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The scandal of London’s missing Looked After Children is now painfully clear

The high number of children who go missing for 24 hours or more from the care of London local authorities has been revealed in the report Looked After Children: Missing From Care, published today by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

Through freedom of information requests made to every London borough, detailed information has been gathered showing that in every part of London there is a serious problem with runaway children who are in the legal care of local authorities.

Mayor's water cannon decision is misguided and ill informed

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s statement today that he will be seeking a formal request to the Home Secretary to arm the Metropolitan Police Service with water cannon, said:

“This is a foolish and misguided decision by the Mayor of London.

Mayor's fire authority power grab must be blocked

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s proposals to try to secure changes to the composition of the London Fire Authority by reducing its composition of elected London Assembly Members and borough councillors and to increase the number of Mayoral appointees, said:

“These proposals are nothing less than a power grab from the Mayor.

“The Mayor’s record of abusing his existing powers to appoint people to the London Fire Authority has been bad enough.

Mayor is overseeing the decimation of community policing

The Mayor of London is standing by and allowing the decimation of community policing claims Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson, after questioning the Mayor and the Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe at City Hall today.

Support credit unions and drive out loan sharks

The Mayor of London should play a key role in driving out loan sharks across London, according to a new report recently launched by Caroline, her London Assembly colleague Stephen Knight and Lynne Featherstone MP, at the London Capital Credit Union in Islington.

The report, "Payday London", sets out a number of policies that the Mayor could adopt to tackle the problems created by payday lending and illegal lending. By actively supporting the growth of credit unions, with low and capped interest rates, more Londoners could avoid resorting to lending at exorbitant interest rates and frequently entering a cycle of unsustainable debt.

Communities need more accessible Safer Neighbourhood Teams

Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the capital are not meeting Londonwide standards for accessibility according to a new report published today by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

Assembly rejects Heathrow expansion

Despite opposition from the Conservatives, the London Assembly has voted to reaffirm its opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport and suggest that more use could be made of spare capacity at other airports serving the South East. It was reacting to the interim report published by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and the options proposed for expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said: “I am really disappointed to see Heathrow back on the table. Airport capacity in London is currently under-used, in fact some London airports have more than half of their runway slots free. Rather than inflict further misery on the residents of West London, the Davies Commission should rule out expansion of Heathrow and focus on better use of capacity at other South East airports.”

Mayor must listen to the coroner and admit mistakes

As Boris Johnson disputed the conclusions of a coroner's report finding that cycle superhighways create a false sense of security for cyclists, Lib Dem London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The Mayor is simply wrong to question the views of the independent coroner who listened to expert witnesses before publishing her report. His inability to admit fundamental mistakes were made is a serious hindrance to improving road safety.”

Sentences for cycling deaths are far too lenient

Speaking to the Evening Standard on figures showing that of 40 deaths of cyclists on London's roads between 2010 and 2012, only 4 resulted in prison sentences for careless driving, Caroline Pidgeon said:

“All the evidence does suggest that far too often lenient sentences are being handed down to motorists and lorry drivers who have been convicted for careless driving which has contributed to the death of a cyclist.”

Cycle hire deal with Barclays was always one-sided

Commenting on the news that Barclays will not renew its sponsorship of the Cycle Hire scheme when the initial contract expires, Caroline Pidgeon told the BBC:

"Barclays have received immense benefits from the publicity given to the cycle hire scheme in its early years, but now that its performance is looking shaky they appear to be bailing out.

"Fundamental questions have to be asked as to how such a one-sided deal was ever struck between Transport for London and Barclays."

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