Commenting on the announcement by the RMT union that they are to stage three 24 hour strikes of on London's Tube network, Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon said:
"The Mayor and TfL have messed up the negotiations on the introduction of the night Tube by giving an artificial deadline, allowing the Unions to hold them to ransom. But given that date passed last September, it is now quite clear that the unions are now playing games rather than working all out to secure an agreement. Both sides need to come together, sit round the table and hammer out a full and fair deal. London and Londoners need, and expect, nothing less."
Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, today set out plans for half price fares on Underground, DLR, Overground and TfL Rail services for people who start their journeys before 7.30am.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, said:
“Half price fares on TfL’s Tube and rail services would really help some of London’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours. This is a genuine fare cut that can be delivered immediately.
Over a third of hospitals in London are still failing to take part in a scheme which has been proven to dramatically reduce knife crime. The admission that many hospitals are still not sharing anonymous data collected from knife victims was made last week by Stephen Greenhalgh, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
The admission is despite the fact that the full adoption of the ‘Cardiff Model’ was a specific manifesto commitment of the Mayor which he made to Londoners before his election in 2012. The publication of the information was only made following long standing inquires being made by Caroline Pidgeon.
The ‘Cardiff Model’ is a proven mechanism of sharing and using anonymous data collected from violence related A&E admissions to help support effective policing, such as tackling crime hotspots. In areas where it has been implemented it has led to a 42% reduction in A&E admissions as a result of violent crime.
Caroline Pidgeon has a long record in supporting the full adoption of the Cardiff Model and last year the Mayor admitted to her that it was “disappointing that at the moment only 30% of the data about crimes from A&Es and walk-in centres is actually shared with the police.” (see notes to editors).
Commenting on the slow adoption of the Cardiff Model across London Caroline Pidgeon said: “The Cardiff Model should have been implemented in every corner of London many years ago.”
“The Mayor likes to talk tough about knife crime, but when it comes to tackling knife crime only actions matter. A clear pledge he made to Londoners to tackle this issue has sadly not been met. Caroline Pidgeon raised the issue of the adoption of the Cardiff Model and other policies to tackle knife crime at Mayor’s Question Time this week.
In responding to Caroline’s questions the Mayor admitted that he would have to get some hospital Chief Executives into City Hill to discuss the lack of implementation of the Cardiff Model. He also accepted the need for better education within schools on knife crime and that he would now consider further funding for organisations that provide dedicated youth workers in A&E departments.
Notes to editors:
1. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime’s letter to Caroline Pidgeon is enclosed, listing just 17 A&Es and Urgent Care Centres which are effectively sharing data on violent offences with the police. The information provided in the letter was finally meeting a pledge made by the Mayor back in December 2014 to update Caroline Pidgeon on the implementation of the Cardiff Model. For further information click here http://goo.gl/vPmkzG
2. Details of Caroline Pidgeon’s questioning of the Mayor at this week’s Mayor’s Question Time on progress in tackling knife crime can be seen at this webcast, starting at 4 minutes 50 seconds. https://www.london.gov.uk/mayors-question-time-2015-12-16
3. On the 17th September 2014 the Mayor admitted to Caroline Pidgeon that back then only 30% of the data picked up by A&Es is shared with the police. http://goo.gl/yJ3vQ6
4. Full details of how the Cardiff Model operates can be seen in this report published on the BMJ website: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d3313#aff-2
5. Caroline Pidgeon’s recent report “To The Point” which examined the extent of knife crime in London and policies to tackle it is enclosed. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ldlondon/pages/383/attachments/original/1448568363/To_The_Point_Knife_Crime_report.pdf?1448568363
Lib Dem Mayoral Candidate Caroline Pidgeon, commenting on figures released today by Transport for London showing that Friday 4th December 2015 was the busiest day ever on the London Underground said:
“The increasing use of the Tube is a clear sign of London’s growth in both its population and popularity as a place to visit. In many respects it is something to celebrate.
“However we cannot hide away from the fact that delays on the London Underground caused by overcrowding are increasing.
“And despite TfL’s continual boasting about certain figures it is incredible that they choose to not even record how often Tube stations are temporarily closed due to overcrowding.”
“TfL should face up to this issue by firstly publishing accurate statistics about station closures, secondly ensuring Tube upgrades continue to take place and finally taking steps to manage demand, such as through lower ‘early bird’ fares to encourage demand on the Tube to be better spread over the day.”
“Record usage on the Tube does not have to go hand in hand with record closures and delays due to overcrowding.”
Commenting on reports of a potential six month delay on a decision over Heathrow, Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon said:
"Londoners opposed to expansion are fed up of being lied to. A decision is needed now.
“Heathrow is not, and never will be, the place to expand airport capacity and the sooner this Tory government accepts that, the sooner we can get on with developing a sensible aviation policy for the UK."
Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly housing spokesperson, commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s proposals for housing in London which were announced in today’s Spending Review said:
“The Government’s housing policies are ultimately flawed as they are stoking demand, when the real issue is the lack of supply of affordable housing.
