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Over 87,000 children in London are living in temporary accommodation, new government data has revealed. Analysis by Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, shows that there are now over 26,700 more children in temporary accommodation in the capital than there were in 2010. Mr Copley said the rise could be attributed to a “brutal concoction” of insecure tenancies, cuts to council budgets and welfare reforms.

New data from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) shows that there are 51,940 households in London residing in temporary accommodation. 83% of those households are families with children under the age of 18 and in total 87,010 children in the capital are now living in temporary accommodation. This is a rise of 26,720 children (44%) since 2010. Mr Copley accused the government of being “content to leave vulnerable families flailing in limbo at the expense of children’s life chances and wellbeing”.

Mr Copley criticised the role of Right to Buy in depleting London’s social housing and forcing families to turn to insecure private tenancies. 41% of families entering temporary accommodation in London in 2016 cited the loss of tenancy as their primary reason for homelessness, compared to 10% in 2010. An estimated 20,487 social homes have been lost in London since 2010. Last year, Right to Buy sales accounted for 88% of the total number of social homes lost in the capital. Mr Copley criticised the government for allowing Right to Buy to “take chunks” out of London’s housing stock and push families into insecure private tenancies.

Labour London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:

“When you have insecure tenancies, huge cuts to council budgets and caps on housing benefit happening all at once, you form a brutal concoction which leaves thousands of families without a permanent home.

“By reanimating the corpse of Right to Buy the Government have taken chunks out of London’s social housing stock. The decimation of London’s social housing has pushed many families into private tenancies with exorbitant rents that they just can’t manage. The extension of Right to Buy to Housing Association properties will exacerbate this appalling situation further still.

“Temporary accommodation forms a vital lifeline, but it should only ever be a short term fix. Work must start now to open up new funding streams for councils to build social housing and ensure Right to Buy income is reinvested in building new homes. Government appear content to leave vulnerable families flailing in limbo at the expense of children’s life chances and wellbeing.

Over 87,000 London children without a permanent home

Over 87,000 children in London are living in temporary accommodation, new government data has revealed. Analysis by Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, shows that there are now...

Responding to the Mayor of London’s action plan to battle toxic air, Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, said:

“Poor air quality has plagued some of London’s most vulnerable communities including school children and those in deprived areas.

“We’ve be crying out for an ambitious plan to tackle air pollution in London. Tough measures, such as the £10 T-charge and the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, could go a long way to combating this silent killer.

“The Mayor is playing his part, now government must too by taking on board calls for a diesel scrappage scheme and a new Clear Air Act fit for the 21st Century.”

Mayor's Air Quality Plan "could go a long way to combating this silent killer" - Leonie Cooper AM

Responding to the Mayor of London’s action plan to battle toxic air, Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, said: “Poor air quality has plagued some of London’s most vulnerable...

Responding to the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry Report on emergency workers living outside the capital, Labour's London Assembly Fire Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:

"It's abundantly clear that London's dysfunctional housing market has priced out many who serve in our frontline services.

"More than ever we need our city to be resilient. With so many fire fighters, paramedics and police officers now living outside London we need to take steps to ensure this doesn't hamper our ability to respond rapidly to large scale incidents.

“With a new Mayor comes an opportunity to boost affordable housing in London, for example through use of GLA land. Government need to do far more to tackle unaffordable rent prices, with many Londoners now forking out 60% of their salaries on rent. This simply isn’t realistic for many in the capital, including those in our emergency services.”


Ends

"London's dysfunctional housing market is pricing out key workers" - Fiona Twycross AM

Responding to the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry Report on emergency workers living outside the capital, Labour's London Assembly Fire Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:"It's abundantly clear that London's dysfunctional...

New analysis shows the number of diesel cars on London’s roads has increased by over 170,000 since 2012, despite serious public health warnings about the risks of cancer and air pollution. Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, criticised the last Mayor’s failure to reduce the number of diesel cars in the capital and said the government were “running out of opportunities to bat away calls for a scrappage scheme”.

Data from the Department for Transport, acquired by Ms Cooper, shows that there were 601,456 diesel cars on London’s roads in 2012. But by 2015, that number had risen by 173,057 to 774,513, equating to a 29% increase. The rise comes despite serious concerns about the impact of diesel vehicles on public health.

In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, classified diesel exhaust as a ‘definite carcinogen’. This was followed by a 2014 report from Transport for London (TfL) which cited that the growing popularity of diesel was a contributing factor in London’s failure to comply with EU air pollution limits. Warnings also came that year from Dr Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health at King’s College London, that some diesel emissions, such as black carbon, can have a “much bigger health impact” than other pollutants.

Ms Cooper criticised the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, for his “lax” approach to tackling air pollution in the capital and said it was “beyond belief” that he hadn’t done more to take diesel cars off London’s roads. She echoed calls from new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, for a diesel scrappage scheme to help Londoners wanting to move to lower emission vehicles.

Labour London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, said:

“The dangers of diesel have long been discussed, but the World Health Organisation’s decision to classify it as a carcinogen should have marked a turning point.

