London assembly for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall
ULEZ Boundary 2019 – 2012

ULEZ Coming your way on way – see map above.

Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

Mayor Sadiq Khan urges motorists to check their vehicles meet tough new emissions standards before central London Ultra Low Emission Zone launch

  • Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will significantly reduce emissions to help tackle the thousands of premature deaths linked to air quality every year
  • 1.5m drivers have already checked their vehicle’s compliance with ULEZ emissions standards at:  
  • Major awareness campaign underway to ensure drivers are ready for ULEZ

With three months to go until the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the central London Congestion Charge Zone, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged London’s drivers and business owners who drive in the zone to check whether their vehicles comply with new, stricter emissions standards designed to tackle the capital’s toxic air.

The world’s first ULEZ will come into effect in the current central London Congestion Charge Zone on 8th April 2019 and will replace the current Toxicity Charge*. Vehicles will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge (£12.50 for cars, vans and motorcycles, £100 for busses, coaches and lorries) to travel within the zone. The Congestion Charge will be unchanged by the introduction of ULEZ and will continue to apply for all eligible vehicles entering the Congestion Charge zone.  

Drivers can use TFL’s simple online checking tool to see if their vehicle will meet ULEZ’s tough, new emissions standards.  

Across the country, toxic air leads to 40,000 premature deaths every year, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer, dementia – imposing a financial burden of £20 billion on the economy every year. London’s filthy air makes chronic illnesses worse, shortens life expectancy and damages lung development in children

The introduction of ULEZ is a central part of the Mayor’s far-reaching plan to tackle London’s toxic air and address the severe health impact of poor air quality. The Mayor has already started projects to clean up the capital’s bus and taxi fleets, roll out rapid charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles, delivered improvements to some of London’s most polluted schools, planted thousands of new trees and funded a scrappage scheme to help micro-businesses prepare for ULEZ.

A major awareness campaign is underway by Transport for London (TfL) to ensure drivers are prepared for the introduction of ULEZ. This includes contacting more than 2.5 million registered Congestion Charge users whose vehicles do not meet the ULEZ standards, to remind them the new zone begins on 8 April 2019. TfL is also contacting other drivers it identifies in central London whose vehicles are not currently ULEZ-compliant. This has helped encourage 1.5 million visits to TfL’s online compliance checker so far.

More than 300 ULEZ warning signs are currently being installed across central London. The signs warn drivers at all entry points to the zone, and on a number of key approach routes, to ensure their vehicle meets the tough new emission standards. These are complemented by posters and digital banners across the whole TfL network, a social media campaign and adverts across print, radio and online video. To date, 3,000 businesses have been spoken to by TfL officials to make them aware of the introduction of ULEZ. Many of these businesses have confirmed that they are already ULEZ compliant or are putting in place plans to upgrade their vehicles.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“London’s toxic air is a public health emergency and the introduction of ULEZ is exactly the sort of bold action that is required to deal with it. I’m delighted we were able to bring the introduction of the zone forward to April this year, ensuring people both in and outside the zone experience the benefits of ULEZ sooner.

“I know Londoners are passionate about improving the quality of the air they breathe so – with only three months to go before the launch of ULEZ – I’d encourage everyone who drives within central London to spend a couple of minutes checking whether their vehicle complies with the new emissions standards. 

“A predicted 45 per cent fall in harmful emissions within the zone should be a great start to improving the lives of millions of Londoners.”

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL, said:

“We are committed to tackling London’s dangerously toxic air. The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will bring huge benefits to the health of all Londoners, including drivers.

“With three months until ULEZ starts, we are reminding all drivers in London to take action and check their vehicles’ compliance through our website. Londoners can choose a wide range of affordable and sustainable public transport options, including buses fitted with the cleanest engines, cycling and walking. Alternatively, a ULEZ compliant vehicle can be purchased from around £500.”

Sonia Farrey, Director of Advocacy at Unicef UK, said:

“Breathing polluted air can have serious and long-lasting effects on a child’s health and development. It is all of our responsibility to ensure that children can grow up in a clean and safe environment.

“With more than 800 schools, nurseries and educational institutions across London situated in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, the Ultra Low Emission Zone presents a real opportunity to help protect children from this threat to their health.”