“If the Chancellor really wants to ensure there are more affordable homes to buy and rent he should be encouraging the Mayor to prudentially borrow and directly undertake a massive increase in house building of truly affordable homes.”
“Critically the Chancellor should also drop his damaging proposals to sell off housing association properties.
“Across London people in social housing are being aggressively targeted to buy their properties and then sell up. The outcome of this policy will be a massive contraction in the supply of affordable homes and London becoming a place where even people on moderate incomes are crowded out.”
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement in today’s Treasury Spending Review that police spending will now rise in line with inflation said:
“It is welcome news that commonsense has obviously now prevailed and that serious plans to slash the grant to the Metropolitan Police Service have now been dropped by government.
“The challenge is now on the Mayor to also back down on his dangerous plans to scrap nearly every Police Community Support Officer in London, plans that would devastate neighborhood policing in our city."
• New report reveals the scale of knife crime in London
• Westminster politicians overlooked knife crime during the recent General Election
• A range of policies rarely considered by Westminster politicians are now needed to make London safer for young people
Westminster politicians are hiding from the real facts about the level of knife crime in London and its impact on young people, is the hard hitting finding of a new report on knife crime undertaken by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon.
Statistics gathered by the London Assembly Member reveal that during the six-week General Election period (26th March – 8th May) there were in London 789 recorded victims of serious youth violence, 1231 victims of knife crime and 441 victims of knife crime with injury. During this period there were the equivalent of 40 reported victims of knife crime a day, every day over the six week period. Yet during this critical period of public debate the issue of knife crime hardly got mentioned by Westminster politicians. Caroline Pidgeon’s report, based on extensive research and consultation with organisations such as The Ben Kinsella Trust and the charity Redthread puts forward 10 practical recommendations to effectively tackle knife crime, including:
• Taking the message about the need to tackle knife crime into every school in London - schools that overlook knife crime are ultimately not helping their children.
• The full implementation of the Cardiff Model, where anonymous data collected through A&E departments of knife offences is immediately shared with the police – leading to far more effective policing
• Greater funding for Redthread and other organisations that provide dedicated youth workers who focus on intervention in every London A&E
• The MPS making greater use of knife arches and handheld metal detectors, using data collected by A&E Departments which identify knife
• Calling for the Mayor of London to review and renew his anti-gang strategy
• Introduce a multi-agency mental health approach should be taken to supporting people affected by knife crime
Following the latest horrific stabbings at a school in West Dulwich involving two teenage boys Caroline Pidgeon commented: “In London over the last decade 125 young people have been fatally stabbed on our streets. This alone is a devastating statistic but we should also remember that for every young person who is murdered another 20 are admitted to hospital with knife offences.
“The Mayor and Westminster politicians can no longer claim that current policies are working when knife crime with injury offences rose by 14% in the last year.
“It is time we finally recognised just how serious knife crime is on the lives of young people. “We need to redouble our efforts to prevent such violence on our streets. The policies of simply responding to knife crime are neither adequate or effective.”
“We need real action not rhetoric to tackle the scourge of knife crime across London’.
Download the full report here (large file, about 2MB, will take a little while to load)
The Mayor has today said he will consider a rush hour ban of HGVs on London’s roads following questioning at City Hall today by Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson.
Today’s questioning of the Mayor followed the presentation at City Hall of a petition organised by the London Cycling Campaign signed by over 13,000 people, calling for a rush hour ban on HGVs, better designed lorry cabs and stronger enforcement on current safety standards.
Commenting on the Mayor’s response Caroline said:
“It is a harsh fact that 40% of cycle fatalities involving lorries occur between 8am and 9.30 am. Getting lorries off London’s roads at rush hour would obviously be a challenge but the prize of safer roads would be huge.”
“We also need to have a very special focus on addressing the dangers specifically created by construction lorries. Direct vision lorry cabs and other safety standards are essential for lorries operating on London’s roads.”
“The Mayor must now respond very soon to the many recommendations for improved road safety that are now before him.”
Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor’s replies to extensive questioning he faced at today’s Mayor’s Question Time on ‘dieselgate’ and theuse of ‘defeat device’ software to manipulate emission test vehicles said:
“Today the Mayor has admitted he hasn’t got a clue as to how many diesel cars are on London’s roads that have software creating fiddled emission results.
“However an even bigger issue is the message that the Mayor is currently sending out to people purchasing cars over the next few years.
“At present the Mayor and TfL know full well that Euro 6 diesels are not actually clean, but are still planning to permit them to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone for free after 2020.
“”The Mayor should admit past mistakes and now say that we are no longer going to put a badge of ‘ultra low-emission’ on a set of vehicles that are in reality nothing of the sort.”
“The only vehicles that should count as ultra-low-emission compliant should be vehicles tested in real-world tests. In practice it would give absolute clarity to car-drivers and fleet-owners to simply say that the ULEZ will be diesel free.”
“If the Mayor fails to take that step he might as well change the name of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to simply the ‘slightly lower emission zone’.
Notes to editors:
Details of today’s Mayor’s Question Time and Stephen Knight’s questioning to the Mayor can be seen at https://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/london-assembly/webcasts starting at 38 minutes into the recording.