“It’s beyond belief that the last Mayor, presented with this evidence, didn’t act more vigorously to reduce the number of diesel cars on our roads. His ultra-low emissions zone was too small in scale and ambition, betraying his lax approach to tackling air pollution in the capital.

“Government can no longer turn a blind eye to the serious consequences of diesel emissions. This worrying rise in diesel engines shows that they are running out of opportunities to bat away calls for a scrappage scheme.”

ENDS

Growing number of diesel cars on London’s roads despite serious health warnings

New analysis shows the number of diesel cars on London’s roads has increased by over 170,000 since 2012, despite serious public health warnings about the risks of cancer and air...

London’s train services are more unreliable than they have been in over a decade, data released today has revealed. Official data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed that almost a fifth of London and South East train services failed to reach their destination within five minutes of the scheduled arrival time last year. The capital’s commuters were faced with delays worse than the national average. Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi AM, said the excuses for delays were “wearing incredibly thin”.

The ORR found only 87.7% of trains in London and the South East arrived at their destination on time in 2015-16, the lowest recorded since 2004-05. 

The number of Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway services running on time both fell in 2015-16. However, TfL Rail, which took over running some failing routes last year, has seen a welcome rise in punctuality, with 2.3% more journeys arriving on time. Ms Eshalomi said it was clear TfL had made improvements, commenting that “the sooner TfL takes control of London’s other train services the better.”

With delays affecting 10.9% of services across the rest of Britain, trains serving the capital and South East performed worse than the national average.

Delays were partly attributed to poor weather but the number of delays caused by problems with the track rose by over a third.

Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi AM, said:

“With Londoners facing the most unreliable services in over a decade, the excuses are wearing incredibly thin. Londoners are forking out huge amounts on rail fares, it’s not unreasonable that they expect their services to run on time.

“Rail operators need to get a grip and deliver the service passengers pay for. Clearly, where TfL has stepped in services have improved. The sooner TfL takes control of London’s other train services the better.”

Reliability of London’s rail services at its worst in over a decade

London’s train services are more unreliable than they have been in over a decade, data released today has revealed. Official data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed...

Commenting on the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London, the Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group Len Duvall AM said:

“My congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his historic victory today. Sadiq’s election sends a clear message that Londoners have rejected the divisive dog-whistle campaign waged against him and opted for someone who will get to grips with the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“Throughout his campaign Sadiq has focused on the need for London to remain successful but be affordable for all who live here. His ambitious, exciting and wide-ranging manifesto for the capital has clearly resonated with Londoners who want to see the housing crisis tackled, transport fares made more affordable and quality of life improved.

“I greatly look forward to working closely with Mayor Sadiq Khan to get our city back on track after eight years of damaging drift.

“Whilst Boris Johnson may have been a successful cheerleader for London, his failure to address the capital’s housing crisis and his willingness to see transport fares soar will haunt his already limited legacy. It’s no surprise that Londoners opted for a serious Mayor who will knuckle down and get on with the job.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan's win is a "historic victory" - Len Duvall AM

Commenting on the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London, the Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group Len Duvall AM said: “My congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his...

London businesses have found themselves “turfed out” of office buildings due to government planning regulations, Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, has warned. New analysis by Ms Gavron revealed that over one million square metres of office space, about the size of 150 Wembley Stadium football pitches, will be wiped out after the government relaxed planning rules on the conversion of offices into residential properties. The relaxed rules make it possible for developers to convert properties without the need for planning permission, with councils only given a veto if the proposed development fails to meet the most basic conditions. Ms Gavron warned that the policy undermines London’s economy and could “result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners.”

Analysis of data from the London Development Database revealed that, between May 2013 and March 2015, there were 2,806 proposals to convert office space into residential property under the permitted development rights. With over 2,000 applications already approved, approximately 1,094,550 square metres of floor space will be lost in the capital, the equivalent of 153 Wembley Stadium football pitches.

Outer London is disproportionately impacted by the government’s changes, with 746,316 square metres of office space lost, the equivalent of 104.5 Wembley football pitches. Parts of Inner London are currently exempt from the policy, but that reprieve will come to an end in May 2019.

The approved applications will see employment space across London converted into residential properties with councils given very little power to object or insist on adequate standards. Ms Gavron warned that the reforms could result in sub-standard housing, with developers allowed to “ride roughshod” over important environmental and disability standards. Under the rules the converted housing does not need to meet vital space standards or meet affordable housing requirements.

Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, said:

“Seeing businesses turfed out of offices and other employment spaces across the capital will do nothing to help London’s economy. Nor will allowing developers to ride roughshod over planning standards solve London’s housing crisis.

“Yes, we need to solve the housing crisis but this isn’t the way to do it. What this policy does is rob local communities of an opportunity to deliver the developments suitable to their neighbourhoods and result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners.

“The considerable loss of affordable workspace comes as a huge blow to London’s start-ups and small business, threatening Londoners with having to move or even losing their jobs.

“Vast swathes of London office space are likely to be wiped out under this flawed policy, it’s baffling that the Mayor isn’t fighting these changes.”

Relaxed office-to-residential rules see London lose office space the size of 150 Wembley football pitches

London businesses have found themselves “turfed out” of office buildings due to government planning regulations, Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, has warned. New analysis by Ms Gavron...

