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Friday, 27 January 2012

Protect front-line policing and give Londoners back a tenner

I noticed this week that the London Assembly considered the Mayor’s draft budget for the next financial year.   The Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group put forward an alternative budget which included targeted fare cuts to help Londoners on the lowest incomes, extra policing and action to make London’s roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

In a detailed amendment to the Mayor’s draft budget the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group proposed to use savings obtained from cutting waste, abolishing  perks to staff, selling properties and tackling fare evasion to ensure frontline services are protected while also delivering a cut of 3.2% in the GLA’s share of Council Tax bills, giving average London households £10 back. Sensible I think.

The specific proposals included:

  • A better and fairer fares package, including a One Hour Bus Ticket, the introduction of part-weekly Travelcards, the reintroduction of a one-day Zone 2 – 6 Travelcard and a lower ‘early bird’ fare for tube, DLR and TfL rail
  • The reinstatement of 150 sergeant posts that have been removed from Safer Neighbourhood Teams across London
  • Action to start switching all of London’s bus fleet to electric buses by 2020
  • Improvement work on London’s most dangerous junctions and all junctions on the existing Cycle Superhighways, combined with more cycle training and the roll-out of safety mirrors
  • Action to tackle rogue landlords and establish minimum standards for private rented housing
  • More details of the alternative budget proposals can be seen at the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group website.

London Liberal Democrat Finance spokesperson, Mike Tuffrey, said: “When most Londoners are struggling with zero pay rises and increased household costs, it is wrong that the Mayor is not helping them in these tough economic times."

Mike added: “By slashing waste, perks and unnecessary expenditure our proposals enable services to be protected whilst giving many Londoners a much needed tenner back in their pockets."

Caroline Pidgeon added: "Our transport proposals would make cycling and walking safer, drive forward a big switch to electric buses and help support the growth of river transport. Most importantly our fare proposals provide a real helping hand to London’s lowest paid workers who struggle so much with the high cost of travel brought in by this Mayor."

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