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  • Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and policing spokesperson, commenting on today's report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on how the Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with budget pressures said:

    "The overall judgment given to the Met Police Service's record so far is encouraging, however we cannot hide away from the fact that severe pressures will face the Met, starting from 2016.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2014

    New figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, have revealed the Metropolitan Police Service are subsidising gun owners by millions of pounds each year.

    Last year over £3 million was spent by the Met in issuing gun licences, and since 2008 the total cost to the Met has been in excess of £20 million. Yet with the annual cost for a gun licence being just £10 (£50 for a five year licence) the amount raised by the licence fees is now just a quarter of the real bill facing the Met in carrying out vital checks before issuing gun licences.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2014
    In Southfield Ward Focus

    In this July Southfield newsletter you will read about the Graham Road street party, Councillor Gary Busuttil's maiden speech, success on cycling initiatives and details of the next Southfield Ward Forum meeting that takes place this week.

    Southfield Ward Forum - 24th July
    Councillor Andrew Steed will be chairing the Ward Forum for the next civic year and the provisional dates will be confirmed at the first meeting. This takes place on Thursday 24th July at Acton Green Church on Cunnington Street, starting at 7.30.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    Hundreds of disadvantaged schoolchildren in Brent are reaping the benefit of the Pupil Premium, local Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather said today.

    Figures show that last year 48.2% of youngsters from poorer backgrounds in Brent achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C grade.

    This is up from 42.8% in 2012 as payments introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government begin to have a greater impact.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson commenting on the highly critical KPMG report on the collapse of the Bombardier signalling contract which has just been published said:

    "It is staggering that TfL simply accepted at face value significant claims made by Bombardier before they awarded such a major contract. Due to a lack of research and basic enquiries about their actual record TfL signed up with a company that had no track record in London and little chance of being able to deliver the new signalling on some of the oldest and most complex Tube lines in the world."

  • Article: Jul 11, 2014
    By Cllr Gary Malcolm in http://garymalcolm.blogspot.co.uk/

    I had the privilege of attending an Apprenticeship Dinner organised by Ealing Council recently. The event was attended by a mixture of current and past apprentices and employers who are thinking of taking on apprentices.

    Quite simply an apprenticeship gives a young person the chance to shine whilst working for Ealing Council or many other companies based in and around the borough. As part of the apprenticeships, which last two years, training is given 'on the job' as well as some employers giving time off so apprentices can take up academic qualifications which will help them in their chosen field.The range of jobs that Ealing's apprenticeships take up is very diverse. Some are office based. Others are in the building sector and some in local engineering firms.

    On average, apprentices earn £100,000 more over their career than less qualified workers. They also help businesses. Over 80% of businesses who employ apprentices agree they make their workforce more productive.

    Liberal Democrats have been at the fore-front of promoting apprenticeships, locally and nationally. We have helped create 1.8 million apprenticeships since the election in 2010. There are now more apprentices than ever before and 86% more than under Labour.

    We are giving 40,000 businesses grants of £1,500 for each young unemployed person they take on as an apprentice and awarding £550m to colleges to improve their facilities for apprentices.

    Employers have access to funding to cover training costs for apprentices. This is paid directly to the organisation that provides and supports the apprenticeship - in most cases the learning provider. Employers must make sure they pay apprentices at least the current minimum wage rate.

    If an apprentice is 19 or over, and have completed their first year, they are entitled to the worker rate for their age. Over the past few years I have seen a number of apprentices who have gone on to do some wonderful work. Most are very hard working and really put in 100% Listening to their stories is very inspirational.

    Ealing Council with the help of the coalition government is making a positive impact on giving young people more opportunities for them to do well in the work place so they can better themselves in life generally.

    The Liberal Democrats support getting more apprenticeships started. Lots of employers have already provided apprenticeships. If you are an employer or you would like to become an apprentice see how you can started...

  • Article: Jul 11, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the latest Airports Commission's inner Thames estuary studies, revealing significantly higher estimated costs for train and road links to the proposed airport than previously suggested by the Mayor said:

    "These latest reports are a potential death blow to the Mayor's dream of creating a massive airport located in the Thames estuary.

  • Paul Burstow, Worcester Park and Nonsuch Lib Dems campaigning for Crossrail 2
    Article: Jul 11, 2014

    Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow was at Worcester Park station today campaigning to bring Crossrail 2 to Worcester Park.

    Sutton is currently under-served by local rail services, with longer journey times to central London compared to other outer London town centres such as Croydon and Wimbledon, and is not connected directly to the Underground or Overground network.

  • Article: Jul 10, 2014

    Local Liberal Democrats have today spoken out against Brent Council plans to charge residents for waste collections.

    If the Labour-run Council's proposals are approved, residents will be charged £40 a year for their green waste to be collected. Green waste includes items such as grass trimmings.

    At the moment, the cost of the fortnightly green bin collections is included in residents' council tax bills. Residents who do not pay the new fee will have their green bins taken away completely.

  • Article: Jul 9, 2014

    On Monday 16th June, Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research Summer Reception where he was able to speak to scientists from Sutton's Institute for Cancer Research who are leading the way in cancer research.

    The reception brought together researchers, patients, parliamentarians and government ministers to discuss how long-term support and investment by the government can ensure that the UK's medical research sector continues to make a huge difference to the health and wealth of the nation.

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