Margaret Hodge’s Review of the Garden Bridge is a “thorough damnation” of Boris Johnson’s worst vanity project

April 7th, 2017

Reports that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages “deeply worrying”

March 31st, 2017

Response to the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration

March 14th, 2017

Barking, Havering and Redbridge A&E waiting time target missed as London sees worst figures on record

March 13th, 2017

Response to the Mayor’s Draft Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance

March 1st, 2017

Future of Garden Bridge hangs in the balance despite Charity Commission ruling

February 28th, 2017

Margaret Hodge’s Review of the Garden Bridge is a “thorough damnation” of Boris Johnson’s worst vanity project

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Responding to today’s publication of Margaret Hodge’s report into the Garden Bridge, Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley AM, said:

“This is a thorough damnation of what has to be the worst of Boris Johnson’s vanity projects. Given today’s report quite clearly states that it would be better to cancel the project than to risk the potential uncertain additional cost to the taxpayer, this must surely be the final ‎nail in the coffin for the Garden Bridge.

“The Mayor was right to call for a review and to apply transparency to every part of this project, from the flawed procurement process to the question of whether value for money has been achieved.

“We have long questioned Boris Johnson’s decision to fritter away TfL funds on a project that won’t actually deliver any real transport benefits. It’s also apparent that if TfL’s internal processes had been properly applied many of the problems that have plagued this development could have been picked up early on. We’re left with a situation in which too much taxpayers money has already been plunged into a project whose financially viability has so frequently been questioned.

“Even if the Garden Bridge Trust raise the necessary funds for completion, it’s highly questionable they’d raise the revenue needed to meet the maintenance costs. We cannot leave Londoners exposed to the risk of having to pick up the bill. We said this was a development on the verge of collapse, now it’s time to sink it. The Mayor must now refuse to sign the maintenance guarantee and dispel the looming threat of more public funds being squandered on this thing once and for all.”

Ends

Notes

  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member

Reports that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages “deeply worrying”

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Following the claims that EU citizens in the UK are being denied mortgages, Tom Copley, the Labour London Assembly Housing spokesperson, said:

“The news that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages is deeply worrying.

“EU citizens make a valuable contribution to our community and are vital to our economy. In many cases, they have lived in London for years – building their career, their family, and their lives here. We are talking about our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues.

“They should not be used as bargaining chips to be used during the upcoming negotiations. The Government must urgently provide assurances that those EU citizens who already live and work here will be able to stay. It is deeply unfair – not to mention damaging – to expect us all to live through this level of uncertainty for the next two years.”

Ends

Notes

  • Tom Copley is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

Response to the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Tom Copley AM has responded to the Mayor’s Draft Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration on behalf of the Labour Group.

The response is available here:

View this document on Scribd

Barking, Havering and Redbridge A&E waiting time target missed as London sees worst figures on record

Monday, March 13th, 2017

A&Es handling the most serious emergency cases across London are missing crucial waiting time targets, new analysis has shown. Not a single one of the capital’s NHS Trusts running A&E departments hit the government’s target – to see 95% of patients within four hours – in January of this year. King George Hospital and Queens Hospital A&E departments only saw patients within four hours 74.3% of the time, which is below the English average of 77.6%. Labour Londonwide Assembly Member, Tom Copley, said the London wide figures were “the worst on record” and measures announced in this week’s budget would “barely scratch the surface” of the problem.

The government’s 95% target includes patients at A&E, specialist, and urgent care centres. However, the latest NHS data shows that in January of this year not a single hospital A&E department (excluding specialist and GP led urgent care centres) hit this target. In fact, only two trusts saw patients within 4 hours more than 85% of the time. This is the worst ever monthly performance recorded in London. King George Hospital, earmarked for closure and Queens Hospital A&E are part of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals..

Across London, patients were kept waiting for more than four hours on 55,360 occasions. This is 40% higher than January 2016, despite fewer numbers of people coming to A&E overall. In Havering and Redbridge, figures for King George Hospital and Queens Hospital patients spent more than four hours before being seen on 5,247 separate occasions, an increase of 34% since January 2016. In total, patients in London waited longer than four hours on over half a million separate occasions between January 2016 and January 2017.