CBI London Director, Eddie Curzon, said:

“Improving the capital’s air quality is of real importance to London’s business community, and firms across the city stand ready to help achieve this.

“The Mayor of London’s ULEZ standards are a decisive step and TfL’s ongoing support for businesses will be essential in ensuring compliance. Looking ahead, the CBI continues to welcome any action taken to secure a consistent national clean air policy.’



To discourage the use of the most polluting vehicles, drivers travelling within the zone and using non-compliant vehicles will need to pay a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These include:

. motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 12 years old in 2019)

. petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 13 years old in 2019)

. diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than four years old in 2019)

. Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro VI standard or pay £100 a day

*Residents who live in the central London ULEZ area (i.e. the central London Congestion Charge Zone) have a ‘sunset’ period before they will need to pay the ULEZ charges on any vehicles that do not meet the required emission standards. This means that the ULEZ standards will not apply to their vehicles until 25 October 2021. Residents will continue to pay the T-Charge, at a discounted rate of 90%, during this sunset period.


The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in the UK since 1985. Yet we know it continues. For this reason the London Assembly is undertaking a scrutiny on FGM and it is my privilege to lead it. We kick started the process with a conference at City Hall in January. We brought together frontline practitioners from across the capital, to share best practice and talk frankly about the challenges faced in eradicating FGM.

For me, the journey had started nearly 45 years ago, when I witnessed the impact of FGM for the first time. As a nurse in training I was in the middle of my obstetric placement and was about to help a mother deliver. What I saw shocked me to the core; mother had undergone what I would eventually come to know as a type 3 FGM procedure[1].

I actually fainted, but when I came round there was more to come. The lady’s husband was on the medical team and was about to operate on her, to facilitate the birth and re-stitch her afterwards; and senior staff around me assured me that there was nothing to worry about. I was invited to move to other duties for the rest of the day. Bizarrely, the only record of the event that showed any concern, was the accident report I completed, detailing the cause of my collapse. I did hear later that the lady’s husband had been persuaded not to proceed with his role but I never saw her again.

A key outcome for me from that day was the beginning of a lengthy involvement in the campaign to eradicate FGM. In that time, there has been huge progress. As suggested the process is now illegal; and from 2015 there is a mandatory requirement on health, social care and teaching professionals to report any cases they identify to the police. But, we know in London that new cases of FGM are still being discovered amongst young girls; and there are thousands of women of all ages who are survivors of the practice.

For the Assembly scrutiny, I was delighted that Hibo Wardere agreed to be an adviser to me and my team of officers. She also agreed to Chair the conference. Hibo is a Somalian born campaigner against genital mutilation. She is also a community educator and author[2]. The key aim of the conference was to provide a safe space for professionals to share best practice and talk frankly about the challenges and barriers to tackling FGM.

Key professionals from health, social care, education and policing set the scene and provided statements on their roles and responsibilities and the issues that needed to be addressed to promote better joint working.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that tackling FGM will be an important part of his mayoralty. His Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, gave the keynote address at the conference, concluding with a promise to work in partnership with all appropriate agencies to bring about an end to FGM.

Delegates then worked in small groups to answer a series of questions that would help inform and strengthen London’s response to FGM.

I am now reviewing all the material form the day and we will develop specific recommendations for action. Let me thank all who gave their time to contribute so well to the event and let me thank especially Hibo Wardere.

As we progress towards our goal of making London a ‘Zero Cutting City’, the City Hall conference was an important step for me. It ensured the Assembly scrutiny would remain grounded in real life; and it allowed me to re-connect with the current generation of frontline staff.

The generation I was part of managed to secure the legislative base to fight FGM. It was difficult. But I suspect that the current generation of frontline staff in many ways has a harder job. They need to deliver against a high level of expectation; retain the trust of the families they work with whilst ensuring the safety of the children involved; and do all this at a time when our public services are under greater pressure than ever. From what I saw at the conference, the process is in good hands.








[2] Wardere, H – Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today – 2016 -ISBN: 9781471153983

The annual reshuffle of the London Assembly is complete.

At its Annual Meeting last week, all Assembly Members present voted for new leadership in what will be an important year for City Hall as it gears up for next May’s London Mayor and Assembly elections.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM was confirmed as the new Chair of the London Assembly.

