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A safer London is well worth paying for

The loss of 12 fire stations and 18 fire engines is totally unacceptable, claim the Liberal Democrat Group on the London Assembly.

In a formal response to the London Fire Brigade’s consultation on the draft London Safety Plan they repeat their opposition to the loss of fire stations and engines across London, highlighting how it will lead to increased responses times for many Londoners.

£160,000 wasted on the Mayor's self-promotion

The BBC reports on the Mayor's plan to spend £160,000... "to find out why many people do not know what he does"!

Caroline Pidgeon told the BBC:
"The Mayor of London already has a large press office and Transport for London devote huge resources to promoting him as well.

"It beggars belief that anyone seriously thinks additional public money should be spent on promoting the Mayor or defending his policies.

"This appears to have more to do with the Mayor's wider national ambitions than what is proper for London taxpayers."

£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.

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