will have to put up with five more years of overstretched services.


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London football matches cost Met £2m a year to police

The Metropolitan Police should be given the power to recover the costs of policing football matches Labour. The call comes after new figures showed that the force spent almost two million pounds policing top-flight football matches in the capital last year.

Despite facing budget cuts of 20% the Metropolitan Police was forced to spend an estimated £1,917,030 providing policing services for football matches.

Whilst costs for police officers based inside stadiums and on their grounds can be charged to football clubs the wider police presence required outside the stadium has to be covered by the police alone. There is currently no legal right to recover the costs of these services from the clubs themselves.

With the Met facing significant further cuts in coming years the Home Secretary needs to change the law to allow police forces to recover the cost of policing top flight games from the clubs.

With the Met’s budget expected to face huge cuts surely it’s time that clubs covered the cost of policing their games.

If top-flight clubs can afford to pay players hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, they can afford to cover the cost of policing their games instead of expecting the taxpayer to fork out millions to police money-making matches.

This is one case where the goalposts do need to be moved. It’s down to the Home Secretary to level the playing field and make sure clubs are properly contributing to the cost of keeping their fans safe.





-       Figures outlining the cost of policing football matches were provided in the Mayor of London’s response to the following question from London Assembly Member, Andrew Dismore:

Policing Football Matches

Question No: 2015/2272

What is the best estimate of the cost to the Met of policing outside the 'footprint' of land owned, leased or controlled by the football clubs? 

Written answer from the Mayor

Like all police forces, the MPS supports private sports clubs who hold events under the SPS agreement where additional policing is required on those match days for land owned, leased or controlled by the club. Under present law, the MPS is not able to recover costs for any additional policing outside this ‘footprint’.

The estimated extra cost to the MPS in 2014/15 in respect of the extra policing for football matches outside the stadia for which no recovery is currently possible is calculated to be £1,917,030