Chair of the London Assembly, Jennette Arnold OBE AM said:

“In this new year, as we approach the Assembly and Mayoral Elections in May 2016, we must remain focussed on our key role and what more we can do for London.

“Our job is to make sure that everyone in the capital gets the value for money and the transparency they deserve. We provide Londoners with the reassurance that back-room deals, under-the-table tactics and simple bad business decisions are not allowed to happen. After all we are elected to hold the Mayor and his functional bodies to account.”

Click here to view Jennette Arnold OBE AM Acceptance Speech.




London needs to create 133,000 more primary and secondary school places by 2018[1].

In its report published on Tuesday, London learners, London lives[2], the London Assembly Education Panel, which I Chair, adds that the crisis will soon be acutely felt in the secondary school sector as each year thousands of additional 11 year olds look to secure places.  While London has been in the vanguard for the creation of new free schools, few of these are secondary schools.

The panel meet today [18 September 2014] to receive an update on school places provision and the outlook for the projected shortfall over the long term.

The following guests will give evidence:

  • Frankie Sulke, Executive Director for Children and Young People, London Borough of Lewisham; and
  • Helen Jenner, Corporate Director of Children’s Services, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

In the second session members will discuss the impact of changes coming from the Children’s Act 2014 on the provision of support to children and young people with complex needs.

One in every five pupils has a special educational need and in London around 4 per cent of children have a Statement of Special Educational Need. There are growing numbers of children with autistic spectrum disorder which often requires specialist support.

Funding for pupils with complex needs is also changing.

The following guests will give insights:

  • Tara Flood, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Inclusive Education;
  • Gary Redhead, Assistant Director – Schools, Planning and Resources, LB Ealing;
  • Holly Morgan-Smith, Project Manager – SEND Reforms, LB Ealing;
  • Gillian Bennell, Head of Special Services Planning, LB Wandsworth;
  • Lysanne Wilson, Director of Operations, YoungMinds;
  • A representative from Preparing for Adulthood.

Notes for Editors:

  1. Do the Maths – London’s school places challenge” – London Councils, July 2014.
  2. London Learners London Lives” 
  3. Full agenda papers
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

At the London Assembly’s Plenary session on 10 September 2014, I contributed to the very important debate about the future of health and social care for people with Alzheimer’s disease. You can read a transcript of my speech below.

You can join the campaign via great organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Thank you Chairman.

In moving this motion, Assembly Member Pidgeon mentioned the growth in the numbers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and we have heard the moving account from Assembly Member Biggs of his personal experiences.

Colleagues, the current figures linked to this disease are so alarming that they are worth repeating:

  • 1 in 3 people over 65 in the UK gets dementia;
  • That equates to over 73,000 Londoners. And the numbers are growing, as our population ages; and
  • Health policy and practice set by central and, in some cases, local government fails to keep up.

As a former registered nurse, and from my own experience as a carer I know all too well the effects that Alzheimer’s has on the individual and, sadly, their friends, families and communities.

Once a person develops dementia, 24-hour care is often needed and the financial cost for treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease increases as a result.  Not to mention the terrible effects this has on a person’s loved ones, as they watch their partners, their fathers, mothers, grandparents and children deteriorate in front of them.

Dementia services are estimated to cost the UK £23Billion a year, but much of this cost is due to our focus on reactive treatment, rather than proactive prevention.

I hope that we would all agree that prevention is better than cure. I therefore fully support The Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to ensure that, by 2015, there are at least one million people registered as a Dementia Friend;

As Assembly Member Pidgeon has said, Dementia Friends are people who understand a bit more about dementia and the small things that can be done to help people with the condition. For example, I’ve been working very closely with the Alzheimer’s Society over the past couple of years, and I was privileged to attend a ‘Singing for the Brain’ session back in March this year up in my constituency.

The programme lead by the local Alzheimer’s group of volunteers and skilled practitioners utilised singing and dancing as therapeutic treatment for people with dementia and, most importantly, their loved ones.

It’s a terrific initiative and one that has such fabulous benefits for patients and family members, but we need to complement this with appropriate levels of investment in prevention – through more extensive and comprehensive screening programmes and a new, fair funding system.

