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 February 2017

Mayor's Air Quality Plans

There has been much misinformation over the past week following the announcement of the Mayor’s ‘T’ charge, not least from other Assembly Members in City Hall.

First, let me lay out the situation we find ourselves in. The air quality in London is nothing less than a public health emergency. After years of inaction from the previous Mayor, we have some of the most polluted air in Europe. We can attribute nearly 10,000 premature deaths a year and a wide range of other serious health problems to the poor air quality in our capital. The lungs of our children are not developing properly. This is tragic and it is shameful.

The new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, makes no apologies for wanting to tackle this crisis. He is extending the ultra-low emission zone beyond the congestion zone up to the North and South Circular roads. This will benefit 3.8 million Londoners, as opposed to the 136,000 that live in the current congestion zone. I want this zone to extend even further, to cover all of London. He is introducing a T-charge to discourage the dirtiest and most polluting vehicles from travelling into Central London. He is lobbying the government for a diesel scrappage scheme. In short, he is taking much needed radical action to stop this silent killer.

If we take no action, we display a willingness to overlook the need to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our city - including our children. Action is required, and it is required now.

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24th February 2017

I support Mayor’s call to introduce a ‘dirty’ diesel scrappage scheme

This week, hundreds of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals wrote to the Prime Minister urging the government to remove diesel vehicles as soon as possible as they are causing a “health emergency.”  

Department for Transport figures show that of the 101103 total number of cars in Harrow, 30166 are run on diesel. This is lower than the Londonwide average of 31%. Wheares in Brent the figures are higher than the Londonwide average with 92925 total number of cars in Brent, 30166 are run on diesel.

In 2012, the World Health Organisation classified diesel exhaust as a ‘definite carcinogen’. This was followed by a 2014 report from Transport for London (TfL) which cited that the growing popularity of diesel was a contributing factor in London’s failure to comply with EU air pollution limits. Warnings also came that year from Dr Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health at King’s College London, that some diesel emissions, such as black carbon, can have a “much bigger health impact” than other pollutants.


Earlier this week, the campaign group ‘Doctors against Diesel’ said the vehicles could cause “irreversible lung damage” to children, and pointed out that the government’s own chief medical officer has said diesel vehicles should be phased out. The letter, which was sent to the Prime Minister, was signed by professors of paediatrics and public health from universities including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary, and the Faculty of Public Health.

This week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced he has put proposals to the government for a national ‘dirty’ diesel scrappage fund to financially compensate low income motorists changing their car to a cleaner model. It is hoped such a scheme will help tackle the capital’s toxic air.

Having almost 30000 diesel cars on Harrow roads and also 30000 diesel cars on Brent roads undoubtedly poses a significant risk to the health of residents.

Many car owners will have bought diesel cars in good faith, when the evidence suggested diesel cars were better for the environment. With more recent evidence showing diesel to have numerous public health risks it’s only right that we do everything possible to reduce the number of these cars on our roads.  

I welcome the Mayor’s call to introduce a scrappage scheme, and I urge the government to act quickly. This is a serious health risk which demands a serious – and timely – response.

ENDS

Notes

  • The Department for Transport figures show that as of September 2016 there are 29817 diesel cars and 67542 petrol cars in Harrow; The figures in Brent for this period are 30166 diesel cars and 57915 petrol cars;

  • Across the 32 London Boroughs there are 817,151 diesel cars and 1,775,919 petrol cars;

  • Diesel was classified as a “definite carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, in 2012.

  • Transport for London’s Transport Emissions Roadmap report in September 2014 stated that London’s failure to comply with EU air pollution legal limits was “partly a result of the increasing popularity of diesel engines”. See page 3.

  • Dr Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health at King’s College London told the London Assembly’s Environment Committee on 6th November 2014 that some diesel emissions, such as black carbon, can have a “bigger health impact” than other pollutants. His comments can be found on page 5.

  • The Mayor’s proposals include a credit scheme valued at £2,000 to help low-income households in cities (those with incomes lower than £231.60 per week after housing costs) scrap up to 130,000 polluting cars, with incentives for car clubs (costing approximately £260 million in London);

  • The Doctors Against Diesel campaign group sent a copy of their letter to The Times. You can see the full details here;

Permanent link to this article
16th February 2017

You are welcome here

This week the London Assembly praised the Mayor for his “immediate and unequivocal condemnation” of President Trump’s travel ban. The ban, which restricts travel to the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries, was described as “cruel and discriminatory”

The controversial ban applies to seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. President Trump’s Executive Order, which has been temporarily halted subject to further legal proceedings, stops any individual who was born in – and is travelling from - one of these countries from entering the United States.

