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Southwark Lib Dems campaign for two Bakerloo branches

The proposed extension of the Bakerloo tube line should include two new routes through Southwark – one down the Old Kent Road, and another through Camberwell.

That’s the vision of Liberal Democrats in the borough, who are launching a new campaign to push the Mayor and Southwark Council into action on the issue.

Subsidising gun licence costs is indefensible

Responding to figures showing that the Metropolitan Police spent £3 million more in processing gun licence applications than they received in fees, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"When there are so many pressures on police resources it is indefensible that the Met should be subsidising gun owners by millions of pounds every year.

"The full cost of carrying out vital checks before the issuing of gun licences should be paid for entirely by gun owners themselves.

Contactless payment must not disadvantage travellers without bank accounts

As September's introduction of contactless payments on the Tube, DLR and Overground approaches, Caroline Pidgeon reiterated concerns about the details of the scheme and how it may impact passengers without access to a bank account:

"After such long delays in introducing this technology, we now need real honesty from the mayor and Transport for London, as to how contactless payment will really operate.

Islington police failed to answer basic questions on Arsenal hospitality

As three police officers face a misconduct inquiry over the handling of an investigation involving an Arsenal footballer, bringing to light eight years of free season tickets given by the club to the Metropolitan Police, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Before accepting any hospitality every police officer should ask fundamental questions as to whether acceptance is good for policing and how it would be perceived by the public.

Met should be open about costs of vital surveillance work

As a "mystery" Cessna plane flying over London sparked speculation on its potential use for surveillance, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

Of course the Met needs to defend some secrecy over its surveillance work, however you can't put planes up over London without people noticing. It would be best if the Met simply admitted that vital surveillance work takes place and at the same time was open about the costs of such operations.

HMIC Report shows why Met should not waste money on water cannon, chauffeurs or subsidising gun owners

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and policing spokesperson, commenting on today’s report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on how the Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with budget pressures, said:

“The overall judgment given to the Met Police Service’s record so far is encouraging, however we cannot hide away from the fact that severe pressures will face the Met, starting from 2016.

Lessons must be learnt following collapse of Bombardier signalling contract

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson commenting on the highly critical KPMG report on the collapse of the Bombardier signalling contract which has just been published, said:

“It is staggering that TfL simply accepted at face value significant claims made by Bombardier before they awarded such a major contract. Due to a lack of research and basic enquiries about their actual record TfL signed up with a company that had no track record in London and little chance of being able to deliver the new signalling on some of the oldest and most complex Tube lines in the world.

Campaigning against St Margaret's footbridge closure

The Mayor of London has now received a petition with over 600 signatories urging Transport for London to drop its plans to remove an existing footbridge over the busy A316 in Twickenham.

In praise of Freedom Of Information legislation

Writing at Liberal Democrat Voice, Caroline Pidgeon defends the Freedom of Information Act and argues for sticking to its principles and extending it to more publicly funded bodies.

One of the most significant constitutional developments of the last Labour Government was the passing of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act, which finally came into force in January 2005. This was legislation which Liberal Democrats had called for over many years.

Lessons need to be learned for Cycle Hire sponsorship

As Transport for London begins the process of making a new sponsorship deal for the Cycle Hire scheme, Caroline Pidgeon AM said:

"Many lessons need to be learnt from the exclusive sponsorship deal that the mayor and TfL struck with Barclays Bank.

"Above all else the contract was unnecessarily secretive and far too favourable to the bank.

"The bank should have paid far more for the benefits they had been granted under the sponsorship deal."

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