London Living Wage rise set to benefit Enfield and Haringey residents

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a rise in the London Living Wage to £10.20 an hour. Joanne McCartney AM, who is the Mayor’s representative on the Living Wage Commission, has welcomed this decision as it will give a boost to hard working families across London, including in Enfield and Haringey.

The London Living Wage, which is set by the Living Wage Foundation and is separate to the Government’s National Living Wage will increase from £9.75 an hour to £10.20 an hour for workers over 25.

There has also been an increase in the number of London employers signed up to the scheme, with 1,502 now taking part. This is an increase of 470 in London in the past year.

The new rate was announced at an event at Lush’s headquarters in Central London where the headteacher of The Willow Primary School, Haringey spoke about the benefits of being a Living Wage Employer.

Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“As a Living Wage Commissioner, I am pleased with today’s announcement. Too many families are struggling with low pay and this will be welcome relief for many families across Enfield and Haringey.

“I hope that more employers across my constituency can pay their staff the London Living Wage so we can continue to fight in-work poverty. It is only right that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

“It is also good for business too as they stand a better chance of succeeding when employees feel valued and fairly rewarded.”

Dawn Ferdinand, Headteacher of The Willow Primary School, Haringey said:

“Being a Living Wage accredited employer has meant a lot to my school community.  It means that everyone who works for The Willow Primary School and Broadwaters Children’s Centre gets a fair hourly pay for their hard work.

“As the Headteacher of the school, I am proud that staff are valued for their contribution; I am such a strong advocate of the Living Wage because I see the difference it makes to my school staff and the impact it could have on those families struggling to make ends meet every day.”

Local employers urged to put mental health on their agenda

Today on the 25th World Mental Health Day, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, is calling on businesses to put mental health on their agenda. The theme of this year’s awareness event, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is workplace wellbeing. Ms McCartney urged employers to take action to “tackle the culture of silence that all too often surrounds mental illness.”

To mark World Mental Health Day, the mental health campaign charity, Time to Change, is asking organisations to take extra steps to ensure employees experiencing mental illness are properly supported. Ms McCartney said with local people spending a significant amount of their time in the workplace “it’s a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.”

Earlier this year the Mayor of London launched his Thrive LDN campaign, a city-wide initiative designed to improve mental health by supporting Londoners, and especially young Londoners, to lead healthier, happier lives. Bringing together experts from public and private organisations, the campaign aims to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination and to make London a zero-suicide city.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“Although there have been positive strides forward in recent years, there is still a long way to go in the fight for equality between mental health and physical health.

“With a significant proportion of our lives spent in the workplace it is a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.

“I hope local employers will seize the opportunity World Mental Health Day provides to tackle the culture of silence that all too often still surrounds mental illness.”

Domestic abusers should be put on a register

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, has supported a motion of the Assembly calling for a register of domestic abusers. This follows a report into domestic abuse in the capital recently launched by Len Duvall, Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group. The report said tougher checks on perpetrators were needed in order to protect survivors and prevent reoffending. In the year to June 2017, there were nearly 150,000 incidents of domestic abuse in the capital, and 5955 incidents in Enfield and 5463 in Haringey. Yet just over 400 serial cross border offenders are kept on a list for monitoring and tracking by the Metropolitan Police. Ms McCartney said a register could provide a “vital step change” in the way repeat offences are prevented in London.

The number of domestic abuse victims in London has risen from 62,546 in 2014 to 71,926 in 2016, equating to a 15% increase. Domestic abuse now accounts for almost 1 in 10 offences in the capital. In Enfield & Haringey there were 11,418 incidents in the year to June 2017. Whilst changes to legislation in recent years have sought to take more stringent action against perpetrators, Ms McCartney said a more streamlined approach was called for.

