Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on




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Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on

21 May 2009



Cycle hire scheme

Question No: 908 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Why are there no plans for bike hire docking base-stations within 100m of Network Rail stations?

Oral AnswerStatement of Intent

Question No: 1201 / 2009

Valerie Shawcross

What will you be doing to ensure that the ‘Statement of Intent’ for the Revised Transport Strategy for London attracts many more contributions than the poor 260 responses received to ‘Way To Go’?

Oral AnswerTrain operating companies

Question No: 1111 / 2009

Caroline Pidgeon

What progress has been made in working with train operating companies to improve the lot of London’s rail passengers?

Oral AnswerMetropolitan Police

Question No: 1020 / 2009

Brian Coleman

Does the Mayor think that the lack of media attention to the death of PC Gary Toms killed as a result of carrying out his duties is sadly symptomatic of the lack of respect shown to the Metropolitan Police? Will the Mayor ensure that proper tribute is paid to this Officer and will he further lobby the Home Secretary to make sure that those convicted of murdering Metropolitan Police Officers are never released on parole?

Oral Answer


Savings

Question No: 1363 / 2009

Joanne McCartney

How much money will be saved on the council tax precept from the cuts to staff at the GLA?

Oral AnswerAir Quality Working Group

Question No: 1025 / 2009

Gareth Bacon

What progress is being made by the joint working group, set up by the GLA and DEFRA, to address air pollution in London?

Oral AnswerPassing Through

Question No: 1211 / 2009

John Biggs

Your press interviews on your first anniversary suggest that you are merely ‘passing through’ London on your way to greatness. Should we be flattered?

Answer from the Mayor:

I will defer to Samuel Johnson; "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."Swine flu

Question No: 1043 / 2009

James Cleverly

What contingency plans are in place to ensure that essential services in London will continue to operate in the event of a flu pandemic?

Oral AnswerExpenses

Question No: 1381 / 2009

Richard Barnbrook

In the light of the expenses scandal emerging in Parliament, is the Mayor confident that no such abuse can occur at City Hall?

Oral AnswerOvercrowding

Question No: 1384 / 2009

Steve O’Connell

What progress is being made towards developing policies to tackle overcrowding in London’s social housing?

Oral AnswerTamiflu

Question No: 1217 / 2009

Navin Shah

Whilst I must applaud your generosity in offering additional Tamiflu supplies to the Government, I am concerned that this seems yet another rash gesture, on your part. How will you ensure that sufficient stocks will be available for London’s emergency services and vital service personnel? These stocks of Tamiflu were bought by Ken Livingstone to protect London and were paid for by Londoners. What guarantees do you have from Government that these supplies of the vaccine will be used specifically to protect London and Londoners?

Oral AnswerWestern Extension

Question No: 1053 / 2009

Victoria Borwick

Given that it will not be possible to scrap the Western Extension until 2010, can you look closely at my suggestion in question 3014/2008 to consider a number of exemption periods in the run up to Christmas this year?

Oral AnswerArea Programmes

Question No: 1220 / 2009

Len Duvall

In your Economic Recovery Action Plan you stated that “a large number of people [are] by-passed by the education system and left without the skills and qualifications needed to get a job in the capital”. With this in mind, why have you overseen the withdrawal of funds to the “Area Programmes” and a number of other schemes designed to provide skills and employability training to the unemployed?

Answer from the Mayor:

When I was elected, I promised to get maximum value for money for Londoners. Specifically, I promised reform of the LDA. The Area Programmes were just one example where Londoners money was being handed out without adequate checks. Where there were checks, most of the money was being spent on admin- not helping Londoners into jobs. The funding for these programmes was allowed expire in April. However, this does not mean we've stopped investing to get Londoners into jobs. Far from it - this year investment in jobs and skills will increase to £105m. There were some good projects in the Area Programmes, and those are now funded through E.U money. Our new system has strong checks on where the money is going, so we can satisfy taxpayers that every penny is spent on getting London through the recession.London Plan

Question No: 1061 / 2009

Andrew Boff

Will the Mayor include shopping parades as a part of the “social infrastructure” in the London Plan. How might their inclusion in the London Plan assist in their protection?

Oral AnswerAirwave

Question No: 1079 / 2009

Dee Doocey

In March, workers at Airwave went on strike in protest against compulsory redundancies. What impact did this have on the MPS’s use of Airwave, and what measures are in place to ensure that the Airwave support remains continuous in the event of any future actions?

Oral AnswerBurglary

Question No: 995 / 2009

Richard Tracey

What are the SNTs and police doing locally to ensure that high-risk communities and individuals are better prepared against burglary?

Oral AnswerCity Charter

Question No: 1210 / 2009

John Biggs

Did every London borough leader sign the City Charter?

Answer from the Mayor:

Yes, all boroughs support the principles underpinning the City Charter.


Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chairman of London Councils, signed the Charter on behalf of the 32 boroughs and the City of London.

Cllr Merrick Cockell, in his capacity as Chairman of London Councils, is able to agree on behalf of all the London Boroughs – they do not all need to be present and it is quite usual for London Councils to agree things formally in this way.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which helped lay the foundations for the Charter, was signed by you and Merrick Cockell in June 2008. Again, Merrick signed this on behalf of all the Borough Leaders.City Charter

Question No: 1031 / 2009

Tony Arbour

Your City Charter says that you will pursue the ‘devolution of powers on Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) to the boroughs’. Will you please list them?

Oral AnswerAffordable Homes Target

Question No: 1222 / 2009

Len Duvall

In Action Point 45 of your Economic Recovery Action Plan, you committed to “oversee an investment programme to produce 50,000 affordable homes over the next three years”. You are now apparently ‘reviewing’ this target. Will you or will you not fulfil this commitment?