I welcome the Mayor of London’s “immediate and unequivocal condemnation” of the travel ban. It called on Mayor Khan to make representations to the UK Government to ensure that any future trade agreement with the US will be a fair deal for London and the UK. It was passed by a vote of 13 to 1, with the Conservative Assembly Members abstaining.

It is vital that we, in the most diverse city in the world, make it absolutely clear that we condemn the recent travel restrictions implemented by Donald Trump. I am proud to have voted for this motion.


The travel ban is cruel and discriminatory. It panders to people's fear and prejudice, and can make people born in those countries feel targeted and discriminated against. I want to send a clear message to those living in Brent and Harrow who were born in one of the so-called ‘banned’ countries: you are welcome here.

The Government's response to it has been feeble, perhaps for fear of offending Donald Trump. We need them to unequivocally condemn the travel ban, and take real action to ensure our capital is not going to be adversely affected.

 

ENDS

Notes

  • The full text of the motion from Fiona Twycross AM is as follows:

    “This Assembly welcomes the Mayor’s immediate and unequivocal condemnation of the US President’s decision to ban travel to the US for people of several, predominantly Muslim, nationalities.  We welcome the Mayor’s comments that any travel ban based on nationality or religion, including bans on Israeli citizens, “is shameful and cruel”. London should always be a city that espouses the global values of tolerance, diversity and freedom. London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and many of its residents could be affected by the restrictions – be it for personal reasons, or business.

    This Assembly fears that that this decision establishes the direction of travel for Donald Trump’s presidency and we are concerned about future agreements between the US and UK and their impact on London; not only in regard to travel, but future trade agreements as well.

    We therefore call on the Mayor to make representations to the UK Government to ensure that any future trade agreement with the US will be a fair deal for London and the UK. This includes a careful examination of the potential impact of the deal to vital services, such as the NHS, and assurances that standards for imported goods and services will be maintained, not reduced to meet levels used in the US. The Government should not let the urgent need to establish new trade deals weaken its hand in these negotiations.”

  • All Labour AMs present voted for the motion, as did the two Green AMs and the Liberal Democrat AM. The one UKIP AM present voted against, and all Conservative AMs present abstained;

  • The figures are taken from the 2011 census and the specific figures for banned countries in [BOROUGH] are as follows: Iraq [XXX], Iran [XXX], Libya [XXX], Somalia [XXX], Sudan [XXX], Syria [XXX], and Yemen [XXX];

  • The US Government has confirmed that any individual who holds a British passport can still travel to America from one of the banned countries as long as they use their British passport;

Permanent link to this article
9th February 2017

Londoners urged to hand in firearms as gun crime soars in Harrow

The Metropolitan Police has launched a #giveupyourgun campaign as part of weeklong firearm surrender. The campaign will give people in Harrow the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms, imitation weapons or ammunition without having to give their details to police. The most recent figures show gun crime in Harrow is up by 60%.

Figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police show there were 56 gun crimes committed in Harrow in 2016, up from 35 in 2015. Across London, there were 420 more gun crimes in the last year – an increase of 22%.

The campaign, which is part of the Met’s ongoing work to reduce gun crime and remove illegal weapons from the streets of London, began on Monday, 6 February and runs until 2300hrs on Sunday, 12 February. Firearms and ammunition can be taken to Harrow Police Station, which is open 24 hours a day.

It is extremely worrying to see gun crime going up in Harrow and across the capital. Every single incident brings misery to the individuals involved, and to their friends and families.

I would urge anyone reading this who is in possession of a firearm – or knows someone who is – to hand it in at Harrow Police Station. You won’t have to leave your details, and you’ll help to make our community safer.

Gun crime is a serious problem in our city, and schemes like this are vital to tackling it.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

 

-       Rolling 12 month gun crime figures by borough can be found here;

-       Metropolitan Police data show there were 56 gun crimes committed in Harrow in 2016, up from 35 in 2015;

-       A map showing the 24 hour stations in each borough is here;

-       Gun Crime is crime (Violence Against the Person, Robbery, Burglary and Sexual Offences) in which guns are used. A gun is taken to be involved in an offence if it is fired, used as a blunt instrument to cause injury to a person, or used as a threat. Where the victim is convinced of the presence of a firearm, even if it is concealed, and there is evidence to of the suspect's intention to create this impression, then the incident counts. Both real, and fake firearms, and air weapons are counted within this category. (Metropolitan Police).

-       Any antique or decommissioned weapons which have the potential to be reactivated, and any loose ammunition, can also be handed in to police.

-       If anyone has any information about someone who they believe is in possession of an illegal gun, they can ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Permanent link to this article
7th February 2017