Since 2014 the government have brought in Domestic Violence Protection Orders, which ban domestic abusers from returning to a residence and having contact with the victim for 28 days. Criminal Behaviour Orders were brought in at the same time, and, in addition to restraining orders, can also be used to prevent perpetrators from contacting or approaching their victims. 2014 also saw the introduction of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – commonly known as Clare’s Law after Clare Wood, a woman murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2009. The disclosure scheme gives individuals the ‘Right to Ask’ about whether a new or existing partner has a violent history; whilst the ‘Right to Know’ element means police can chose to proactively disclose such information without a request. In December 2015, a coercive and controlling behaviour offence came into force, which means such behaviour that occurs between current and former partners or family members can lead to prosecution – and a maximum 5 year sentence – even if it falls short of physical violence.

The Met has also placed a specialised focus on tackling domestic abuse. Operation Dauntless+ involves the tracking of over 400 serial cross-border domestic abuse offenders, each of whom are subject to consideration for a ‘Right to Know’ disclosure.

Yet Ms McCartney says the provisions are “too patchy”. With estimates that 4 in 10 survivors of domestic abuse are repeat victims, Ms McCartney said she was backing calls for more stringent measures to prevent repeat offences. Mr Duvall’s report into domestic abuse in the capital urges the government to introduce a register, equivalent to that used for sexual offenders, to allow the police to hold information on perpetrators and better protect survivors. The register would put the onus on offenders to give the police their personal details, including name and address, and to update with any changes.

Other recommendations set out in the report call on the Mayor of London to work with the Met to re-evaluate the threshold for monitoring serial domestic abuse offenders and to continue to lobby the government for better resources for tackling domestic abuse and other crimes.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“I was pleased to back Labour’s motion supporting his report. Across London, we’re seeing domestic abuse increasing and we need to get serious about how we protect people from these vile acts.

“I recognise that the government have improved the law to allow for tougher action against abusers, but the provision is too patchy and reoffending remains too high.

“It’s time to get tough. We need to send a clear message to anyone committing domestic abuse that the police have them on their radar. I’m backing calls for a register of domestic abusers because I believe it could provide a vital step change in the way we prevent reoffending and protect people from these devastating crimes.”

Joanne Welcomes School Air Quality Audit

Welcoming the announcement that Lordship Lane Primary School, Holy Trinity CofE Primary School and Welbourne Primary School in Haringey and Bowes Primary School and Meridian Angel Primary School in Enfield will be included in the Mayor of London’s air quality audit, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“There is a lot of evidence showing that air quality can have a long-term detrimental impact on the health of our children. It’s great to see that the Mayor is taking genuine steps to tackle the impact of toxic air on children in Enfield & Haringey, and I hope this audit is just the start.

“I welcome further measures taken by the Mayor to clean up the capital’s air, including the introduction of the T-charge and plans to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. We now need the government to follow his lead and take steps to tackle London’s toxic air, not least by introducing a new Clean Air Act and a diesel scrappage scheme.”

Great Northern Services could be handed to TfL by 2018

London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey, Joanne McCartney, has called on the Government to hand over the running of the Great Northern Metro services to Transport for London (TfL).

A new independent report into the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise by Chris Gibb, a non-executive director of Network Rail, states that the Government could transfer the Great Northern Metro services, which run out of Moorgate, to TfL. This includes services which run through Enfield & Haringey.

Mr Gibb’s proposal states that it would reduce the risk to the current train operator, GTR, who are also responsible for Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express and other Great Northern trains. The report states that this could happen as soon as 2018.

Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“I agree with Chris Gibb that there is an opportunity to hand these services to TfL. The Great Northern line serves as a vital commuter transport link for my constituents and services and capacity can be improved if Transport for London is in control. As such, I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, and asked him to seriously consider Mr Gibb’s proposal.

“TfL have already massively improved their existing services, including the lines out of Liverpool Street which also serve my constituency. They have proved that they can absorb more responsibility and deliver a better journey for passengers. I am sure that the Secretary of State will also want the best service possible for my constituents”.