Despite these pressures, there are further cuts in the new Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which are expected to leave a £4.3 billion shortfall by 2021. A&E departments at Ealing, Charing Cross and King George hospitals have been earmarked for closure, whilst there are proposals to close one of the five acute hospitals in South West London, all of which run A&E departments. Mr Copley said it “isn’t viable” to expect Trusts to meet growing pressure whilst simultaneously cutting their funding.

The worst performing trust was London North West Healthcare which saw just 50.7% of patients within the four hour target in January 2017, followed by the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at 51.2%.

Londonwide Labour Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, said

“These figures are the worst on record. Plans for further closures need to be urgently reconsidered or this situation is only going to get worse.

“The NHS, local councils and adult social care are under extreme financial pressure. But pursuing A&E and hospital closures before better alternatives are in place will not rectify the situation.

“The Budget announcements from the Chancellor on social care will barely scratch the surface in terms of the increasing need and pressure that councils are under. As for the commitment to put more GPs into A&Es, he seems to be oblivious that we are already facing a severe shortage of qualified GPs, particularly in London.

“The government’s unrelenting squeeze on the NHS must stop. Expecting Trusts to meet growing pressure whilst cutting their funding just isn’t viable. Our NHS needs to be properly funded and supported – the government needs to take action and they need to take it now.”

Ends

Notes

  • The formal government target of 95% within 4 hours applies to A&E (Type 1), specialist (Type 2) and urgent care (Type 3);
  • There were 242,382 attendances at London A&Es in January 2016, compared to 241,867 in January 2017;
  • In January 2016 there were 39,170 cases of patients waiting more than 4 hours. In January 2017 this was 55,360;
  • From January 2016 to January 2017 (inclusive) there were 530,218 occasions of patients waiting for more than 4 hours;
  • In January 2017 there were 5,247 occasions when patients were left waiting for more than four hours in King George.
  • The government’s Sustainability and Transformation Plans, and the expected funding gap for each, can be found below:

North Central STP funding gap: £876m (see p44)

North East STP funding gap: £336m (see p3)

North West STP funding gap: £1.4bn (see p4)

South East STP funding gap: £934m (see p4)

South West STP funding gap: £828m (see p43)

  • Cumulatively, this could leave a shortfall of approximately £4.3 billion by 2021;
  • More information on proposals to close Ealing and Charing Cross A&E departments are set out in the executive summary of the North West STP;
  • Proposals to close King George’s A&E department are set out on page 21 of the North East STP;
  • Proposals to close one of five acute hospitals in South West London are also set out on page 28 of the South West STP;
  • Tom Copley is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

Response to the Mayor’s Draft Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Tom Copley AM has responded to the Mayor’s Draft Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance on behalf of the Labour Group.

The response is available here:

View this document on Scribd

Future of Garden Bridge hangs in the balance despite Charity Commission ruling

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Responding to news that the Garden Bridge has been cleared of financial irregularities by the Charity Commission, Labour London Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, said:

“I’m afraid this isn’t ‘the line in the sand’ the Garden Bridge Trust is claiming. This investigation deals only with claims about the Trust’s financial irregularities. With Dame Margaret Hodge’s review yet to report, we still don’t have answers to questions about whether value for taxpayer money has been achieved. We already know from TfL’s internal and external auditors that the procurement process for the bridge lacked openness and transparency.

“This is very much a live issue, with the future of the Garden Bridge continuing to hang in the balance. Even the Garden Bridge Trust aren’t certain that the project is a going concern. We need assurances that more public cash won’t be squandered on a bridge that may never be completed. As we’ve made clear, our only chance of safeguarding against that is for the Mayor to refuse to put pen to paper on the maintenance guarantee.”

Ends

Notes

  • Following the report the chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, Mervyn Davies, said it was now possible to “draw a line in the sand about historical aspects of this project delivered by other parties’ in order to deliver the bridge”. His comments can be found here;
  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

Vast swathes of London are becoming unaffordable even to those on “good” incomes

April 2nd, 2014

We need to turn the landlord’s house into the tenant’s home

March 19th, 2014

We need Homes for London

February 3rd, 2014