Letter to Editors on Violence Reduction Unit

Dear Editor,

I welcome plans for a new Violence Reduction Unit at City Hall, particularly as we’ve seen something of this kind have real results in Glasgow.

This is a positive step forward which builds upon the stringent action the Mayor of London has already taken to clamp down on violent crime and increase the help available to the most vulnerable young Londoners.

We need to tackle the many complex causes of violent crime, such as poverty and social alienation. A public health approach, in which we bring together specialists in health, the police, and local government, will, gradually, help us to do just that.

There is no escaping the fact that the Government’s ruthless and sustained austerity measures have contributed to a rise in crime, whether through their closure of vital youth services across London or their deep cuts to the Met Police Budget.

With the rising levels of inequality that blight and fragment our communities, the Mayor is right to concede that this fresh approach will see positive results over time, but it will not change things overnight.

It is clear that the Government now need to put ideology aside and productively work with Mayor Khan to prevent more tragedies from taking place on our streets.

Yours sincerely,

Nicky Gavron AM

Londonwide Assembly Member

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My speech to the London Assembly on the rights of Assistance Dogs users [VIDEO]

On 6 September 2018 a motion about discrimination against Londoners who use guide dogs passed unanimously. I was moved to speak on the issue.

Access for Assistance Dogs for the Blind Motion – 6 September 2018:

 

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New funding announced to promote precision manufactured homes for London

  • Following recommendations set out in my report (Designed, sealed, delivered), the Mayor approves funding for a project to promote precision manufactured homes (PMH)
  • The project will provide manufactured housing design guidance and shows the Mayor’s commitment to the modernisation of construction in London
  • PMH is increasingly considered a means for London to significantly increase home building rates and contribute to tackling the housing crisis

At Mayor’s Question Time on 14th September 2017, I raised with the Mayor the issue of manufacturing homes off-site. It was most welcome then to hear the Mayor respond with a keenness to encourage precision manufacturing in London. He went on to say that he sees London as a future leader in the sector.

Since then, the Mayor has approved funding to promote precision manufactured homes, which demonstrates his commitment to this form of home-building. Moreover, it is the sort of leadership required to help galvanise the sector. The piece of work that will follow will be delivered collaboratively with industry and will create a fantastic opportunity for London to take the lead in moving construction nearer to manufacturing.

With an unprecedented skills crisis and the urgent need to deliver more homes efficiently and effectively, establishing guidance that can be used to determine the design of developments will help reshape the supply chain and drive a better level of consistency and scale in the components and assemblies that are used in new buildings.

The letter from the Mayor, below, confirming the approval of the funding, highlights that the project will be underway imminently.

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This letter mentions a copy of ‘the Assistant Director’s Decision approving the project funding’. This can be viewed here.

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Nicky Gavron AM, Chair of the London Assembly Planning Committee visits Pitfield Street development site for her rapporteurship on off-site manufactured homes in London. The report ‘Designed, sealed, delivered: The contribution of offsite manufactured homes to solving London’s housing crisis’ is available at www.london.gov.uk/assembly.

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Government’s national planning proposals and their impact on delivering homes for London (MQT, 22 March 2018)

At the 22 March 2018 questions to the Mayor of London, I asked Sadiq Khan about Government proposals to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and their impact on delivering the homes that London needs.

Here is the response from the Mayor:

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Building regulations post-Grenfell

The London Assembly Housing Committee recently met to investigate the issues for social housing post-Grenfell. There, I asked whether strategic changes are needed in the quality, design and standards for future homes.

It has been a long-held concern of mine that building regulations are not up to the standards required to provide us with safe and sustainable buildings. The spotlight is rightly shining on the standard of new housing, particularly when it comes to tower blocks.

What is even more alarming is the very patchy system of inspection. Privatisation of monitoring and inspection has opened a very wide door, allowing bad practice to seep into the sector. Pat Hayes, Managing Director at Be First, whilst answering a question on this issue, replied: “major house builders have a single contractor, often with a single approved inspector, for the whole country and they do it all from their desk in Cardiff in the main. That is a concern”. It seems to me as though this opens up the possibility of a spectrum of behaviour “from seduction to corruption”.

Watch the below video where I question Pat Hayes, an experienced practitioner in delivering new-build homes.

This video is a short section taken from the Assembly Housing Committee’s investigation into strategic issues for social housing post-Grenfell. The full webcast of the committee can be viewed here.

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Behind the scenes look at the first Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) of 2018

A welcome look behind the scenes at the first Mayor’s Question Time of 2018.

As part of our role as Assembly Members we hold the Mayor and representatives of other bodies to account. One of the ways we achieve this is at Mayor’s Question Time (MQT).

At the 18 January 2018 MQT, we discussed topics ranging from knife crime, hate crime, and clean air. My questions to the Mayor were on ‘community involvement’ as described in the Mayor’s new draft London Plan.

Here is a behind the scenes look at this first MQT of 2018.

 

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Mayor of London wants London to become a leader in offsite manufacturing

At Mayor’s Question Time on 14th September, I raised the issue of off site manufacturing with the Mayor, who said he was very keen to encourage offsite manufacturing in London and sees London as a future leader in the sector.

My report on offsite manufacturing potential to contribute to solving London’s housing crisis can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/london_assembly_osm_report_0817.pdf

 

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