Oral AnswerHainault Station Trees

Question No: 1068 / 2009

Roger Evans

In early March more than seventy 30 foot high trees next to Hainault Station were chopped down. Residents first received notice of this on 12th March, three days after the first branches were felled. Does the Mayor agree that this was unacceptable and what short-term and long-term plans does TfL have to rectify this situation?

Oral AnswerMayor’s Fund

Question No: 1377 / 2009

John Biggs

How much money has been donated to the Mayor’s Fund for London since November 2008? Please list any donations over £1,000 Please list any donations made by the Mayor to the Mayor’s Fund.

Answer from the Mayor:

The Mayor’s Fund has already attracted considerable support from donors. It will spend £1.5m in 2009 on initial projects to help disadvantaged youngsters. 


In 2010, the charity will launch an £8 million scheme across four local authorities around Shoreditch and will expand across London by 2013, tackling poverty in every community.


You will be aware that it is standard practice for charities to opt not to list out individual donations which is the approach the Mayor’s Fund has chosen to adopt. Among other things, listing out individual donations might adversely impact on the level of donations.


As a charity, the Mayor’s Fund will, of course, comply with all audit requirements placed upon it and complete all returns required by the Charity Commission.Rape Crisis Centres

Question No: 1032 / 2009

Steve O’Connell

You have been accused of cutting your proposed funding levels, and therefore commitment to, the Rape Crisis Centres. Does it remain your intention to fund an additional 3 Rape Crisis Centres in London on top of the existing facility in Croydon, will you commit to providing these centres for the benefit of London’s women, how will the provision of £233,000 for the facilities work and why has there been a change in the funding figure from the original?

Oral Answer


20mph boroughs

Question No: 907 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Will you meet borough representatives to discuss funding pilots of 20mph borough wide speed limits, as recommended by the recent report from the London Assembly?

Oral AnswerHousing Target 2

Question No: 1166 / 2009

Mike Tuffrey

Have you now agreed affordable housing targets for the 2008 to 2011 period, totalling 50,000, with all the boroughs individually?

Oral AnswerCrossrail

Question No: 1203 / 2009

John Biggs

Are you confident Crossrail will be delivered?

Oral Answer

Absolutely. It is being delivered.

On 15 May, Crossrail construction commenced with the launch of the building of the station at Canary Wharf. It was a landmark moment and welcomed by the project’s many supporters.

Building Crossrail helps ensure we prepare our city to emerge from the recession in good shape and build for the future. It will be a high-frequency, high-capacity and high-tech artery linking London's major business, retail, and transport centres, relieving congestion on our transport network, and widening access to jobs and prosperity. Together Crossrail and the Tube upgrade will provide a network capable of meeting future demand and supporting the growth and development of London.

The team building our new railway is growing and world leaders with expertise in successfully managing projects of this scale are now on board. We will be recruiting the workforce we need. Last month I announced the tunnelling academy to provide Londoners with the chance to gain qualifications essential to the project.

Crossrail has undergone rigorous scrutiny and we have the structures in place to build the railway on time and to budget. This is the right project at the right time with the team that will deliver. We have begun the journey.

72


Questions for Written Answer
Football style police uniforms

Question No: 909 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Would you support Metropolitan Police officers wearing personalised vests showing their name and ID numbers, as are currently worn by officers in Staffordshire?

Answer from the Mayor:

I strongly believe that the public have the right to be able to identify uniformed police officers and fully support the Commissioner’s decision to hold officers to account when they purposely conceal their identity.


MPS officers have their ranks and surnames on badges attached by velcro to all outer garments and their BOCU numbers displayed on their shoulders. BOCU numbers change every time an officer moves to a different borough which could mean frequent uniform changes if personalised vests were introduced (in contrast to those officers in smaller forces that tend to retain the same number throughout their entire service). However, officers should display their badges and identity numbers at all times and I welcome the decision to investigate the issue of identification as discussed at the Authority meeting held on 30 April 2009.

*


Police car pursuits

Question No: 910 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Will you urge the Association of Chief Police Officers to update regulations governing police pursuits in order to keep both officers and the public safe?

Answer from the Mayor:

In 2007 the IPCC published Police Road Traffic Incidents: A study of police-related road traffic and driving deaths and serious injuries, which provided a number of recommendations on police driving. These have been accepted by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and incorporated within the guidelines for police pursuits, which were reissued to all police forces at the end of 2008.


The MPS fully supports the new ACPO guidelines.


ACPO is now working with the Home Office and National Police Improvement Agency to turn the guidance into a Code of Practice, which will place a statutory responsibility on the Commissioner to implement it within the MPS.

*


Stop and search (1)

Question No: 911 / 2009

Jenny Jones

What changes do you hope to see in the use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to conduct stop and searches in London?

Answer from the Mayor:

I have been informed that the MPS intend to adopt a more tactical use of Sections 44 & 43 that will be more event and intelligence-led. This will involve:


  • S44 powers being restricted to London’s iconic or strategic sites

  • Deployment of S44 powers where intelligence suggests that there is a specific threat or senior officers decide that there is a need to use the power to ‘prevent and deter’ terrorist activity’; and

  • Increased use of S43 by police officers that requires them to have reasonable suspicion that the person they are stopping and searching is a terrorist or is involved in terrorist activity.


This approach will be piloted for a three-month period and thereafter rolled-out across the capital in the summer. The aim is for the security of the capital to be maintained whilst disruption to the public is minimised.


I would like to add that stop and search powers had contributed to the successful reduction in knife crime in London, which saw a 16% reduction in knife-enabled crime.

*

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