Outstanding answers to June 2013 Mayor’s Question Time

Below are the outstanding answers to written questions submitted to the Mayor by Joanne in June 2013.

Use of Water Cannon
Question No: 2093 / 2013
Joanne McCartney

At Mayor’s Question Time on the 22nd May 2013 you said in answer to questioning about water cannon that “I cannot believe for one second that any Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service would dream of using water cannon on the streets of London without having the sanction of the Mayor.” However in a letter to me the following day you said “The actual use of [water cannon] would be formally at the discretion of the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.” Can you please clarify for Londoners, in the event that water cannon is authorised for London who will have the final word over its use on our streets?

Written response from the Mayor
In my letter to you on 23rd May, having noted that operational use would be at the discretion of the Commissioner, I went on to state that I could “foresee very few occasions when water cannon would be used in London and non where it would be used without my agreement.”

*

Tottenham transport links
Question No: 2099 / 2013
Joanne McCartney

At the opening of 639 building in Tottenham, you said that Tottenham is going to be the next exciting place to be in London, although I believe that it is already an exciting place to be in London. However, you also said that the area still needs good transport links, some ‘Boris’ bicycles and a regeneration scheme. Can you outline what action you are currently undertaking to improve transport links in Tottenham?

Written response from the Mayor
My officers at the GLA and TfL have been working closely with LB Haringey and local landowners and developers to produce an integrated transport plan for Tottenham that supports delivery of the wider regeneration proposals.

This includes transformation of the local road network through removal of the existing Tottenham Hale gyratory system, to be replaced with a radically different road network with much improved facilities for all road users, but particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. This work is currently under construction and is due for completion by 2014. A new bus station and public square will also be delivered at Tottenham Hale as part of this project.

On top of this TfL, is working with LB Haringey, Network Rail and Greater Anglia to develop transformational plans for Tottenham Hale station that will include an extended ticket hall and new station entrance, as well as a proposed new pedestrian link to Hale Village, which will greatly improve access to the Lea Valley and to transport services at Tottenham Hale from the east.  A planning application for these proposals is due to be submitted at the end of 2013 and construction could commence towards the end of 2014, subject to approval.  These works are funded in TfL’s Business Plan.

Alongside this, I have been pushing the Government to unlock the necessary funding to deliver major enhancements to rail services on the West Anglia Mainline that would create a new four trains per hour services from Angel Road to Stratford via Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale.  I am pleased to confirm that this funding has now been secured through a variety of contributions, including a valuable contribution of £25m from the London Growing Places Fund.  Network Rail is leading feasibility work on this project, which could be delivered in 2017.

I remain committed to securing even more transport improvements for this area and the Upper Lea Valley through further enhancements to the West Anglia Mainline Line that would enable a further two trains per hour service. Beyond this, Crossrail 2 could provide a further uplift in terms of service frequency and connectivity. TfL is currently running a public consultation on these proposals.

Finally, as announced in the recent Spending Review, the Government has, in principle, agreed to devolve part of the West Anglia rail franchise to TfL by the end of 2015. This will result in improved reliability, more security, better customer information and station refurbishments,

This comprehensive package of measures will help transform the transport infrastructure in and around Tottenham and improve connectivity to Tottenham for local residents and those wishing to invest in the area.

Planning reform in Enfield and Haringey
Question No: 2105 / 2013
Joanne McCartney

Do you share my concerns that Enfield & Haringey were not exempted from new planning laws that allow property developers to convert empty and unused office blocks into houses and flats without applying for planning permission? Both boroughs have developed planning strategies which carefully consider the mix and sites for commercial, industrial and housing use and this new government legislation rides roughshod over that work. Do you share my concern that this could reduce commercial investment in these Boroughs? What lobbying of government are you undertaking on this issue?

Written response from the Mayor
I have made clear my view that the Government’s change for permitted development rights from offices to residential is unnecessary in all of London, as the planning system was already working effectively in some boroughs in allowing redundant office space to be released for housing. Therefore, during the recent process conducted by the DCLG to identify areas suitable for exemption, I provided general support for applications for places with office markets of local significance, where these were justified in terms of CLG’s selection criteria.

The important thing now is to ensure that we are well-placed to make appropriate representations at the end of the temporary period set by Government. Officers are working up proposals for discussions with the boroughs to ensure the effect of the changes are monitored through the London Development Database to provide an evidence base for these discussions.

 

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