Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for February 2014

Boris refuses to take action on Private Rented Housing

At Friday’s Greater London Authority final Budget meeting the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, refused to take action to drive up standards and tackle rogue landlords in the private rented sector. The Mayor was presented with a costed plan to deliver more homes and take action to help private rented tenants – but he refused to adopt the plans and all nine Conservative members of the London Assembly used their blocking minority vote to stop the proposals.

Londoners are facing a housing crisis and Boris is doing virtually nothing to help people who are struggling. We are seeing soaring house prices, soaring rents and not enough truly affordable housing being built. We need Boris to directly intervene in the broken housing market and directly built houses. He has the land and the powers to deliver significant levels of housing, it’s time he took the housing crisis seriously and got building. But he also needs to take action to drive up standards in the private rented sector, his voluntary approach simply isn’t working.

 Today the Mayor was challenged on just how bad conditions are for some people in the private rented sector. Many boroughs in London are doing what they can, but the Mayor must use his considerable powers and funding to help them.

Permanent link to this article
17th February 2014

Harrow-on-the-Hill Station: Boris must deliver on promise

I welcomed a commitment from the Mayor of London to make Harrow-on-the-Hill a step-free access station. I have been campaigning for the step-free works since 2009, the project was granted funding in the previous Mayor, but this was cancelled by Boris Johnson when he took office in 2008. The new works will be part funded by Transport for London and Harrow Council.

Like many Harrow residents I was deeply disappointed when Boris cancelled the funding for Harrow-on-the-Hill to become step-free. If he hadn’t cancelled this £25million then residents would have had step free access for several years. It is good news the Mayor has finally seen sense and is now allowing this initial scoping project to go ahead. It’s scandalous that it has taken Mayor Johnson six years to recognise the need for step-free access at Harrow-on-the-Hill Station. We now need the Mayor to commit to carrying these works out as soon as this feasibility study has been carried out. Local people have been forced to wait for too long already.

 I would like to pay tribute to the local residents and campaigners who have lobbied hard for these improvements and urge them to continue their fight. I will continue making the case for this project at City Hall, we need the Mayor to follow through and find the funding for this vital project and publish a clear timetable to make Harrow-on-the-Hill Station fully accessible.

 

 

Permanent link to this article
14th February 2014

Mayor breaks election promise as over 3,000 police officers lost

New figures have today shown that the Metropolitan Police has lost over 3,000 officers since May 2010, there are now 30,085 PCs in London. In Brent 111 police officers have been lost – a drop of 16%.  The Mayor promised he would maintain police numbers ‘at or around 32,000’. Over the same period the Met has also lost 2,265 Police Community Support Officers. In Brent 88 PCSOs have been lost – 65% of the total, wheares in Harrow 60 police officers have been lost – a drop of 15%.  Deputy mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh said last year that it would be a “doomsday scenario” for policing if the figure dipped below 31,000.

I am calling on the Mayor to reverse his cuts to front line policing and secure a better deal from central government for Londoners. Next week the Mayor will decide whether he will adopt proposed amendments to his budget for 2014/15. The amendment would immediately see 1,185 PCSOs and an extra 250 Safer Transport Team Police Officers recruited using the Mayor’s existing budget to help plug the gap caused by cuts to the policing budget by the Mayor and central government.

On Boris Johnson’s watch we’ve seen the erosion of policing in London and in our borough, when he stood for re-election he promised to maintain numbers at 32,000 but he has failed to do this. According to his own figures he has cut police officer numbers by over 3,000 and halved PCSOs, which made up the bulk of our local safer neighbourhood teams.

The Met Police is now the third least visible on the streets compared to other areas of the country. We need a properly resourced police service to tackle crime and provide a much better service to victims. I hope next week he will adopt my budget amendment and start to properly resource our local police teams. The government have cut the policing budget by 20%, the Mayor needs to stand up for Londoners and get a better deal for our city from his colleagues in government.

 

Ends

 

Notes

  1. The figures quoted above are for December 2013 which are the latest available and are published on the Mayor’s own London Datastore website, see: http://data.london.gov.uk/dashboard-summary/crime
  2. The graph below shows Met police officer numbers from May 2010 to December 2013.
  3. Met third least visible force in the country Value for Money Profiles, HMIC, November 2013, p 43   http://www.hmic.gov.uk/media/metropolitan-value-for-money-profile-2013.pdf
  4. In January 2012 the Mayor of London told the London Assembly:

“I want to repeat that under this Mayoralty there will be no cuts in the police and we will keep police numbers at a safe level. I believe, and I have said many times in this horseshoe, that safe level is around 32,000 or more.” See page 3: http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/b5860/Minutes%20-%20Appendices%201-3%20-%20Transcripts%20Wednesday%2025-Jan-2012%2010.00%20London%20Assembly%20Mayors%20Questi.pdf?T=9

 

  1. Stephen Greenhalgh said that numbers falling under 31,000 would be a “Doomsday scenario” for London.

(Stephen Greenhalgh, Home Affairs Select Committee, 4th September 2012)   

 

                       

 

Permanent link to this article
6th February 2014