In 2009, our colleagues down the river as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia published the report of their inquiry into improving lives through cost effective dementia services. The £20-billion-care-cost question was based on evidence submitted from across the health and care sectors and it concluded current resources could be used more effectively to achieve better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers.

The report made recommendations including:

  • improving collaboration and integration;
  • more training in dementia care;
  • improving rates of diagnosis; and
  • sharing good practice.

Five years later, we’re still waiting for many of these recommendations to be rolled out across our health services. Without swift, comprehensive changes to the way we deal with Alzheimer’s in London and the UK, the problem is only going to get worse as our population grows and ages.

Colleagues, I urge you to fully support this motion and in your own way seek to champion the work of organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society. I also fully support the call in the motion for the Greater London Authority and the GLA family to offer Dementia Friends training for staff.”


I welcome today’s hearing at City Hall on the vexed question of whether we need more aviation capacity in London and if so where should it go.

So much has changed since the publication of the Air Transport White Paper in 2003. I therefore welcome the work of Sir Howard Davies, Chair of the Airports Commission. What is desperately needed is an objective and independent assessment of the complex issues pertaining to aviation in London.

The interim report of the Commission contains an assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status. The report also contains a number of recommendations for immediate actions and a plan of the phase 2 work programme.

I know from my mail-bag that many of my constituents would be supportive of a statutory noise regulatory authority; currently there is no single body that can mitigate the impact of our crowded and noisy airways.
The Commission’s final report to government is expected by summer 2015, and I look forward to reading it in due course.

I’m pleased to note that the Commission is in listening mode and is holding public evidence sessions, which you can find out more about from the following places.

General Enquiries:

Airport Operational Models Discussion Paper:

Head of Airports Commission Secretariat: Philip Graham (

This morning, I gave a speech at the launch of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England‘s report, entitled ‘State of Children’s Rights in London‘. You can read a copy of my full speech below, but, I must first say that the views expressed here are my own, and I do not speak on behalf of other members of the Education Panel.

Speech to Children’s Rights Alliance for England:

Good morning.

Can I start by thanking Catherine, Bill and everyone else from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England for inviting me here today to talk to you all? It’s fabulous to see you all here at the launch of this important report on the State of Children’s Rights in London.

I’ve been asked here today in my capacity as Chair of the London Assembly’s Education Panel to give my own views on how we, at City Hall, can ensure that children’s rights in London are at the forefront of our work, particularly in the realm of education.

But, first, I can’t go on without commenting on something some of you might have read in the newspapers earlier this week.

We heard The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, say that Councils should be granted the power to remove a child from his or her parents if Council Officers believe that the child is at risk of radicalisation. By saying this, the Mayor not only proved his ignorance about the main causes of radicalisation – where there is little evidence to suggest parental involvement – but added his own piece to contribute to the inherent, misguided and widespread Islamophobia that we hear in political and public rhetoric. Through this suggestion, Boris also advocated Councils violate a number of Articles in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Now, the reason I raise the Mayor’s comments is to give you some idea of the context we, as London Assembly Members, operate in – which can at times, for those of us that believe so strongly in the rights of children, cause significant frustration.

But, Baroness Jones, several of our other colleagues on the London Assembly and I, always make sure we put the case forward for fairness, equality and human rights when we challenge the Mayor and his Deputies on all issues that matter to Londoners.

Indeed, in my role as Chair of the London Assembly’s Education Panel, I do this very thing by challenging the Mayor’s Deputy and Advisers on Education about their policies.

No one would argue that Education is anything but a fundamental human right, and that the earlier in life a person has access to educational services, the better. But, the challenge for policy makers and politicians here in the UK – and, as far as my work is concerned, London – is to put in place processes and practices that ensure that the provision of high-quality education is accessible for all.

I know the report that’s being launched today backs up the broad picture across education in London that we, as a city, out-perform many other places in the UK when it comes to attainment at GCSE level – which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, very encouraging news.

But, I’ll just repeat the two operative words in this statement – that is, “broad picture”. When we drill down to the Borough level across London, children in Kensington and Chelsea out-perform children in Lewisham, Newham and – in my constituency – Waltham Forest, by 20 percentage points. So, while we should be pleased with the general picture of attainment in London, there is clearly much more work that needs to be done in order to make sure that children across our capital not only have access to education, but good-quality education.

