Brent and Harrow
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Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for February 2012

Navin Shah AM calls for tax on bankers’ bonuses to tackle spiralling youth unemployment in Brent and Harrow

Figures released yesterday shows youth unemployment continuing to increase. I call for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund work placements for unemployed 16-24 year olds to prevent another ‘lost generation’. This call follows a 126.9 per cent rise in the number of young people out of work for over six months in Brent and 192.9 per cent increase in Harrow.  

According to January’s unemployment figures, released on Wednesday, there are now 235,177 people looking for work in London and 9,762 in Brent and 4,257 in Harrow. This is an increase of 9.5 per cent across London in the last year alone, an 8 per cent rise in Brent and an 8.2 per cent rise in Harrow.  

It is essential the government and Mayor Boris Johnson do all they can to get Londoners back to work instead of continuing to cut, with what we can see, has dire consequences. I am calling for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund work placements for young people, desperately in need of employment.  

It was the bankers’ who got us into this mess and it is about time they paid their fair share to help our young people who are bearing the brunt of a recession they did nothing to cause. Why are ordinary people being forced to pay for others' mistakes?  

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The figures published today reveal that in Brent:  

  • There are now 9,762 unemployed people looking for work
  • 2,050 of them are under 24
  • 590 have been out of work for more than six months
  • There are only 1,279 job vacancies in Brent

  The figures published today reveal that in Harrow:  

  • There are now 4,257 unemployed people looking for work
  • 985 of them are under 24
  • 205 have been out of work for more than six months
  • There are only 635 job vacancies in Harrow

  Across London:  

  • There are 235,177 people out of work
  • 55,410 are under 24
  • 16,655 have been out of work for more then six months
  • There are 32,580 job vacancies in the capital - seven jobseekers for every vacancy

Navin Shah AM

Permanent link to this article
16th February 2012

Bus muggings in Harrow up by 52 per cent

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By David Baker

MUGGINGS on buses are increasing in Harrow as the police try to fill vacancies in specialist transport officers.

New figures show the borough’s safer transport team has several vacancies, despite money being available to fill the posts.

The revelations come as statistics from Transport for London (TfL) show reported muggings on buses in Harrow in the last nine months are up by 52 per cent on the same period last year.

London Assembly member Navin Shah said he is deeply concerned about the increase in robberies on the transport network.

 

“The dramatic rise of 52.63 per cent in robberies on Harrow’s buses is deeply concerning,” he said.

“While it is good news that other types of crime are falling, it is very worrying that this type of violent crime is rising. It is even more worrying that the police safer transport teams are chronically understaffed.”

The posts have been vacant since November, and are unfilled despite a request from the Mayor of London for the team to be at full strength by March.

In the last nine months, there were 29 robberies on buses in Harrow per one million passengers compared with 19 in the same period in 2010.

Train and Tube lines at Harrow-on-the-Hill Tube station recorded the greatest amount of reported crime of all types, including robbery, anti-social behaviour and theft, but saw a drop from 78 per 100,000 passengers in 2010/2011 to 53 in the last year.

Wealdstone also saw a reduction from 43 reported crimes down to 20.

There was, however, rises in crime at South Harrow Tube Station, Rayners Lane, North Harrow and West Harrow.

A police spokesman said: The number of PCs assigned to safer transport teams across all London boroughs will be increased and will be in place by the end of March. In the case of Harrow’s safer transport team, there will be an increase of PCs from seven to 13.

“The target of an enhanced total number of 13 should be achieved within six weeks.”

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Permanent link to this article
16th February 2012

GLA Budget

GLA BUDGET

Last week the London Assembly debated and voted on the Mayor’s budget for London. I, along with my Labour colleagues, proposed a fully costed plan to cut transport fares by 7%, this will save travellers around £1,000 over four years. We want to use TfL’s surplus to put money back in Londoner’s pockets to help them through these difficult times. However, all of the Conservative members of the Assembly voted against this proposal and Mayor Boris Johnson also blocked it.

 

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Mayor Johnson’s proposal of a 1% cut to council tax means a £3.10 per year reduction in council tax, equivalent of saving the average Londoner 26p a month - enough to buy one onion. This measly sum is meaningless compared to the £110 extra a monthly zone 1-4 travelcard will cost you this year, or the £46 extra you are forking out for a monthly bus pass since last year. The Tory Mayor's fare rises are costing Londoners a lot more, and he could make a real difference to Londoners if he supported Labour's plan to cut transport fares but all he is interested is in gesture politics.

In these difficult times when costs are rising we should be doing all we can to help people, rather than the paltry cut offered by the Mayor. It is a shame that the Tory Mayor has chosen to increase fares and burden our communities with this additional hefty tax.  

Navin Shah AM 

Permanent link to this article
14th February 2012

London Mayor’s Budget: Enough to buy one onion

The four year term of the London Mayor and the GLA Members comes to an end on 3 May, when voters will be going to the polls. Last week, Assembly Members questioned the Mayor about his budget, which can only be overturned by two thirds of Assembly Members voting against it.

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This means it is impossible, given the political make up of the Assembly. This year’s budget is critical in that it gives an opportunity for the Mayor to present his vision and priorities for London and Londoners – this Mayor failed to do this.

I, along with my Labour colleagues, proposed a fully costed plan to cut transport fares by seven per cent, this will save commuters around £1,000 over four years. Labour’s proposal is to use Transport for London’s surplus to put money back in Londoner’s pockets to help them through these difficult times. However, all of the Conservative members of the Assembly voted against this proposal and Mayor Boris Johnson also blocked it.

Mayor Johnson’s proposal of a one per cent cut to council tax means annual savings of  £3.10 for the average Londoner, or 26p a month - enough to buy one onion. This measly sum is meaningless compared to the £110 extra a monthly zone 1-4 travelcard will cost you this year, or the £46 extra you are forking out for a monthly bus pass since last year. The Tory Mayor's fare rises are costing Londoners a lot more. He could make a real difference to Londoners if he supported Labour's plan to cut transport fares but all he is interested is in gesture politics.

In these difficult times when costs are rising we should be doing all we can to help people, rather than the paltry cut offered by the Mayor. It is a shame that the Tory Mayor has chosen to increase fares and burden our communities with this additional hefty tax.

The examination of the Mayor’s contribution in the last four years shows he has achieved next to nothing. He’s completed, with varying degrees of success, projects started by former Mayor Ken Livingstone and claimed credit for those initiatives as his own. We have seen his vanity projects like the new ‘routemaster’ bus design that is costing £12 million for just five vehicles.

Hire bikes paid for by increased fares but are becoming more and more unpopular with Londoners. And the City Hall council tax freeze, saving Londoners pennies,  is wiped out by the serious impact on the quality of life of Londoners with his huge fare rises, the reduction of police numbers on our streets and failing to deliver affordable social housing.

In all the key areas affecting London’s communities Mayor Johnson has failed to deliver. The number of police officers on our streets is down almost 2,000 in the last two years with incidents of burglary, theft and muggings up since last year.

The Mayor has increased public transport fares over and above inflation every single year since he was elected – a huge 26 per cent increase on average since 2008. As in previous years I have supported the Mayor’s decision not to put up his share of the council tax, and the one per cent cut in his precept this year. But this fails to provide meaningful help to our communities during the period of financial hardship. However, Mayor Johnson remains the main cheerleader for City bankers who caused the recession and continue to draw scandalous bonuses. The Mayor lacks vision and real commitment to support Londoners. The forthcoming election will be the opportunity for Londoners to have their say.

Navin Shah AM

Permanent link to this article
13th February 2012