Scrutinising the Mayor articles

Disabled people deserve the right to use Olympic lanes

An article in the Guardian discusses the "VIP" transport lanes which will be set up during the Olympics for use only by Olympic Committee members and sponsors - which the Olympic organisers have refused to open up to disabled Blue Badge holders.

Quoted in the article, Caroline comments: "It is appalling that the ODA have ruled out such a modest proposal.

Assembly opposes grassroots sports funding cuts

Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem leader on the London Assembly, has joined with other assembly members across parties in calling on the government to rule out damaging cuts to grassroots sports funding in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

In a motion agreed on 8th December, the Assembly warned of the danger of cutting the funding of the Schools Sports Partnership in London, emphasised the value of continuing investing in grassroots sports facilities, and asked the Mayor to join in lobbying the government to ensure this funding is preserved.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, said:

Crossing the road should be an equal entitlement for every Londoner

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s (Friday 3rd December) International Day of Disabled People has called on the Mayor of London to make a firm commitment to ensure that every pedestrian crossing in London is accessible for disabled people.

Caroline presents awards for London Cycling Campaign

Caroline Pidgeon joined the London Cycling Campaign for their 2010 AGM in November. Caroline spoke in a question and answer session, and also presented awards for some of the best cycling initiatives across London.

Photo: Caroline presents the Streets Of Growth project team with their award for the best cycling project for young people.

Olympic Park site makes great progress

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined other Assembly members on Friday 26th November on a tour of the Olympic Park to see how all the sports venues and the village are progressing.

“It was quite astonishing to see how fast the venues are being built and how the site is transformed since I last visited. The Velodrome is particularly amazing and we were lucky enough to go inside to see the track and imagine our British cyclists going for gold in 2012” commented Caroline.

Caroline Pidgeon: Give Londoners A Real Say

In an article for the London Says website, Caroline Pidgeon argues that positive moves are being made in devolving power from national government to London, but that much more remains to be done:

The new Government made it clear that they will devolve more responsibilities to London Government – the Mayor, Assembly and Boroughs – if there was agreement on a package of measures. I am pleased to say we collectively rose to the challenge and our submission was on Eric Pickles’ desk before the summer. ...

Yet while all these developments are hugely welcome, the Government’s legislation must ensure transparency and democratic accountability are improved at all levels. ...

Trust is needed in setting local and regional government free from the ties of Whitehall. A good start has been made, but we now need to fully deliver on this vital agenda of truly devolving power downwards and saying goodbye to Whitehall always knowing best.

You can read the full article here.

Lib Dem Women's Network visit City Hall

The Lib Dem Women's Network event at City Hall, London on Monday was a great success. Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon showed network members around the Lord Foster building - which has a nickname not suitable for a family newspaper to report! Caroline shared her experiences of the GLA and the ways she and her colleagues Dee Doocey and Mike Tuffrey work together to hold Mayor Boris Johnson to account. After the tour and questions the network headed off for pasta and a catch up nearby!

Greater London Pensioners' Conference

Caroline Pidgeon AM was one of the guest speakers at the Greater London Pensioners' Conference in Camden on Saturday 6th November.

Caroline spoke about transport in London including issues with buses, pedestrian crossings and door to door services such as dial-a-ride.

Caroline answered many questions on a range of subjects including most on the Freedom Pass and its future.

Brent ticket office closures create concerns for passenger safety

Lib Dem London Assembly Leader Caroline Pidgeon has joined Brent Liberal Democrats in lobbying the Mayor about his proposed cuts to ticket office staffing at Tube stations in Brent - which has more underground stations than any borough other than Westminster.

Earlier in the year Liberal Democrats reacted to the news regarding which tube ticket offices were to shut or reduce opening hours with a vow to fight the proposals. Now more detail has emerged regarding the Brent stations which are on the Mayor's hit list.

Following a question to the Mayor from Caroline Pidgeon, it was revealed that the Bakerloo, Met line, Jubilee line and the Piccadilly line will all be affected by reduced opening hours and staffing levels for their ticket offices. Across Brent there will be a reduction of 10 station staff during peak hours, with Wembley Stadium’s nearest station – Wembley Park – especially hit. Liberal Democrats are concerned that reducing staff will lead to confusion and difficulties in the future when many visitors come to the area for the Olympics in just 22 months time.

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