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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.

Backing the Bid for the 2018 Gay Games

Caroline recently gave her full support to London's bid to host the 2018 Gay Games when she attended a parliamentary reception launching the campaign. Joining her in supporting the bid were Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire and the Minister for Women and Equalities, and Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay.

Explaining why she is supporting the bid Caroline said:

"The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were an immense success. The organisation, sporting infrastructure, transport system and most importantly the welcome provided by Londoners were factors that all received international acclaim. These important factors, combined with the incredible diversity and inclusive nature of London, will help ensure the 2018 Gay Games obtain similar levels of success.

Mayor must review 20mph limit on London roads

The London Assembly has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to take action on road safety by introducing more 20mph limits on the capital’s roads. The Assembly asked him to set stricter limits – where appropriate – on the London Road Network (TLRN), following calls from councils, schools, pedestrian groups and cycling organisations, and to require TfL to provide evidence to justify its position when it rejects a Borough’s application to reduce a road’s speed limit.

Assembly calls on Mayor to improve consultation on police plan

The London Assembly has called on the Mayor to take steps to improve the consultation process for the Police and Crime Plan, after residents in Lambeth and Southwark did not receive relevant documents until the day of the consultation meeting.

A motion agreed by the Assembly meeting said that while it may now be too late to rectify the problem in those two boroughs, the quality of the consultation for other groups across London could still be improved.

Mayor should admit he is decimating Safer Neigbourhood Teams

Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s response today to her questions about the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) across London, where he failed to recognise that there would be a reduction in dedicated police officers for each safer neighbourhood team, said:

“The Mayor should come clean with Londoners and admit that he is decimating the current and successful model for safer neighbourhood teams.

The Mayor's New Year's "gift" - inflation-busting fare rises

Commenting on the Mayor’s 2013 fare rises which start on 2nd January, Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said:

“Inflation busting fare rises are Boris Johnson’s New Year's gift to Londoners.

“Under Boris Johnson the cheapest bus or tram fare - a single Oyster Pay As You Go fare - has soared from 90 pence to £1.40. While most people have seen hardly any improvements in their incomes the Mayor has imposed a staggering rise in the cost of just getting to work.

Gearing Up for a safe cycling city

A report from the London Assembly Transport Committee, which is chaired by Caroline, warns that the number of cycling injuries on London’s roads has risen by 50 per cent since 2006 and recommends doubling funding for cycling and targets for the number of journeys made by bike.

Gearing Up calls on the Mayor to respond to falling cycle safety by prioritising ways to encourage more people on to bikes and reduce serious cycling incidents on London’s roads.

The Assembly’s recommendations to the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL) and the Government include:

Fighting for jobs and small businesses in Earl's Court

Chris Underwood's Shepherd's Bush blog reports on Caroline Pidgeon's letter to Business Secretary Vince Cable, calling on him to urgently review the planning application which Hammersmith & Fulham Council have approved for the redevelopment of Earl's Court - demolishing the exhibition centre which is a key facility to promote British businesses.

You can read the full article here

Pride should return to its full size

Speaking to the Mayorwatch website about the Mayor's plans for a five-year sponsorship deal to manage London's annual Pride celebrations, Caroline Pidgeon said:
"Although there is no extra funding a five-year sponsorship deal could be a good idea if it provides some long term security to the organisers.‬‪

‬”What is absolutely clear is that we need to learn lessons from this year’s scaled back event. It is vital that it returns to a celebration event of the size and significance that it has enjoyed in previous years."

Mayor should fight for fairness for GCSE students

Assembly Members today called on the Mayor of London to make urgent representations to Education Secretary Michael Gove on behalf of students whose GCSE grades were affected by changes to grade boundaries this summer.

The changes meant pupils assessed in June needed more marks to achieve a C grade than those assessed in January, resulting in many seeing their chances of continuing in further education unexpectedly cut short.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, said:

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