Haringey Awarded £62m to deliver 848 Council Homes

In response to the Mayor’s announcement that Haringey have been awarded £62,858,000 from his Building Council Homes for Londoners Programme, to deliver 848 council homes, local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“This is great news. With too many local families priced out of the housing market and stuck in temporary accommodation, it has always been of the utmost priority that we get to grips with the housing crisis as a matter of urgency.

“The Government have sat on their hands when it comes to council homebuilding, which fell flat during the 1990s.

“However, we now have an opportunity with this funding to kickstart an ambitious new building programme and provide the next generation of homes for social rent that our community desperately needs.

”This could be boosted further if the Government provides the extra £2 billion of funding needed per year to cover the full-scale of the demand for all types of genuinely affordable housing in London”.

We must stamp out racist hate crime in Enfield & Haringey

To mark National Hate Crime Week, local London Assembly Member,Joanne McCartney AM, has called for the community to “come together to stamp out racially motivated hate crime”. She is also encouraging Londoners to “stand firm” against a potential spike in hate crime incidents in the event that the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union in 2019.

There were 375 racist hate crime offences reported in Enfield and 606 in Haringey between September 2017 and August 2018, according to the latest figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Hate Crime Dashboard.  These figures represent a 10% decrease in Enfield and a 3% drop in offences in Haringey when compared to the same period in the year before.

In London, the number of racist hate crimes dropped by 5.4% from the previous year to 15,122 between September 2017 and August 2018.

However, in July, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), raised concerns in a report that there could be a potential spike in hate crime in 2019 when the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union.

In the wake of the EU Referendum result in June 2016, the Mayor of London pledged a “zero tolerance approach to hate crime”. Following this, in April 2017, the Metropolitan Police established a dedicated hate crime unit to tackle online incidents of abuse.

The Metropolitan Police Business Plan 2018/2021, has also revealed plans for newly established Basic Command Units across London to undertake a self-audit of hate crime reports. The purpose of this audit will be to identify improvements that local police forces could make to the support they provide to victims of hate crime.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“It is disgraceful that people in our community have been targeted with racist abuse. In Enfield & Haringey, our diversity has always been our strength, and we are proud to welcome and celebrate people from all backgrounds and cultures.

“It takes a huge amount of courage for victims of racist abuse to come forward, but I would strongly urge anyone on the receiving end of any form of hate crime to report it. It is only by working closely with the police that we will be able to stamp it out and ensure victims are given the support they need.

“We are fortunate to live in a city that is defined by its diversity and has always embraced people from around the world. In these uncertain political times and with the culminating tensions surrounding Brexit, it is more important than ever that, as Londoners, we stand firm against any attempts made to divide us”.

Early Years programme launched to boost life chances of capital’s kids

Childcare providers in Enfield have been urged to sign-up to the Mayor’s new Healthy Early Years London awards programme, by local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM.

The programme, which was launched by the Mayor of London today, is designed to help children whose early years development has been placed at a disadvantage, due to the economic and health inequalities that exist in the capital.

Nurseries, children’s centres, playgroups and childminders participating in the scheme will work closely with children and their families to encourage healthy eating, active lifestyles, regular reading habits and the development of crucial life skills.

Childcare providers are eligible to receive awards ranging from ‘first steps, bronze, silver and gold’, as they proceed through each level of the programme.

Ms McCartney AM attended the launch of the programme at Acacia pre-school and children’s centre in Merton.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“All children deserve the best possible start in life to ensure they are ready and fully equipped for the world of education and beyond. Sadly, many are being deprived of this due to the stark economic and health inequalities that exist in our capital.

“It is incredibly important that we invest in the social and emotional wellbeing, and health, of our children from a young age to ensure that the next generation of Londoners grow up to have equal access to all the opportunities that the capital has to offer.

“This is why I am urging local childcare providers to sign-up to this programme”.

Pause Universal Credit roll out in Haringey

Universal Credit will be rolled out for some new claimants in Haringey this month, but fresh calls have been made to pause the process. This comes after a leading charity warned that moving more people onto Universal Credit could trigger a significant increase in foodbank use. Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, warned that there was a “growing abundance of proof that Universal Credit will force some families to choose between feeding their children and keeping a roof over their heads.”

New claimants accessing Tottenham and Wood Green Jobcentres in Haringey will be moved onto Universal Credit this month. However, in a report published on Friday (5th October), the Trussell Trust said benefit transitions, likely caused by the roll out of Universal Credit, were accounting for more foodbank referrals. According to the Trust, waiting for the first payment, and the transition to a new system, were pushing more people into poverty.

Last November, the Government reduced waiting times for Universal Credit from six to five weeks. However, in August, the Mayor of London joined calls to pause its roll out, saying that “cuts to funding, IT problems, late payments and a lack of support in navigating the complex claim process has seen significant hardship for many Londoners, pushing some to the brink of homelessness.”

More than 135,000 Londoners are claiming Universal Credit. However, it is expected that funding cuts to Universal Credit will see a £250m a year decrease for claimants in the capital by 2020/21.

Universal Credit combines six benefits, including housing benefit and working tax credits, into one payment. Ms McCartney said that whilst she did not disagree with the principle of simplifying the system, the implementation of Universal Credit isn’t working, and it “risks doing more harm than good”.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“The evidence is stacking up that the Government’s punitive welfare changes are pushing more and more Londoners into the cold grip of destitution. The implementation of Universal Credit clearly isn’t working and it risks doing more harm than good.

“This report is the latest in a growing abundance of proof that Universal Credit will force some families to choose between feeding their children and keeping a roof over their heads. That’s a cruel position to put people in.

“Whilst it’s fantastic we have organisations like the Trussell Trust providing a vital safety net for vulnerable people, they shouldn’t have to exist in the first place. With the Prime Minister finally pledging an end to austerity, pausing the roll out of Universal Credit would be an indication she is serious about actually delivering on that promise.”

Fast food companies should pay London Living Wage

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, is supporting fast food workers in Enfield & Haringey in their efforts to call for a living wage and strengthened rights.

Today, hospitality and restaurant staff of McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and Wetherspoons, along with couriers for Uber Eats and Deliveroo, will be coming together across the capital to protest against the injustices faced by fast food workers.

Those participating in the strike are calling for a living wage, an end to precarious contracts and union recognition. The strike action is being supported by unions such as the BFAWU, Unite, GMB and the IWGB.

Since coming into office, the Mayor of London has championed a London Living Wage, which he increased to £10.20 per hour last year. Ahead of the next London Living Wage rise which will be announced on 5th November, over 1,500 employers in the capital have now signed up to the scheme.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“It is disgraceful that Londoners who are employed by hugely profitable companies such as McDonalds and Uber, are not paid a living wage or given a proper contract.

“It is high-time that these employers listen to the repeated calls from the Mayor of London, and their own workers, to adopt the London Living Wage.

“Sadly, thousands of workers in the capital are being left in limbo by their employers’ stubborn refusal to guarantee basic rights in the workplace”.