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Fiona Twycross, London Assembly Labour Group Fire Spokesperson, today lambasted the Mayor’s decision to commission a report into the feasibility of ‘locking out’ striking firefighters from the remainder of their shifts. 

Following the publication of the Mayor’s Direction, the Labour Group also issued a motion calling for the Assembly to acknowledge that the Mayor’s decision was “deliberately antagonistic”, would “jeopardise” the safety of Londoners and calling for it to be withdrawn with immediate effect.

This issue of locking firefighters out from their remaining shifts when on strike has been debated several times at the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), each time culminating in the conclusion that this would be a self-defeating and provocative approach to industrial relations.

Responding to the publication of the Mayoral Direction that proposes ‘locking out’ firefighters, Fiona Twycross, London Assembly Labour Group Fire spokesperson, said:

“This a narrow minded, politically motivated decision from the Mayor. What is worse, locking fire fighters out like this will pose a genuine risk to the safety of Londoners.

“They Mayor’s aggressive stance is even more surprising as it comes in marked contrast to the apparently positive approach being adopted by the new Fire Minister. Evidence from similar cases in Buckinghamshire, Essex and Surrey tell us that lock outs like this don’t work, but the Mayor is intent on provoking firefighters and ramping up the dispute.

“The Government’s plans are deeply unfair and will mean many firefighters will see their pensions cut dramatically if they are forced to retire early due to ill health. The Mayor needs to use his position of influence to get the government around the negotiating table, but instead he is punishing firefighters for standing up for their rights. Boris Johnson is prioritising financial consideration over Londoners' safety”.

Mayor’s fire ‘lockouts’ would “risk safety of Londoners”

Fiona Twycross, London Assembly Labour Group Fire Spokesperson, today lambasted the Mayor’s decision to commission a report into the feasibility of ‘locking out’ striking firefighters from the remainder of their...

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Andrew Dismore AM today criticised the Mayor’s Chief Economic Advisor, Gerard Lyons' calls for interest rates to rise to “5 or 6 per cent”.

Lyons today called for interest rates to rise to “5 or 6 per cent”, rather than the 2.5 per cent that the Governor of the Bank of England has suggested rates should return to in normal times. With the average house price in London now standing at £492,000, a rate increase of this scale could double the average monthly mortgage payment in London, from around £2,000 per month to £4,300 per month.

Under questioning today from Andrew Dismore AM on what interest rates should be set at when the economy returns to strength, Mr Lyons said “I’d sooner be five [or] six [per cent], than two [to] three [per cent]”.

Commenting on Mr Lyons’ comments, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, Andrew Dismore AM, said:

“The Mayor’s Chief Economic Advisor is a highly paid and respected individual in the City, so his views must be treated very seriously. If Mr Lyons had his way and interest rates reached 6 per cent, while this would obviously be good for savers, it would be disastrous for those who have bought homes on variable mortgages at current low rates.

“These comments show just how out of touch the Mayor and his team are. If rates reached six per cent there would be a serious risk of a collapse in property values in London. Thousands of homeowners are barely able to afford their mortgage repayments at the moment because of the excessive cost of a home in the capital. Even moderate rate rises could force these families to default, or to face the consequences of negative equity.”

Mayor’s economic advisor calls for rate hike to “5 or 6 per cent”

Andrew Dismore AM today criticised the Mayor’s Chief Economic Advisor, Gerard Lyons' calls for interest rates to rise to “5 or 6 per cent”.

Len

Labour Group Leader Len Duvall's letter to the editor of the Evening Standard this evening on how a new East River Crossing won't affect the local Oxleas Wood‏.

New bridge won't affect Oxleas Wood‏

After plans were resurrected this week to build a river crossing between Beckton and Thamesmead, I was dismayed to read scaremongering comments in this paper from a local opponent over the potential impact on Oxleas Wood (Letters, 2 July).

I supported the proposal for the same crossing back in 2008, which was unfortunately cancelled by Boris Johnson. Unlike earlier plans for an East River Crossing, which I scrapped as Greenwich council leader in 1993, this scheme did not threaten the wood, and would not, as Mr Drury claims, have resulted in the need for new connecting motorways. Even if some roads in the area needed suggests anything has changed in this regard.

A new river crossing is vital to the development of our local economy and would boost public transport connections. But be under no illusion - bridge advocates are fully aware that it must be designed in a way that minimises environmental impact for local residents.

Len Duvall Letter in the Evening Standard

Labour Group Leader Len Duvall's letter to the editor of the Evening Standard this evening on how a new East River Crossing won't affect the local Oxleas Wood‏.

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