Brent and Harrow
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Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for January 2015

38% say police don’t have a visible presence in Harrow

 

-          Figures from the Met’s Confidence Comparator show 38% of people living in Harrow feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Across the capital figures show 47% of Londoners feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Mayor set to miss target to increase public confidence in the Met by 20%

 

The data, drawn from the Met’s recently launched ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that just 62% of local residents felt police were providing a visible policing presence in Harrow with some areas of the borough seen to be worse than others. In some parts of the borough, this figure was as low as 60%.

There is a similar picture forming across the Capital, with 47% of Londoners saying the police do not have a visible presence in their respective areas.

The figures have sparked criticism of the Mayor of London’s decision to cut back neighbourhood policing teams from six uniformed officers to only two, with Navin Shah AM calling on the Mayor to put more police officers back into boroughs. Since the current Government came to power 4,333 police officers and PCSOs have been lost from London’s streets, including 105 from Harrow.

The Mayor commissioned a review of the new neighbourhood policing units in July 2014 but has so far refused to release the review’s findings despite concerns that the new setup is leaving neighbourhood policing stretched. The worrying confidence figures come only a week after it was revealed that violent crime in the capital rose 22% last year, rising by 14% in Harrow.

 It’s now very likely that the Mayor will miss his target to increase public confidence by 20% and it’s not hard to see why. The cuts to police numbers and the Mayor’s decision to dismantle neighbourhood policing teams have clearly been noticed by people in Harrow and indeed across the Capital. It’s increasingly clear that we need to see more officers back on the beat in our local neighbourhoods.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

                                             

-          Figures on Visibility and Confidence from the Mayor of London can be found here. Figures were drawn from the Met’s ‘Confidence Comparator’ which is available here

-          The ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that when asked ‘how well do you think the Metropolitan Police provide a visible patrolling presence?’ just 53% of Londoners answered they felt their police were doing “well” or “to some extent” providing a visible policing presence in their neighbourhood.

-          Percentage scores for confidence in the police are derived from a rolling yearly questionnaire of over 12,000 Londoners as part of the Public Attitudes Survey (PAS).

-          Figures on Police Numbers from the Mayor of London can be found at: London Datastore

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Permanent link to this article
26th January 2015

42% say police don’t have a visible presence in Brent

 

-          Figures from the Met’s Confidence Comparator show 42% of people living in Brent feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Across the capital figures show 47% of Londoners feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Mayor set to miss target to increase public confidence in the Met by 20%


The data, drawn from the Met’s recently launched ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that just 58% of local residents felt police were providing a visible policing presence in Brent with some areas of the borough seen to be worse than others. In some parts of the borough, this figure was as low as 56%.

There is a similar picture forming across the Capital, with 47% of Londoners saying the police do not have a visible presence in their respective areas.

The figures have sparked criticism of the Mayor of London’s decision to cut back neighbourhood policing teams from six uniformed officers to only two, with Navin Shah AM calling on the Mayor to put more police officers back into boroughs. Since the current Government came to power 4,333 police officers and PCSOs have been lost from London’s streets, including 195 from Brent.

The Mayor commissioned a review of the new neighbourhood policing units in July 2014 but has so far refused to release the review’s findings despite concerns that the new setup is leaving neighbourhood policing stretched. The worrying confidence figures come only a week after it was revealed that violent crime in the capital rose 22% last year, rising by 23.38% in Brent.

It’s now very likely that the Mayor will miss his target to increase public confidence by 20% and it’s not hard to see why. The cuts to police numbers and the Mayor’s decision to dismantle neighbourhood policing teams have clearly been noticed by people in Brent and indeed across the Capital. It’s increasingly clear that we need to see more officers back on the beat in our local neighbourhoods.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

                                             

-          Figures on Visibility and Confidence from the Mayor of London can be found here. Figures were drawn from the Met’s ‘Confidence Comparator’ which is available here

-          The ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that when asked ‘how well do you think the Metropolitan Police provide a visible patrolling presence?’ just 53% of Londoners answered they felt their police were doing “well” or “to some extent” providing a visible policing presence in their neighbourhood.

