Caroline Pidgeon welcomes steps to make childcare more accessible in London

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the announcement today that an interest-free loan scheme to help cover the up-front cost of childcare provision will be provided to parents in the GLA Group said:

“I am delighted that the Mayor has taken up and introduced this policy that I have long championed. 

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More cuts and a 5% Council tax rise, not a caring Council budget - Liz Green

Kingston Council today announced plans to increase council tax by 5%. Kingston Liberal Democrat leader Liz Green expresses her fears of proposed cuts contained within the 2017/2018 Royal Borough of Kingston budget.

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Leaving the single market will be a disaster for our economy

The Prime Minister has been slammed for declaring that she is taking Britain out of the Single Market and denying the British people a say on any final Brexit deal.

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Mayor’s strategic target of 32,000 police officers is meaningless

key_london_liberal_democrats_police_community_policing_caroline_pidgeon_lib_dems.jpgCaroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the admission today by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, that the year 2017 to 2018 will see £38 million saved by recognising current police numbers which are about 31,200 police officers, said:

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News Caroline Pidgeon welcome access for disabled people being enforced on buses

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the unanimous Supreme Court ruling stating that bus companies will have to do more to accommodate wheelchair users, commented:

“I very much welcome this ruling.   A policy of simply requesting but not requiring wheelchair space to be allocated to wheelchair users is not acceptable. 

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As Kingston A&E fails on waiting times

key_hospital.pngKingston Hospital urged people not to go to Accident and Emergency this January, as the full extent of how the Conservatives have starved health and social care services of vital cash became clear - in Kingston and elsewhere.

Local people complained of long waits at Kingston’s A&E, with official figures showing Kingston has been regularly missing its hospital waiting time targets.

It’s not just inadequate NHS funding by the Conservative Government,” argues Chessington Lib Dem Councillor, Margaret Thompson. “It’s also Kingston Council failing to provide proper care for elderly patients ready to go home.”

Kingston’s Lib Dem Health Campaigner, Ed Davey, says people are right to be angry over these failures. “I’m worried that elderly people especially are suffering from lack of care and longer waiting times. We told the Conservatives this would happen, but they wouldn’t listen.”

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Kingston headteachers slam Tory budget cuts

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Headteachers from across Kingston have written to Conservative Ministers, MPs and councillors to warn of a funding crisis in local schools.

In a strongly-worded letter to national and local Conservative politicians, Kingston’s school heads have attacked “stealth cuts” to local education budgets, and called for an urgent “boost to school funding” before it’s “too late”. The letter warns of a recruitment and retention crisis too.

Analysis of Conservative spending plans show Kingston schools losing £6.1 million by 2020 - a loss of £302 for every pupil - with 165 teachers sacked in the Royal Borough.

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Caroline Pidgeon on the Mayor's New Year fare increases and chronic overcrowding

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the new fares facing London commuters from 2nd January 2017 said:

"Sadiq Khan’s manifesto specifically said that Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do today. There were no ifs, or buts, in that statement.

Yet the reality is that at the start of 2017 many Londoners are already seeing increases in their daily and weekly caps as well as their travelcards.

Instead of peddling the claim that he has frozen all fares the Mayor must now consider bold measures to help commuters and tackle the chronic problem of overcrowding."

key_caroline-pidgeon-half-price-fares.jpgCaroline’s plan would offer half price fares on Underground, Overground and TFL Rail Services for people travelling by 7.30am. This plan builds on her pioneering work developing the one hour bus ticket.

“A half price fare scheme would help to tackle overcrowding by encouraging some people to start their journeys earlier in the morning. It would also help some of our City’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours.”

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Caroline Pidgeon welcomes “Please offer me a seat” scheme

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Caroline Pidgeon has welcomed news that a blue badge scheme for people less able to stand on public transport will be introduced on a permanent basis in the Spring.

Caroline, Chair of the London Assembly's Transport Committee, said

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Watch Sarah Olney’s maiden speech in Parliament

key_sarah-olney-maiden-speech-westminster-north-kingston-lib-dems.jpgLast night, Sarah Olney made her maiden speech in Parliament. You can watch it here.

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Best Liberal Democrat by-election results for over 20 years

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Last night, the Liberal Democrats won another three council by-election victories with huge swings from the Conservatives - securing the party's best ever year for by-election gains.

Complementing Sarah Olney's victory in the Richmond Park by-election, the Liberal Democrats have gained 31 seats in local authorities across the country this year.

The net gain of 28 seats surpasses the previous best of 27 gains, which were made in 2002.

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Sarah Olney's Richmond Park victory speech

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Sarah Olney's memorable Richmond Park victory speech

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Congratulations to Sarah Olney MP!

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On Thursday 1st December, Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney was elected as the MP for Richmond Park, overturning the 23,000 majority previously held by the Conservative Zac Goldsmith.

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Record levels of investment must include a commitment to extend the cycle hire scheme– Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on today’s announcement that the Mayor has committed to a record £154 million per year investment in cycling over the next five years said.

“This investment, if is wisely and fully spent, is very welcome.  However TfL has a record of underspending its cycling budget so bold promises need to be seen in this context.

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Mayor's housing plan is a let down for Londoners

key_caroline_pidgeon_housing.jpgCaroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the Mayor’s plans for housing, said:

“Today’s announcement is quite frankly a damp squib compared to what Sadiq Khan promised Londoners before the election.

“The Mayor’s manifesto was quite clear that he would set an ambitious target of 50 per cent of new homes being genuinely affordable.

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