Boris Johnson will fail to reach his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships before he leaves office it was highlighted today. The Mayor of London remains over 100,000 apprenticeship starts short of his target with less than two months left of his final mayoral term. Labour’s London Assembly Economy Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, spoke out ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, saying the Mayor’s apprenticeships record was “deeply disappointing”.

Boris Johnson promised Londoners he would create 250,000 new apprenticeship starts during his second term in office. However, data from the Skills Funding Agency showed that just 142,340 apprenticeships have been created in the capital since May 2012. With the Mayor achieving just 56% of his target with less than two months to go before he leaves City Hall, he looks almost certain to break his pledge.

Of the apprenticeships created, almost half are going to over 25s despite youth unemployment in the capital remaining a significant problem at 16.8%. In 2014/15, the last full year for which data is available, 47% of apprentices were over the age of 25, an increase from 19% in 2009/10. Dr Twycross said the Mayor’s poor record had seen thousands of unemployed young Londoners left “on the side-lines, unable to get the career opportunities they desperately want.”

Labour London Assembly Economy Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:

“Apprenticeships make a hugely valuable to London’s skills base and economy. Boris’ record on apprenticeships has been deeply disappointing. Even the Mayor must recognise that his failure to hit his 250,000 target is an embarrassing legacy to leave behind.

“But it isn’t just the Mayor’s pride which is at stake. He’s badly let down thousands of young Londoners who remain on the side-lines, unable to get the career opportunities they desperately want.

“As he moves on in his own career, he leaves a legacy of failure on creating apprenticeships which the new Mayor will need to tackle.”

Mayor will miss his 250,000 apprenticeship target leaving behind “embarrassing legacy”

Boris Johnson will fail to reach his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships before he leaves office it was highlighted today. The Mayor of London remains over 100,000 apprenticeship starts short...

Labour’s Leader on the London Fire Authority, Fiona Twycross AM, has called for the Mayor to scale back his plans to axe 13 London fire engines after new funding was identified which could see at least some of the 13 fire engines retained.

The move comes after the Mayor overruled the Fire Authority’s and ordered them to axe 13 fire engines in order to make £9m savings from their 2016/17 Budget.

Whilst the Fire Authority has little choice but to comply with Boris Johnson’s Mayoral Direction ordering them to scrap the 13 fire engines, Dr Twycross today wrote to the Mayor to propose a “last ditch compromise” calling on him to meet with her to discuss using £9m in unexpected underspends from last year’s budget to retain a number of the 13 fire engines currently scheduled to be axed.

If the Mayor agrees to compromise it would allow the Fire Bridge to retain a number of fire engines at the stations they deemed would make the most positive impact.

Last week the Mayor ordered the 13 fire engines to be axed despite a public consultation finding 82% of respondents were against the plans to reduce the number of fire engines in the capital.

Labour’s Leader on the London Fire Authority, Dr Fiona Twycross AM, said:

“We have opposed these unnecessary cuts from moment they were proposed. The Mayor overruling the Fire Authority and forcing through the cuts is profoundly undemocratic, particularly given the strength of public opinion against the cuts.

“With unexpected money available due to underspends last year the Mayor has the chance to make the savings he wants whilst still saving some of the 13 fire engines. Ploughing ahead with the cuts when funding is available would be little more than vandalism.

“Over the next year there will be a root and branch review of the fire brigade. It makes sense that we leave our options open and retain as many of these fire engines so there can be a calm and considered analysis of what is best for the Fire Bridge. Axing them now limits the Fire Brigade’s options and would seem little more than a ideologically motivated drive to make cuts.”

Boris urged to compromise and scale back fire engine cuts

Labour’s Leader on the London Fire Authority, Fiona Twycross AM, has called for the Mayor to scale back his plans to axe 13 London fire engines after new funding was...

New statistics released today have shown an increase in the number of Londoners on controversial zero-hour contracts. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of Londoners on zero-hour contracts has risen by 18,000 since the same October to December period in 2014, meaning there are now 95,000 workers in the capital without guaranteed hours. The data also shows that  2.2% of London’s workforce are now employed on zero hour contracts, up 0.4% from 1.8% on the same period the year previous.

Whilst the data doesn’t show the number of zero hour contracts which include exclusivity clauses preventing workers from also taking jobs elsewhere, ONS analysis showed that over a quarter, 27%, or those on zero hour contracts who were surveyed said they wanted more hours in their current job or an additional job elsewhere.

Labour’s London Assembly Economy Spokesperson Dr Fiona Twycross AM said:

“The rise in the number of zero hour contracts is deeply worrying. Whilst they work for some people, many workers are actively seeking more hours or extra job to make ends meet. The uncertainty of zero-hour contracts isn’t just bad for employees, it undermines the London economy by reducing training and upskilling and entrenches low pay.

“Workers need protections put in place to guarantee at least a basic income from their job; not wildly fluctuating hours which leave them in limbo from week to week.”

Use of zero hour contracts on the rise in London new statistics show

New statistics released today have shown an increase in the number of Londoners on controversial zero-hour contracts. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of Londoners...

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