-          Percentage scores for confidence in the police are derived from a rolling yearly questionnaire of over 12,000 Londoners as part of the Public Attitudes Survey (PAS).

-          Figures on Police Numbers from the Mayor of London can be found at: London Datastore

-          

Permanent link to this article
26th January 2015

New Crossrail spur must benefit Brent and Harrow

I am urging transport chiefs considering the new Crossrail extension to Tring to include calling points at Wembley Central and Harrow and Wealdstone stations.  Speaking at the London Assembly’s Transport Committee meeting on Wednesday,I have told Crossrail Chief Executive Andrew Wolstenholme that the move would bring huge economic benefits for the local area.

Regeneration proposals for Wembley, Harrow and neighbouring Old Oak Common have been set out in the Mayor’s London Plan.  Whilst the Government has announced proposals for a new Crossrail station at Old Oak Common, it is yet to confirm whether Crossrail will stop at Wembley Central and Harrow and Wealdstone. 

I am asking that these a calling point for the extended route has the potential to boost economic growth and provide new jobs and homes for local people.

This is about providing better opportunities for people in Brent and Harrow.  These proposals would vastly improve connections across the local area, strengthening our local economy and bringing more jobs, homes and schools.  That’s why I’m pressing this issue so hard.

I’ve raised this issue with Crossrail bosses today, but the final decision lies with the Department for Transport and I will be urging them to give these plans serious consideration.

Permanent link to this article
15th January 2015

Northwick Park A&E patients wait longer than 4 hours over Christmas

 

  • A&E crisis in London North West continues despite establishment of new A&E department
  • At Northwick Park and Ealing A&E almost half the patients have to wait longer than 4 hours in the week before Christmas
  • Over the 2 week Christmas period 2096 patients waited more than 4 hours at Northwick Park and Ealing
  • London North West worst trust in the country the week before Christmas
  • Across London nearly 17,000 patients across London waited more than 4 hours in A&E over the Christmas period

The A&E crisis in north west London continued this Christmas, with figures released today revealing nearly half the area’s patients waiting for more than 4 hours to be seen in A&E.  Despite the creation of a new A&E at Northwick Park before Christmas, 46.3% of patients at the Trust had to wait more than a 4 hour, making it the worst performing Trust in the country.

The closure in September of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&E departments has meant increased pressure on existing services.  In the week ending 28 Dec, nearly 900 patients missed the 4 hour target, over the whole Christmas period 2096 patients spent over 4 hours waiting to be seen.

The crisis facing A&E services in north west London are symptomatic of a London-wide NHS crisis.  In the week ending 21 Dec only 3 of the 19 London Trusts with A&E departments met the 95% target.  In the following week ending 28 Dec only 4 of the 19 London Trusts with A&E departments met the target.

For months the Government have told us things would get better with the establishment of a new A&E department at Northwick Park. I am afraid my concerns regarding the closure of Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E have been proved correct. These latest figures show that the A&E crisis in North West London is not just continuing but is getting worse. This is what happens when you chose to shut down two A&E departments in one area.

With over 2,000 patients waiting longer than 4 hours its clear Northwick Park faced a Christmas of crisis as a result of the strain they are operating under. Whilst Boris and colleagues in Government are sitting idly by demand for A&E services is rocketing. We must of course urge patients only to resort to A&E in genuine emergencies, but with GP surgeries also being stretched it is clear we need action rather than more empty words from the Government.

With A&E departments like Northwick Park rapidly approaching breaking point, it is lunacy that the Government is set to close more West London A&Es this year. Last year’s closures have resulted in almost half the patients at Northwick Park waiting longer than 4 hours over Christmas.

Patients in north west London are paying for years of costly reorganisation and health service closures. Why is the Government blindly pushing through these flawed proposals? The Government must change course before the NHS crisis we are experiencing in North West London becomes permanent fixture.

