Boris – The Do Nothing Mayor

Boris walks away from angry residents in Clapham Junction after the riots last summer….



Cuts to police funding has led to severe under-staffing amongst Wandsworth’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The Tory-led Government’s 20 per cent cuts to policing go too far too fast and are already having a damaging impact on police forces here in Wandsworth, and across the country. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has estimated that these front-loaded cuts will lead to the loss of over 16,000 police officers over the next 4 years.

Wandsworth Labour councillors are concerned by the resultant lack of neighbourhood policing, and the effect this will have on local neighbourhood safety. Despite the duty for Safer Neighbourhood Teams to be represented by a minimum team of 6 for an average ward – comprising of 1 Sergeant, 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs – a majority in Wandsworth fall well short of this level.

Cuts to the police have meant that wards like Tooting are represented by only 2 police officers, and no PCSOs – despite the fact Tooting presents higher crime rates when compared to other areas with comparatively better police representation. The stretch on local policing is exacerbated by the fact that many personnel are forced to serve two neighbourhoods concurrently. According to police reports, this affects as many as 10 wards.

Cllr Leonie Cooper London Assembly candidate for Merton and Wandsworth said, “As Mayor, Boris Johnson has completely failed to stand up for Londoners and police numbers have plummeted. Even worse than Tooting, Furzedown ward only has 1 officer – the Sergeant. This is a disgrace. In May, Labour will reverse the Tory Mayor’s cuts to community policing, supporting all Safer Neighbourhood Teams across London. This would reverse this worrying shortage in Wandsworth, and help keep our streets safe.”

The Facts:

  • Boris Johnson has cut 1,700 police officers across London during the last 2 years.
  • More than 10,000 police officers in England and Wales are to be cut over the next two years.
  • The number of police dealing with 999 emergencies has fallen by more than 5,000 since the last general election.
  • Now, after years of declining crime rates under Labour, the latest British Crime Survey figures showed personal crime – including theft, robbery and violence – has gone up by 11% since last year, the steepest rise for more than a decade.


Labour’s GLA Candidate Turns The Tories Over

GLA candidate Cllr. Leonie Cooper turned the tables on the Tories during a live debate at Roehampton University between local politicians about who should be elected as London’s next Mayor in May.

The MP for Battersea, Jane Ellison (CON) spoke on behalf of the ‘Back Boris’ campaign, whilst local Councillor and candidate for the London Assembly, Leonie Cooper (LAB), put the case for the ‘Ken for London’ team.

Jane Ellison took the floor first and offered a personal touch, stating that both she and Boris have known each other since University. “Boris has been Boris for as long as I can remember,” she said. She went on to state that she believes that the Mayor has put the interests of his city ahead of his political party, that he has to see the sense in keeping the major banks within London: concluding with the tagline: “London needs a Mayor who believes that this city’s best days are ahead of it, not behind it”.

Councillor Cooper then spoke about Ken Livingstone’s achievements when in office, his proposals for changes in policy, and how these might benefit students and others on low income, before finishing with the challenge, “If you want to have an approach that is fair for all Londoners, you need to be voting for Ken Livingstone”.

Students cross-questioned both speakers about their candidates’ policies on transport, affordable housing, and, of course, Higher Education. There was even a debate sparked around the question of why the city needs a Mayor at all.

But the biggest surprise of the session was the dramatic change in students’ voting preferences after hearing the debate. Anonymous electronic voters used before and after the session showed that the percentage of students who would vote for Ken Livingstone jumped from 17% to 54%. Most of these ‘swing’ voters had previously been committed to voting for another candidate altogether, or didn’t know which way they would vote. The percentage of those who said they would vote for Boris Johnson would be their pick declined slightly from 38% to 31%.


Boris on Holiday (again) as Tube Fares Soar

Leonie Cooper At Tooting Broadway

Londoners returning to work this week encountered “Fare Deal” activists at transport hubs across the capital. In Tooting GLA Candidate Leonie Cooper joined Labour Councillors and party members, whilst Labour Councillors and supporters leafleted at Clapham Junction.  Boris’s latest hikes came into effect during  his continuing absence on holiday.

