Keith Prince AM comment: Mayor doubles ‘scrap for cash’ polluting vehicle fund as he holds National Clean Air Summit
Keith Prince AM said: “The penny appears to have finally dropped and the Mayor has at last realised that his approach to introducing the new ULEZ will hit poorest Londoners the hardest.
“While the Mayor is right to help Londoners prepare for the ULEZ, this new scrappage scheme is just a drop in the ocean. With the Mayor’s figures estimating that 100,000 vehicles will be impacted by ULEZ and other predictions forecasting that this number will be much higher, we need Sadiq Khan to do much more than just tinkering around the edges”.
Fresh figures show that the number of empty shops in Ilford more than doubled in just one year.
The stats, which have been obtained by the GLA Conservatives, show that 78 shops in Ilford were empty in 2017/18 – up from 32 in 2016/17. Since April last year, 44 shops have been empty.
Across Redbridge the number of empty shops increased by 46 in the same year – rising from 88 to 134.
The figures come as part of a new report from City Hall Conservatives - Helping our High Streets – which argues that the Mayor of London could and should be doing more to help our struggling town centres.
Sadiq Khan was today accused of being in the “pockets of the unions”, as it emerged that the amount of time Transport for London (TfL) staff are dedicating to trade union duties has rocketed over the past two years.
In 2015/2016 the number of TfL trade union representatives who spent 50 percent or more of their time on union work stood at 48, but this number has now more than doubled to over 100.
This has come at a cost to the taxpayer of over £10 million – up from £4.4 million during the final year of Boris Johnson’s mayoralty.
The new figures also reveal that as of March this year 68 TfL employees spent between 51 and 99 percent of their time on union duties and 37 members of staff were full-time union reps.
The practice of allowing union reps paid time off work to deal with union-related matters is known as “facility time”.
The Mayor of London was today accused of spending millions on the wrong priorities, as it emerged that TfL salaries have rocketed by 15 percent in one year.
New figures show that TfL’s remuneration costs have surged from £1.9 billion in 2016/17 to £2.2 billion this year. This comes despite the average headcount at TfL falling from 27,500 last year to under 27,000 currently.
Prince said that a significant amount of this increase has gone towards the “eyewatering pay rises” which have been awarded to the most senior TfL employees this year. These include:
Mayor Sadiq Khan was today accused of ‘wasting money on the wrong priorities’, as it emerged that over 18,000 London Underground staff received a 3.85 percent pay rise this year.
Freedom of Information data shows that the pay award cost TfL nearly £33 million, which comes as the transport budget is nearly £1 billion in deficit.
The pay rise given to tube staff is nearly double that of other public sector staff, including the police, who received a 2 percent wage increase this year. The new figures show that awarding Underground staff a rise in line with local government would have cost TfL nearly £16 million less.
The average number of public transport strikes under Sadiq Khan have risen to six per year, meaning that the mayor currently has the worst pro rata strikes record of any London mayor.
Before his election Khan promised that there would be ‘zero days of strikes’ during his mayoralty, but this week Piccadilly Line drivers are staging a 48-hour walk-out, with the RMT union citing a ‘breakdown of industrial relations’ for the reason behind the strike. This is the 14th strike to take place since the mayor took office.
Khan’s strikes tally comes as a stark comparison to his two predecessors, Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson, who averaged two and 4.4 strikes per year respectively.