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 New figures out today from the Department for Communities and Local Government show a 37% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the capital last Autumn. The Government statistics found that between the 1stSeptember and 30th November, 742 Londoners were estimated to have been sleeping rough, up 37% from 543 between the same dates in 2013. The increase means that London’s rough sleepers accounted for 27% of the total figure for England last Autumn.

The latest Government figures come as a further proof that the Mayor of London needs to do more to help people who are forced to sleep rough. The Mayor had previously pledged to end rough sleeping by 2012 but since then, according to the GLA funded Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) the number of people sleeping rough in London has increased every single year with 6,508 people estimated to be sleeping rough in 2013/14. This means that 3,036 more people slept rough in London last year than in the year Boris was elected Mayor. 

 

Commenting on the figures, Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson Tom Copley AM said:

“In 2009 Boris Johnson made a promise that he would end rough sleeping in the capital by the Olympics. Yet since he made that pledge the number of people having to sleep rough has tragically gone up each and every year.

“Every person living on our streets represents both a personal tragedy and a failure of the system which is meant to protect them. Delivering on his pledge to tackle rough sleeping could have been a crowning achievement for the Mayor; instead it is a failure which gets worse each year.

“There is no doubt that the Government’s deep cuts to Council budgets have made things harder for people sleeping rough with support services facing significant cutbacks. But with the number of people sleeping rough on our streets increasing, Boris should be doing more to meet his promises to rough sleepers.”

ENDS


Notes

-       The latest rough sleeping statistics produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government are available here.

-       In February 2009 Boris Johnson said “It’s scandalous that in 21st century London people have to resort to sleeping on the streets, which is why I have pledged to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2012. We are fully aware that in the current recession, when many might say that we should focus on other priorities such as building more homes, that this is an ambitious commitment. However, even in these challenging economic times, we must not lose sight of those less fortunate.” (Boris Johnson plans to end rough sleeping in London by 2012’, Local Government Executive, 13 February 2009)

-       Data from the GLA funded Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) shows that homelessness in London has increased every year since Boris Johnson came to power:

Year

Total rough sleepers

2008/09

3472

2009/10

3613

2010/11

3975

2011/12

5678

2012/13

6437

2013/14

6508

 

Number of Londoners sleeping rough rockets 37% in a year

 New figures out today from the Department for Communities and Local Government show a 37% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the capital last Autumn. The Government statistics...

Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross AM today accused the Mayor of being “staggeringly out of touch” after it was revealed that his ‘solution’ to the fare increases of up to 38% faced by thousands of commuters in Outer London will only help  a tiny proportion (15%) of those affected.

The figures were revealed in a letter from the Mayor to Budget Committee Chairman John Biggs AM which showed that 85% (around 15,000 passengers) paid an average of £1.40 more around once a week. The Mayor’s solution however is to issue refunds to those who incur higher charges twice or more each week meaning the vast majority of passengers hit by the Mayor’s decision to remove the off peak zones 4-6  PAYG cap will not be helped by this climb-down.

An amendment to the Mayor’s Budget which would have reversed the decision to scrap the off peak zones 4-6  PAYG cap secured the support of the majority of Assembly Members but not the two-thirds majority necessary to force the change. Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat AMs voted in favour of the amendment with Conservative AMs voting against despite previously speaking out against the Mayor on this issue.

Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM said:

“By scrapping the off peak PAYG cap Boris Johnson condemned thousands of outer London travellers to fare hikes of up to 38%. Now he is proposing a ‘solution’ which by his own admission will only help a tiny number of those affected.

“For the Mayor to suggest he has fixed this problem when his actions are leaving thousands of outer London commuters facing massive fare hikes shows how staggeringly out of touch he is. What Londoners need from the Mayor and his colleagues is a real solution not a political fig leaf which comes nowhere near resolving the problem Boris has created. Instead what they have been left with is a bafflingly complex system of refunds, which will only benefit a tiny proportion of travellers.”

Mayor's 'solution' will only help a tiny proportion of Outer London travellers hit by his off-peak fare hikes

Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross AM today accused the Mayor of being “staggeringly out of touch” after it was revealed that his ‘solution’ to the fare increases of up to 38%...

Proposals from Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs to fund hundreds more police officers for London’s streets today received the support of the majority of Assembly Members in the final vote on Boris Johnson’s 2015/16 Budget. Whilst securing the support of over half the Assembly the proposals were rejected by Mayor Boris Johnson and did not reach the two thirds support necessary to force the Mayor to accept the changes.

If accepted by the Mayor the proposals, which were supported by Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat Assembly Members would have:

-       Funded an additional 874 police officers – the equivalent of 28 for each London borough.

-       Earmarked £308m to build new housing for London’s emergency services staff and key workers.

-       Fully reversed the Mayor’s decision to scrap the off peak zones 4-6 PAYG cap.

-       Frozen the GLA’s portion of Council Tax

Labour London Assembly Budget Spokesperson, John Biggs AM said:

“Instead of listening to our proposals which would put hundreds more police officers on London’s streets and provide millions for new housing Boris Johnson has pushed ahead with his empty budget which has all the hall marks of a Mayor already halfway out the door.

“The Assembly sent a clear message today that the majority of its members do not support Boris Johnson’s empty plan for the capital. By rejecting these proposals the Mayor has shown he has no new ideas and is set to leave little more than a legacy of failure for his successor in 2016.”

Majority unite behind alternative to Boris' 'empty' budget

Proposals from Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs to fund hundreds more police officers for London’s streets today received the support of the majority of Assembly Members in the final...

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