– Letter confirms project may stall if additional cash is not found
– Mayor’s fares policy could be putting £284million project at risk
Officials at Transport for London have confirmed the Metropolitan Line Extension is £50million short of funding.
The £284million project is set to connect the Metropolitan Line from Croxley to several new stations across Watford. The project received £49million from the previous Mayor of London, but recent cost projections by TfL show that £50million more will be required before it can progress.
Transport for London has revealed its fares income is down £90million in the year-to-date, raising serious questions about the Mayor’s ability to balance the books.
Figures released at the February TfL board meeting show income shortfalls across all forms of transport;
– Overall fares income down £90million due to lower passenger volumes
– London Underground down £43million due to 14 million fewer passenger journeys than budgeted
– Bus fares income down £51million in the year to date as passenger volumes affected by congestion
– London Overground down £7million due to 4 million fewer passenger journeys than budgeted
– Congestion Charge income down £6million due to lower volumes of chargeable vehicles (most likely people modernising cars)
– Extension will only improve air quality by an additional 10% – original ULEZ will see 51% reduction
– Projected additional cost of £780million – £220 per household
– Money could buy 2,600 hybrid buses for same impact on emissions
– Report calls on Mayor to keep original ULEZ and suggests alternative additions
The Mayor of London’s proposal to extend the ULEZ is a clumsy policy that will fail to tackle pollution hotspots and will penalise drivers and businesses in non-polluting areas, a new report shows.
A similar targeted policy in Oxford Street saw emissions fall by a third in just 12 months and the original ULEZ, focusing on central London, is predicted to cut harmful emissions by 51 per cent.
– Removes £38million from Met’s police officer staffing budget
Responding to the Mayor’s decision to cut £38million from the Met’s recruitment budget, London Assembly member Gareth Bacon said:
“Even for a Mayor who has rowed back on almost all of his major pre-election pledges, this is an astonishing development.
“Just three weeks ago Sadiq Khan announced he was raising council tax in order to maintain a target of 32,000 police officers in London.
“Today he’s confirmed he is removing £38million from the Met’s police officer staffing budget, meaning it cannot afford to recruit any more than the current level of 31,000 officers.
“Does Sadiq Khan think he can just promise whatever seems popular at the time without having to deliver it? This kind of smoke and mirrors politics seriously undermines the office of the Mayor and could badly damage public confidence in London’s elected officials.”
The Mayor of London has reiterated his backing for controversial Night Czar Amy Lamé despite her ‘gratuitously offensive’ tweets and questionable tax affairs.
At Mayor’s Question Time, Sadiq Khan admitted he ‘would not endorse or condone’ many of her most offensive online comments but insisted her appointment was the right one.
He also refused to accept criticism for the fact Lamé is being paid through her personal services company, which last year paid no income tax.
London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon said:
“By continuing to back Amy Lamé as his Night Czar, Sadiq Khan is endorsing her gratuitously offensive online profile and questionable tax arrangements.
“The Mayor has previously sacked an aide for similarly offensive tweets, yet he seems willing to apply double standards to someone who coincidentally fundraised and campaigned for him in the run-up to the election.
“Paying Ms Lamé through her private company raises further questions and leaves a sour taste for the taxpayer.
“The upcoming investigation will further examine the process of her appointment and I hope we get some better answers than the Mayor was able to provide today.”
– Mayor risking capital’s future with disastrous policies, Assembly Member warns
Sadiq Khan has failed Londoners with a series of disastrous policies and broken promises in his first six months in office, according to a London Assembly member.
Gareth Bacon AM says the Mayor needs to properly explain why he has ditched key election pledges on affordable homes targets, zero public transport strikes and the planting of two million trees.
He also claims the cost of Mayoral decisions, including freezing fares, the selling of TfL land at below market value and the introduction of a Hopper bus fare, could top £760million, seriously risking investment in the capital.
This Saturday (November 5) marks six months in charge for Sadiq Khan, and Assembly Member Bacon wants the Mayor to reassess some of his ‘damaging’ decisions and policies.
On the release of the Mayor of London’s Harris Review on terrorism preparedness London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon said:
“Though the intentions of the Harris Review were noble, and it has some good recommendations such as the Mayor attending Cobra meetings, it has a serious lack of focus.
“Of the 127 recommendation nearly 50% are not even within the Mayor’s powers.
“We appreciate detail but this report on terrorism preparedness references police pensions, diversity in recruitment, and starting a fortnightly security services newsletter.
“Some complex aspects, such as merging the City of London Police and Met, are explained away in a single paragraph.
“The danger of a review that is so slap dash is it clouds what London’s terrorism preparedness priorities truly are.”
A recent report has estimated that 329,000 companies in London could have experienced an online security breach, with a potential cost to the economy of over £35Billion.
It also found that the vast majority of the businesses potentially affeced by security breaches, an estimated 327,000 , were small organisations with 249 employees or less.
The new report Safe & Secure: Protecting London’s data proposes a new ‘Mayoral Standard’ for data security to help protect London consumers and businesses and from data theft.
This standard would allow companies that comply with a set list of security requirements to receive a stamp of approval. This would help companies keep up to date with security best practices, but also help provide piece of mind to consumers.
– Hate crimes against migrants ‘unacceptable’
The Conservative group leader on the London Assembly has condemned racist attacks in the wake of the EU Referendum result and called for greater tolerance.
Since the decision to leave the EU was announced, there have been reports of a spike in hate crime across the UK, with two high-profile incidents in the capital.
- Tower Hamlets electoral fraud: Police and Crime committee & chair @SteveO_Connell, helps push new investigation https://t.co/c1qYYblsrF
- Bad landlords are thriving because of the shortage of housing the Mayor is not addressing @AndrewBoff @BBCLondonNews https://t.co/txKyHRB40d
- RT @KeithPrinceAM: Campaigning I Hammersmith this evening with @Assembly_Tories https://t.co/TK1VIvcXzs