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Neil Garratt's City Hall Diary - Strikes and our alternative to ULEZ

This week an update on transport strikes, our alternative to ULEZ, and supporting the police on stop and search, but first a plea: trainee nurse Owami Davies from Essex has been missing for more than 6 weeks. She was last seen in Croydon on 7th July.
If you have any information about Owami, you can call the police on 020 8721 4622, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

“Zero Days of Strikes”
I hope you have not been caught up in the latest public transport strikes. Alas, strikes are one of the few ways our current Mayor is outdoing his predecessors: the Mayor who promised “Zero days of strikes” is now close to 100.
There were about 4 strike days per year during Mayor Boris Johnson’s 8 years, which Sadiq called “a disgrace” but in his 6 years so far Mayor Sadiq Khan is averaging about 16 strike days per year.
Back in 2016 when he was first seeking election, Sadiq promised “zero days of strikes” if elected Mayor. Back then, he said that strikes are a “failure on both sides” and blamed Boris for having bad relations with unions which caused the strikes. He claimed that he would meet unions, have good working relations between unions and City Hall, and so avoid strikes altogether. But with more strikes than both previous Mayors combined, it’s not working.
However, something occurred to me. As someone who has met the Mayor quite often, I wonder if perhaps Sadiq Khan’s manner is winding people up more than calming them down? Maybe it would help if he stopped the meetings.
“Zero strikes” Mayor approaches his 100th strike
Conservatives hit out at Sadiq Khan over failing ‘zero strikes’ pledge | Evening Standard
ULEZ alternative
The Mayor would like you to think that anyone who stands against his damaging plan to extend ULEZ to the whole of London wants children breathing dirty air. That’s not true.
Conservatives in City Hall have published a report outlining how the Mayor could spend money directly improving air quality, such as by upgrading dirty buses, instead of spending money on a spy camera network.
The key point is that upgrading commercial vehicles, such as buses, makes a far bigger difference to air quality than penalising people’s private cars. That’s because private cars are parked most of the time and a parked car has no emissions, but commercial vehicles are busy driving for most of the day. That’s true of buses as well as taxis and vans.
Backing The Police
My Assembly colleague Shaun Bailey has written in the Telegraph about stop and search: “When will Sadiq Khan admit that stop and search works? Even as London faces record knife killings, the Mayor continues to undermine a system that has a proven record of tackling crime
If you don’t have a Telegraph subscription, you should be able to read the article with this link.
Shaun, who has many years of community and youth work, writes that: “The latest figures show that the black Londoners make up around 13 per cent of our city’s population, but when it comes to the representation of victims of knife crime, that percentage shoots up to about 45 per cent, and 61 per cent of the perpetrators are black.
Stop and search is both a deterrent to carrying weapons and a means to remove those weapons from our streets, but it requires strong political support to work properly – something it certainly hasn’t received during Sadiq Khan’s time as Mayor.”
You might remember that when running to be Mayor, Sadiq Khan said he would “do everything in his power to cut stop and search”. Like his meetings with transport unions, it might be that the Mayor’s effort have made things worse.
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Kind regards,
Neil Garratt AM
London Assembly Member for Croydon & Sutton
City Hall, Kamal Chunchie Way, London, E16 1ZE
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Neil Garratt AM

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City Hall, Kamal Chunchie Way, London, E16 1ZE