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Responding to today’s decision by Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group to start the process of closing Ealing Hospital maternity unit, London Assembly Labour Group Health Spokesperson, Dr Onkar Sahota AM said:

“This plan will mean the closure of an important maternity unit in North West London and will undoubtedly be followed by the scrapping of local neo-natal and gynaecology services.

“By agreeing on the timetable for the closure of this unit the Clinical Commissioning Group has ensured that mothers will be left miles from their family and friends during their pregnancy and birth - moments of great uncertainty, emotion and vulnerability.

"The CCG has tried to camouflage this decision on clinical grounds when in reality it is the result of the self-fulfilling prophecy created by the Government’s years of underinvestment in a hospital which serves one of the the most health and socially deprived populations in London.

“After the recent debacle of A&E closures in North West London and with the London Ambulance Service at breaking point this is not the time to be closing yet more services. All this will do is place further pressure on hospitals which are already struggling to cope.”

Dr Onkar Sahota AM responds to decision to close Ealing hospital maternity unit

Responding to today’s decision by Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group to start the process of closing Ealing Hospital maternity unit, London Assembly Labour Group Health Spokesperson, Dr Onkar Sahota AM said: “This plan will mean...

Responding to the RMT’s announcement of strike action next week, Labour London Assembly transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM, said:

“Despite widespread concerns about the impact ticket office closures will have on staff numbers TfL have repeatedly refused to listen to reason. TfL has admitted that 216 stations across the tube network will lose staff with some losing more than half their frontline staff.

“At its heart this dispute is about whether there will be enough staff left at some stations to provide passengers – particularly the disabled and elderly – with the service they need. Cuts to station staff will not only mean hundreds of job losses but more pressure on remaining staff and a degraded service for customers.

“Passengers will not understand why they are being asked to pay more for less, a reduced service at the same time as fares going up. We urge all parties to come together before next week to sort these problems out through negotiation rather than being pushed to strike action which will further inconvenience Londoners.”

Val Shawcross AM responds to the RMTs announcement of tube strike action next week

Responding to the RMT’s announcement of strike action next week, Labour London Assembly transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM, said: “Despite widespread concerns about the impact ticket office closures will have...

Plans to lock out striking fire fighters, preventing them from returning to work after a strike, were today voted down by the London Fire Authority. The proposal which was put forward by the outgoing London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, and supported by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, was defeated by ten votes to seven after opposition members described the move as “reckless and” “mind bogglingly wrong”.

Despite the Fire Authority vote, the Mayor now has the power to force through the changes which would see firefighters who only strike for short periods of one or two hours during the day prevented from returning to work that day. The short length of strikes had been designed to minimise risk and disruption to the public.

At the meeting Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross argued that the locking out policy would endanger Londoners by leaving lesser trained contingency crews unnecessarily covering whole days at a time despite fully trained firefighters being available.

Speaking during the debate London Assembly Labour Group Fire Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:

“The Mayor’s insistence on exploring a policy that has failed elsewhere is literally playing with fire and playing politics with the fire service. Effectively locking firefighters out will endanger lives and livelihoods as a result.

“Had this policy been in place in previous strike periods, London would have been reliant on contingency arrangements for a total of eight days on two periods over the summer. If we had knowingly created a situation in which this was likely to happen for no good reason, I think this would make us negligent in our duty to Londoners and I am confident most Londoners would agree with me.”

Responding to the vote rejecting the Commissioner’s locking out proposals, Twycross said:

“The Fire Authority have done the right thing today and blocked this reckless proposal which would have undoubtedly put lives at risk.

“Londoners want to see professional firefighters responding to fires not contingency crews. Suggesting London should make do with an inferior service when there are experienced and willing firefighters on hand is mind-bogglingly wrong.”

“Locking out firefighters and cutting their pay is not the answer to this dispute. If the Mayor wants to help the fire service he should be encouraging the Government to withdraw their plans to force firefighters to work until they are sixty.”

Fire Authority blocks Boris Johnson’s “reckless” plan to lock out striking firefighters

Plans to lock out striking fire fighters, preventing them from returning to work after a strike, were today voted down by the London Fire Authority. The proposal which was put...

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