Caroline 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:
“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.
Kingston 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.”
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.
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."
Caroline’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.”
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
Last night, Sarah Olney made her maiden speech in Parliament. You can watch it here.
Sarah Olney's memorable Richmond Park victory speech
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.
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.
Caroline 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.
Caroline Pidgeon joined Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Richmond Park by-election, campaigning for the Cycle Hire scheme to be extended to Richmond and Kingston.
The official Office of Budget Responsibility figures have revealed a £220 billion Brexit black hole- hundreds of billions taken out our economy when we need it most.
This is a Government that is just about managing. The official figures have revealed a £220 billion Brexit black hole- hundreds of billions taken out of our economy when we need it most. Given how bad the outlook is, it’s no wonder the Chancellor doesn’t want to have to do another Autumn Statement.
The independent Office of Budget Responsibility figures forecast a rise a unemployment and a fall in living standards.
Following Lib Dem pressure to help renters afford a home and reduce upfront costs, the Government has announced a ban on letting fees for tenants in the Autumn Statement.
Liberal Democrat Peer Olly Grender has been promoting the campaign and is the author of the Renters’ Rights Bill, which was debated just five days ago in Parliament.