In response to a press statement and a letter from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, my colleague Joanne McCartney AM said:
“Stephen Greenhalgh is giving two different definitions of what his October 2011 figures mean (see attached letter to Joanne McCartney and press statement below). This is evidence of the Mayor’s Office spinning numbers to suit his own story.
“But, if Stephen Greenhalgh is correct and the figures given in the MOPAC consultation are accurate, then this means he has been telling Londoners there were fewer police in post than there actually were on the streets – this makes their 2015 target look better than it actually is. Alternatively, our original assertion is correct – that they were using an inaccurate baseline for October 2011 – which means the MOPAC consultation is flawed. Either way he is not giving Londoners a clear picture of what is going on. People can ask them which one it is.”
Mayor’s police deputy admits his figures are wrong
Today the Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, admitted that his police figures are incorrect. We now know that there will be 1,126 fewer extra police officers across London in 2015 than the Mayor has been promising Londoners. For 17 of London’s 32 Boroughs there will be reductions. London Assembly Labour Police spokesperson, Joanne McCartney, challenged Boris Johnson about the revelation at today’s City Hall budget debate. The Mayor was not aware of the admission and failed to explain the mistake.
Chair of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee – Joanne McCartney AM said:
“Today the Mayor’s policing deputy has admitted his policing figures are wrong. He previously claimed there would be 1,184 extra police officers by 2015 in London’s boroughs compared to October 2011. In fact there will only be 58, this means there will be over 1,100 fewer police officers in 2015 than Boris has been promising Londoners since January. This mistake means they have either been deliberately misleading Londoners or are so incompetant that they can’t count properly.
“It is time for Boris to come clean and explain to Londoners what is going on. His deputy has been going round London telling local communities they will be getting more police officers, when in fact 17 of London’s boroughs will see a decrease in the number of officers and all London boroughs will get less than the Mayor has promised them. They need to urgently get to the bottom of this and explain to Londoners what’s gone wrong. Today we will be presenting an amendment to the Mayor that would keep all 12 fire stations and 18 fire engines that are due to be cut, along with provision for all of the 65 police front counters that are earmarked for the axe, recruit 250 police officers and 1,159 PCSOs. It is time Boris started listening to Londoners and protected our frontline emergency services.”
Background to the Labour Group’s budget amendment
Working closely with appropriate employers the Jobs Guarantee would provide participants with 21 hours work per week paid at the London Living Wage. As of December 2013 there were 7,455 16-24 year-olds in London who have been unemployed for more than 12 months. This proposal would see £35.6 million invested in 2013-14 to finance the scheme, including wages and employer’s NI contributions.
The Jobs Guarantee will help prevent another ‘lost generation’ of unemployed young people, it will generate up to £27 million for HM Treasury through increased National Insurance payments, reducing the Job Seekers’ Allowance payments and through the VAT generated by the purchase of consumer goods by participants of the scheme.
Protecting frontline Police services
Following central government’s 20% cut to the policing budget the frontline is now being hit. The Mayor has chosen not to allocate any more resources to the police, even though he has the ability to do so. He is planning to cut police numbers, cut front counters and decimate Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The budget amendment proposal is designed to cushion the impact of central government cuts.
The proposals would:
Protecting frontline Fire services
Freezing the Mayoral precept will retain £9.4 million this year which will be used to keep all 12 fire stations and 18 fire appliances that are earmarked for the axe. This will maintain the current level of fire cover for London.
Reallocation of business rates
This proposal would allocate the recently-localised funds from Retained Business Rates in a way that protects the public services that Londoners depend upon and finances projects that help secure a sustainable economic, infrastructure, and environmental future for London.
‘Rogue’ landlords and lettings agencies
This proposal would invest in a GLA ‘know your rights’ website for tenants in collaboration with charities and think-tanks. Secondly, proposes the financing of an action research project in to the establishment of a London-wide lettings agency. Thirdly, propose the commission of an extensive study into the feasibility of a London Living Rent.