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£500,000 extra New Year's Eve bill for taxpayers revealed

Commenting on the emerging news that the Mayor approved an additional £500k of public money to fund the New Year's Eve fireworks after the withdrawal of a sponsor, Lib Dem London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The Mayor needs to explain why he initially signed a decision which allowed a contractor who secured a public contract to turn around at the eleventh hour and demand £500,000 more.

“The Mayor also needs to explain why these appalling decisions have been kept secret from Londoners for so long.”

Mayor must do more to tackle Air Pollution

Earlier this week Caroline met with Cllr Graham Neale and local residents off Old Kent Road to discuss the impact which motor traffic is having on local air quality.

Despite a growing body of evidence suggesting that spending long periods of time in close proximity to busy roads can cause or exacerbate childhood asthma and lead to permanently reduced lung function, the Mayor has been reluctant to publish smog alerts during recent air pollution episodes.

Mayor's police plans are a return to the bad old days of policing

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan said:

“These proposals are a return to the bad old days of policing.

“The Mayor is planning to decimate dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Teams and return to ‘sector’ policing which failed so many communities across London.

Overseas investment must not reduce housing availability

The London Assembly has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to research the impact that overseas investment - which doubled between 2009 and 2011 - is having on London's housing market.

The Mayor must build knowledge about overseas investment to ensure that it doesn't reduce the availability of homes for local people to buy or rent, stated the Assembly's motion. The Assembly also called on the Mayor to examine the extent to which properties owned by foreign investors are kept empty or unused.

Mayor's cycling investment is not a serious commitment

As the London Assembly Transport Committee reviewed the recommendations in its "Gearing Up" report last year, and the Mayor's progress against them, Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Chair of the Committee, said:

Oyster improvements are a useful step to stop overcharging

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on Transport for London’s proposals announced today to allow Oyster customers to receive weekly or monthly statements by email, as well as request refunds online, said:

“Two years after I exposed the huge level of overcharging facing Oyster customers it is encouraging that Transport for London are now making it easier for people to keep track of their Oyster accounts, and where necessary claim a refund.

Save our London neighbourhood policing

The London Assembly today urged Mayor Boris Johnson to halt his plans to dilute police Safer Neighbourhood Teams and recklessly close police front counters across London.

The Assembly's motion calls on the Mayor to retain the existing neighbourhood policing model of a dedicated sergeant, supported by two Constables and three Police Community Support Officers, allocated to each ward in London.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, said:

“Londoners value their local police stations and the local, recognisable police teams dedicated to serving their ward. Shutting up cop shops to public access and destroying the local policing model risks setting policing back more than a decade and separating the police from their communities.”

Londoners should not pay for Assange policing

Speaking to the BBC on the £3m cost to London taxpayers of the 24-hour police guard around the Ecuadorean embassy, Caroline Pidgeon said:

It should be spent on policing in London, it shouldn't be spent on policing an embassy in what is effectively an international matter. I think the Government should be paying up for this.

See the video report at the BBC News website.

Congestion charge-dodging embassies owe every Londoner nearly £10

The amount of unpaid Congestion Charge and penalty charge notices owed by embassies and diplomatic missions that evade paying the Congestion Charge now stands at £68 million according to new figures obtained from the Mayor by Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

Lib Dem budget proposals cut waste and put homes, safety and jobs first

The Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group has presented a radical alternative to the Mayor’s draft budget, focused on creating 37,000 new jobs, safeguarding London’s fire and police services, and investing
£1.7 billion to build 55,000 new homes.

The proposals involve reponsible borrowing to invest, along with reversing the Mayor's proposed cut of council tax - by 7 pence per week.

At the same time the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Members have shown how extra resources can be found by cutting out long-standing wasteful and unnecessary expenditure, such as chauffeur driven cars for senior Met police officers.


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