A monthly travelcard covering zones 1 to 6 has gone up from £193.60 to £205.10, and an annual one from £2,016 to £2,136. A single bus fare is up from £1.30 to £1.35. Ken Livingstone has pledged a 7% cut in October should he win in May.

This would apply to the new package, not the 2011 one. Were such a reduction made exactly and evenly across the board, that zone 1 to 6 monthly travelcard would come back down from £205.10 to £190.74, and the annual one from £2,136 to £1,986.48.

As well as reversing the 2012 hikes they’d undercut the 2011 package by small amounts. Ken has made a specific pledge on the single bus fare, saying it would come down to £1.20. It was 90 pence when Boris came to power four years ago.

Read more here:


Labour Wins Cross-Party Agreement On London Police Funding

Wandsworth Tories  joined with the Labour Group at a Special Council meeting last week to ask the Mayor of London and the Government to look again at police funding for London. The following motion was agreed by both parties:

“This Council notes:-

(a) the successful implementation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams across Wandsworth;

 (b) that Police numbers have been the subject of much political debate, with both the majority party and the minority party supporting full strength Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and adequate Metropolitan Police being allocated to the Borough;

 (c) the Metropolitan Police’s settlement under the Comprehensive Spending Review was very tight thanks to the financial conditions in response to which the former Commissioner was forced to suspend recruitment;

(d) that on the night of 8th August 2011 there were insufficient officers stationed in the Borough to maintain order, leading to uncontrolled crime and disorder for several hours in the Clapham Junction area, and further notes that any further reduction in police numbers will give comfort to criminals, and reduce local ability to cope with any further disturbances;

(e) that in what was a rapidly changing situation with disorders across the entire capital, the Metropolitan Police Service took difficult operational decisions and, when they were able to, deployed additional resources to restore order across the Borough; and

(f) that although Police numbers are important there are many other factors that are also important – for example, numbers of officers trained to appropriate standards to cope with widespread public disorder, the accuracy of intelligence and effective managerial deployment of a finite resource;

This Council therefore:-

(i) deplores the widespread criminality of 8th August, and supports the Police and the criminal justice agencies in ensuring swift and appropriate punishment;

 (ii) calls on the Mayor of London to rethink the proposals for reduction in the Metropolitan Police budget, and supports the Mayor of London in asking the Government relook at the issue of Police numbers, but recognises the Government would need to redirect spending from elsewhere to support the greater level of need in the capital;

 iii) calls for more local Police to receive training in dealing with riots and street disorder, to ensure the events of the 8th August are not repeated, and that law-abiding local citizens and businesses can remain safe; and

iv) commits itself to an energetic and methodical approach to rebuilding in this post disorder period in order that business and local residents are fully supported , and the statutory agencies reflect , learn and ensure that their policies and programmes address both the short and long-term implications of the disorder.”

Tooting Turns Out For Ken

It was standing room only at a packed public meeting with Ken Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for the 2012 London Mayoral election. After a day touring Wandsworth, from Putney High Street to Clapham Junction and Battersea, Ken took questions and ideas from an audience of hundreds at Holy Trinity Church in Tooting.

Amongst the subjects discussed were the economy, transport, health, crime, policing and education. Sadiq Khan MP and Leonie Cooper Labour’s GLA Candidate for Wandsworth and Merton also spoke at the meeting, which closed with a resounding ‘no’ to Boris Johnson’s support for tax cuts for the richest 2% of Londoners.

Boris Johnson heckled in riot-hit Clapham Junction – video

The mayor of London mayor ignores the hecklers as he speaks to an angry public clearing up after Monday night’s riots.

Boris Johnson — who was forced to return from holiday early by the riots — was visiting Clapham Junction, scene of some of the worst unrest on Monday. But he came under severe criticism from local residents, complaining that they hadn’t had enough protection from the police.