Local London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM threw her weight behind the Mayor of London’s budget today in a bid to support policing and other vital public services in the capital. Ms McCartney joined other Labour AMs to ensure the Mayor’s budget was passed by the London Assembly today. Conservative AMs rejected the Mayor’s budget, which will deliver £234 million for policing in the face of significant government cuts, despite calling for better police resourcing.
Since 2010, the government has slashed the Metropolitan Police budget by £850 million, with an additional £335 million in savings required across the next four years. This has led to police officer numbers falling below 30,000 for the first time in a decade. The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to deliver £234 million in funds to bolster policing in the capital.
Earlier this month, the Mayor announced £119 million of new funds diverted from business rates to protect existing police officer numbers, and £20.4 million to take further steps to tackle violence. This is in addition to the £95 million announced by City Hall in December to fund a number of policing measures including new officers, the new Violence Reduction Unit, and specialist investigators to disrupt gang violence.
Ms McCartney also used today’s meeting to reject an amendment to the budget from the GLA Conservatives. The amendment would see the scrapping of 300 jobs which are responsible for delivering affordable housing and big public health interventions such as the Violence Reduction Unit and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.
Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:
“I give the Mayor’s budget my full backing. Our city has long been subject to the reckless austerity agenda of Westminster, which has seen funding for our vital public services snatched away.
“The Government’s determination to strip as much funding from the Met and prevention services as they can risks undermining our ability to keep Londoners safe. At a time when our policing challenges are starker than ever before, City Hall is taking action to remedy the worst effects of these cuts.
“Those who voted against the Mayor’s budget today are guilty of shameful hypocrisy. We hear their warm words about the need for better policing, yet in the same breath they reject plans for an additional £234 million in police funding. They harbour a lurking disdain for public services, but it’s not shared by Londoners – and they’ll have to provide answers to the people they are meant to represent.”