 

 

Fares Freeze as commuters face seventh year of fare rises under Boris Johnson

 

  • I call for Mayor to scrap 2.5% fare rise to save the average commuter £56 a year on a 1-6 Annual Travelcard
  • Fare freeze can be funded without cuts to other areas through use of £98m of expected underspends and additional TfL fares income
  • Since 2008 fares have risen over 40% with 76% of Londoners now saying fares are ‘too high’

With the majority of Londoners returning to work this week, I am calling on the Mayor of London to scrap his latest fares hike after a new report found that 76% of Londoners now believe fares are “too high”. The report, The case for a Fare Freeze’ found that the 40% increase in fares under Boris Johnson has left many Londoners struggling to cope with the cost of commuting. I am urging the Mayor to use expected TfL underspends and additional income to reverse this year’s 2.5% fare increase and freeze fares at 2014 levels.

 

The call comes as Londoners returning to work after the holiday season face an average 2.5% increase in their commuting costs. After seven years of increases under Boris Johnson and with fare growth outstripping wages the Mayor would be failing Londoners who are struggling to cope with the cost of commuting if he did not reverse the rise and cap fares at 2014 levels. The move could be funded, by utilising £98m of the £309m in better-than-expected fare income and TfL underspends estimated to be accumulated in 2015/16. In the Mayor’s first five budgets, TfL underestimated fares income and overestimated operating costs; expenditure was £1,069m (3.69%) less than expected and income from fares £235m (1.36%) more than expected. Assuming this trend continues there would be more than enough unallocated funding in 2015/16 to freeze fares at 2014 levels.

A survey of 1,219 Londoners carried out for the report found that 76% of Londoners now think the cost of travel in the capital is too high. One woman from Brent who responded to the survey said that ‘’It cost me £6.40 return to get to work - this is insane! Bus prices also always rise faster than inflation’. Another woman stated that ‘’I pay more for a travelcard from Harrow to central London on a weekday at peak time than I did for a train to Bruges from Brussels on a weekend’’.

For seven years under Boris Johnson fare increases have outstripped wage growth forcing commuters to spend more of their pay-cheque travelling to work.

The Mayor’s decision to raise fares for the seventh year running will put even more pressure on Brent and Harrow residents struggling to cope with the cost of commuting. With 76% of Londoners believing fares are too high, a freeze for 2015 would give them a much needed break from the annual rise in fares.

Whilst money is tight, I do not believe the answer is to take more from Londoners’ pockets - especially when TfL is expected to be sitting on millions in underspends and additional fares income.

In 2016 London will elect a new Mayor who will have the opportunity to map out a four year plan for their fares strategy for their term of office. Until then a fares freeze this year would give Londoners some much needed respite from rising travel costs without harming the network’s upgrade and expansion plans.

 

ENDS

Notes

 

-       Since 2008, when the current Mayor came to power, tube passengers have seen fares rise by 37%; bus passengers by 47%. On average fares are up 40% since 2008.

-         Freezing Fares at 2014 levels would cost TfL £98 million in forgone revenue. This could be paid for by utilising £98m of the £309m expected to accumulate from better-than-expected fares income and TfL underspends in 2015/16. TfL consistently overestimates its operating expenditure and underestimates its income from fares. In the Mayor’s first five budgets, expenditure has been £1,069m (3.69%) less than expected & income from fares has been £235m (1.36%) more than expected. On this basis we calculate that TfL will underspend by up to 246m this year with additional fares income of up to £63m. This would leave up to £309m which could be used to pay for a year-long fare freeze that will help Londoners, particularly those on lower incomes, make ends meet in 2015, without hitting its capital expenditure or reserves.

-     For the report 1,219 Londoners were surveyed asking whether they thought fares were 'too high', 'about right' or 'too low'. 924 (76%) said too high, 289 (24%) said about right and only 6 (0.5%) said too low.

-       The full report, The case for a Fares Freeze, is available here.