To measure whether this is the case, in my view, we have to look beyond the raw statistics. It’s easy to pat ourselves on the back because 80% of children in Kensington and Chelsea obtained 5 A*-C grades, but there are more questions that need to be answered to ensure that children across our city are taking full advantage of their fundamental right to education. For example:

  • Is 5 A*-C grades enough? How many children obtained 8 or 9 A*-C grades?
  • How about children with special educational needs, and those from troubled families?
  • What about the 20% of children in Kensington and Chelsea that didn’t obtain 5 A*-C grades? What happens to them in their future lives? And why didn’t they get the 5 A*-C grades?
  • And – even more importantly as far as I’m concerned: Is the curriculum that we measure these children by the appropriate one to test whether or not they will grow up to be clear of their human rights, clear about how they can defend their rights, and clear that – when they do grow up – they will live in a society where their human rights will be respected and won’t be violated?

By the way I’ve framed this speech, you’ll probably guess that I believe the answer to those final questions is: No.

And I’ll give you an example of why: I’ve done a lot of work in my time as a nurse and politician fighting to defend victims of Female Genital Mutilation – or FGM. FGM is a clear violation of a young girl’s human rights. But, one of the biggest barriers when it comes to prosecuting perpetrators of FGM is a lack of understanding in the general public about what it is, about how to detect it in young girls, and a lack of empowerment of women and young girls to stand up against those people who want to cut them.

Things are slowly changing – and campaigners such as Farmer Mohammed have helped increase public awareness of FGM – but, to properly address this and other important issues, we need a compulsory curriculum that covers the problems that impact directly on the rights of young people. We are, currently, some way off that, but it is so important that the traditional ways in which we measure educational attainment need to be updated to address understanding of broader societal issues.

And, when we couple this shortfall in the curriculum with the pending schools places crisis we have across London – where it’s predicted that, if we continue at the current trajectory, we’re going to have a shortfall of one-hundred-and-eighteen thousand (118,000) primary and secondary school places across London by 2016, we have a potential situation where, at best, children will have to travel significant distances to access education, or study in overcrowded classrooms, or, at worst, children will have to find other means of accessing education. How, then, will this impact on a child’s fundamental right to a good-quality education?

So, from City Hall, I continue my work to challenge the Mayor on his education policy – and, in a recent meeting of the Education Panel, we challenged his Deputy on what she and the Mayor are doing to address the school places crisis.

And I continue my work of getting young people involved in my work – through acting personally as a mentor to dozens of young people across London – so that they can help inform the work that I do. It’s very easy sometimes for adults to dictate to children and young people what’s best for them, based sometimes on misinformed or out-dated preconceptions. But I am a very keen and active advocate of involving young people in making decisions that impact on their lives.

We’ve come a long way in the past century to change this, and organisations like the Children’s Rights Alliance for England – and the setting up of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England – greatly improve youth participation in policy making, but we still have some way to go. When we’re at a place where young people are meaningfully engaged with by all senior politicians when they’re making policy and law that affects young people, we’ll see – in education for example – a curriculum that represents the needs of young people, teaches them about their rights, and empowers them to be part of a society where fundamental human rights are at the heart of everything they do as he or she grows up to become an adult. That’s the roadmap. Now, let’s get there sooner rather than later.

I’d like to thank the Children’s Rights Alliance for England for publishing this very important report – because it’s through reports like this that we, as politicians, are able to inform our work and to be challenged to think creatively about finding solutions to the issues that affect people in their everyday lives.

Thank you all for coming today – and if there’s ever anything I can do to assist you from City Hall, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I’ve published my end-of-year report for 2013, which you can read here: My Year on the London Assembly.

As I sat down to write it, it reminded me of just what a privilege it is to serve the people of London, and, in particular, those who live in my constituency of North East London – covering Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest. We have had some tremendous successes in that time across all matters, including transport, regeneration, education, housing and homelessness, policing and employment and training opportunities for young people.

Don’t forget to click on the hyperlinks within the report to read more about my work, and I look forward to continuing the fight at City Hall in 2014.