Gareth Bacon AM said:
“While it is right that all taxi and private hire drivers are able to communicate effectively in English, the proposed approach of TfL has been overly prescriptive. For years London politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns about these plans, which were always disproportionate, unnecessary and potentially damaging not only to the industry but also to the livelihoods of countless drivers. This is a welcome climbdown.
“While today’s announcement is a small step in the right direction, it is still the case that under this Mayor TfL is hammering the private hire industry. Sadiq Khan’s decision to increase operator fees by hundreds – and in some cases thousands - of percent has put some small companies out of business, and plans to remove the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles will likely have a devastating impact on the industry”.
Gareth Bacon AM: “It is no secret that we are facing a crime epidemic in the capital; the Mayor has lost control of the streets and Londoners are feeling increasingly unsafe in their own city.
“When he’s asked about London’s soaring crime rates, Sadiq Khan will invariably blame the government and try to reassure Londoners that he is doing everything within his power to deal with these heinous crimes.
“But the Mayor’s budget shows that he is taking Londoners for fools. Far from doing all he can, he is choosing to waste millions more on PR, City Hall bureaucrats and the transport unions at the expense of keeping Londoners safe.
“Our amendment to the Mayor’s budget would have scrapped the waste and used the savings to put nearly 1400 additional police officers on the streets. The fact that the Mayor ignored our plans shows that he is completely out of touch with the needs of Londoners. Make no mistake, the Mayor has chosen to prioritise press officers over police officers”.
Khan accused of prioritising “waste and spin over keeping Londoners safe” as GLA Tories publish plan to put almost 1,400 extra bobbies on the beat
Sadiq Khan could put nearly 1,400 more police officers on London’s streets by cutting waste, a fully-costed plan from the GLA Conservatives has shown.
The proposed changes form an amendment to the Mayor’s draft budget, which currently earmarks millions extra for PR, culture, City Hall staff and the transport unions. This comes despite the Mayor’s claim that government policies mean that he can’t afford to increase police numbers.
The amendment, which was tabled today, calls on the Mayor to reduce some of the bloated budgets down to 2016/17 levels – the year Khan took office. By doing so, the Mayor could free up nearly £83 million to invest in new police officers.
London Assembly Members have joined forces to vote against Sadiq Khan’s proposal to take away the Congestion Charge exemption from private hire vehicles (PHVs).
Members voted on a motion which urged the Mayor to scrap the policy on Thursday afternoon, which was passed by 16 to 3.
Critics say that the policy would fail to reduce congestion and is only being pursued to plug the deficit in the transport budget.
The Mayor's own figures show that the change would reduce the number of PHVs in the Congestion Charge zone by only 600 a day – with the total traffic in the area falling by a meagre 1 percent.
Fares could rise by 16 percent, as operators would have to cover the cost of paying the Congestion Charge.
The analysis also shows that the move could raise up to £30 million per year, which could help to fill the Mayor's almost £1 billion black hole in the transport budget.