LABOUR CALLS SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING TO OPPOSE POLICE CUTS

The Wandsworth Labour Group has requisitioned a special meeting of the Council to question the majority Conservative party over its response to the recent riots, and to urge councillors to oppose the police cuts being proposed by the Coalition government.

The special meeting will be held at Wandsworth Town Hall on 21 September. Wandsworth Labour Group leader, Councillor Rex Osborn said: “Wandsworth was one of the boroughs worst hit by the rioting and looting. It is clear that a shortage of police officers was a major problem in Clapham Junction when the disturbances occurred. It took 16,000 police to eventually bring order to London’s streets – and 16,000 is exactly the number of police officers this government plans to cut.

Here in Wandsworth we will lose at least five police sergeants this year alone; local police teams will be merged or moved from areas they currently patrol. “Wandsworth Council has a duty to oppose cuts in police numbers. For that we need a council meeting and the Labour Party has ensured this will take place on September 21. The police need our support, not the threat of job losses. “I, and all the Labour councillors, want to ensure that the scenes we saw at the beginning of August are never repeated in Wandsworth. This will involve asking some difficult questions, which the majority party have so far failed to answer.”

Councillor Leonie Cooper, the GLA candidate for Merton & Wandsworth and opposition speaker for Community Safety said: “The London riots proved that not only is there no room for police cuts at the current time, but also that the current force are spread too thinly. It’s shocking that Wandsworth Council continues to support cuts to police at a time when community safety is at the top of residents’ priorities.”

For more on the police cuts read:

http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/9228401.Shadow_Home_Secretary_pays_visit_to_riot_hit_Clapham/

For more on the meetings:

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/10655/council_launches_disorder_review?utm_source=Wandsworth%406&utm_campaign=dbbb527682-Wandsworth%406&utm_medium=email

Labour calls for halt to police cuts

Commenting on civil disorder this week in the borough, Wandsworth Labour Group Leader, Cllr Rex Osborn said:

“The wanton acts of looting and destruction that we saw in Clapham Junction and elsewhere are truly sickening and have no place in the borough.

Residents and business people have a right to expect that their community, their homes and their livelihoods will be protected. It is clear that on Monday night local police had insufficient officers to ensure that businesses and residents were protected, yet under London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, police numbers are being reduced. The leader of the council must now make clear that cuts to the number of police in Wandsworth are unacceptable, and lobby the Government and the Mayor for this policy to be reversed without delay”

Councillor Leonie Cooper local Greater London Assembly candidate said: “The shocking events of the last few days clearly demonstrate that Mayor Boris Johnson & the Conservatives have got it wrong when they say that London can manage with fewer police. Monday night saw Clapham Junction completely lawless with the police unable to prevent theft & criminal damage. It is pure luck that no-one was hurt.

That it has taken riots across London to get the Conservative Mayor to change his mind on cutting our London police frankly beggars belief.”