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  • Article: Oct 27, 2014

    Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on today's launch of a consultation by the Mayor and Transport for London on an Ultra Low Emission Zone for London said:

    "An Ultra Low Emission Zone is much needed and something we have long supported. Real action is needed to end the thousands of early deaths caused by air pollution every year.

  • Article: Oct 21, 2014

    The long term future of Oxford Street as an international shopping centre will only be secured if it moves towards permanent pedestrianisation, says a new report out today by Stephen Knight, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson. The report argues that Oxford Street will fall further behind other shopping centres, both in the UK and around the world, unless serious problems with congestion, pollution and safety are finally resolved.

  • Article: Oct 15, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the recommendation today by the London Health Commission that Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and 25,000 acres of parks in the capital should go smoke free said:

    "Huge changes have taken place in public attitudes towards smoking and it is important that this continues. It is now hard to even imagine that 30 years ago smoking was not only permitted on London Underground trains but was also routine in most offices.

  • Councillor Jack Cohen
    Article: Oct 9, 2014
    By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    WHAT confidential papers are Barnet councillors allowed to see?

    Well, according to Barnet Council, only those when the councillors "need to know". Even then councillors will be only granted access under strict rules.

    The law is quite clear, in my opinion - councillors in many cases do have a right to know and do not have to jump through hoops to prove their need.

    Here in Barnet it is being proposed that councillors will, if they prove they need to read confidential information, be summoned to North London Business Park where, under threat of I don't know what and under the close supervision of a very senior officer, be permitted to read but not copy or take away the document in question.

    Is this the way to run the council?

    Perhaps, if the borough alchemist had discovered the secret of turning metal into gold, then there might be a case for secrecy, but other than that there should be no secrets between officers and councillors.

    I strongly believe that councillors should be intrusive, should be checking up and should be holding officers to account.

    I said as much at a council meeting. Many councillors came up to me afterwards and confessed they agreed.

  • Article: Oct 2, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson, commenting on the announcement that funding has been confirmed to install step free access at Seven Kings, Maryland, Manor Park and Hanwell stations ahead of Crossrail fully opening in 2019 - meaning all Crossrail stations within London will be step free - said:

  • Article: Sep 26, 2014

    Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the decision by Addison Lee founder John Griffin to fund the first 500 schools-based air quality sensors to monitor air quality through the 'AirSensa' project said:

    "John Griffin's generous funding of this scheme is of course very welcome, but it is sad state of affairs when basic health checks for London's school children are reliant on funding from owners of a minicab firm.

  • Article: Sep 26, 2014

    On the day that tickets for London's New Year's Eve firework display go on sale Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

    "It was only last week that it was suddenly announced that the Mayor planned to scale down the New Year's Eve firework display to just 100,000 people who could afford to pay £10 for tickets, including children.

    "The fact that tickets are going on sale today shows that a decision was made many months ago, yet the details of the contract have not come under any scrutiny at all. Sadly decisions made behind closed doors often end up with disastrous consequences.

    "If the real aim was to manage crowds and protect public safety the far better option would have been to have further sponsored firework displays along the Thames, or in other locations across London.

    "Instead the Mayor is foolishly making the New Year's Eve firework display an exclusive event and providing massive opportunities to ticket touts. I also fear that far from protecting public safety there will be serious policing issues just outside the 'pay zone'.

    "The Mayor's New Year Eve fireworks plans expose his total lack of ambition for London. It is possible to have New Year's Eve fireworks' displays in central London which are free, safe and accessible for everyone."

  • Article: Sep 19, 2014

    A Transport for London consultation on new river crossings in east London, which closes this week, is far too centred around motorists and completely overlooks the need for significant improvements in public transport in south east London, is the key message made by Caroline Pidgeon AM, in the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group's consultation response.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2014

    The Mayor of London has promised to write to all hospitals across London to ensure that anonymous data about violent incidents is shared with the police to ensure there is effective action to tackle knife and other violent crime hot spots, following questioning by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group. The Mayor has also agreed, if it is necessary, to call a summit at City Hall to ensure that the full adoption of the crime prevention model.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor's proposals to introduce a £10 charge to view this year's New Year's Eve fireworks said:

    "London's New Year Eve fireworks showcases the capital to the world and we should delight in its growing popularity which mirrors the growing popularity of London as a place to visit.

  • Article: Sep 15, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, speaking ahead of the rollout of contactless payment ('wave and pay') to Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London, from tomorrow (Tueday 16th September) said:

    "Providing an additional form of payment for passengers is welcome, as long as it is nothing more than an additional form of payment and people are not pushed into having to use it.

  • Article: Sep 10, 2014

    Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor's comments made at today's House of Commons environment audit committee on the issue of air pollution said:

    "While the Mayor of London is right to call for action by central government to help motorists switch away from diesel vehicles such a call for action should not deflect attention from the Mayor's own poor record, which has been quite frankly appalling in tackling air pollution in London.

  • Article: Sep 8, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on today's statement by the Mayor that Transport for London fares will be increased on average by inflation next year said:

    "This announcement will be welcomed by passengers. Inflation busting fares would have been a bitter blow for most Londoners who have often seen freezes in their wages for the last few years.

  • Article: Aug 19, 2014

    Blind and partially sighted people in London will have to wait until March 2016 until every pedestrian crossing that is controlled by the Mayor of London finally meets long standing national safety standards to assist them in safely crossing the road.

    Transport for London (which is chaired by the Mayor of London) recently confirmed to Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, that they were totally content to wait until March 2016 until every pedestrian crossing finally meets minimum safety standards first advocated by the Department of Transport as long ago as 1991.

  • Article: Aug 19, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson, commenting on the publication today of July's inflation rate, which is used as the benchmark for 2015 Transport for London fares said:

    "The fall in inflation last month is obviously welcome however a rise in TfL fares by inflation plus 1 per cent cannot be justified next year.

  • Cllr Jack Cohen being interviewed by the BBC
    Article: Aug 14, 2014
    By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    THE area planning sub-committees are finally up and running. Actually, I discovered they are no longer subcommittees, but committees in their own right.

    Four years or so ago the Tory administration disbanded the three parliamentary constituency-based area planning subcommittees. These were replaced by two subcommittees - east and west.

    Following the debacle at the annual council meeting, it was discovered that the east and west subcommittees were unlawfully constituted, so at the last council meeting we went back to the three committees.

    This, of course, begs the question, if for all that time the planning subcommittees were basically acting ultra vires, what is the situation with all the decisions made? The lawyers can worry about that.

    The first meeting of the Finchley and Golders Green planning committee got under way early at 6pm, such was the backlog. Committee room three was standing room only.

    The first application was refused contrary to officers' recommendation, by one vote to none. Yes, only one councillor actually voted.

    It did get a bit better, but the committee again voted to reject a number of applications which the officers were recommending for approval.

    Even more astonishingly, the committee approved two applications the officers recommended for refusal.

    Had members taken leave of their senses, or, for once, were we actually listening to residents more and doing what we were elected to do?

    I suspect normal service will be resumed by the time we get to the next area planning committee.

  • Article: Aug 6, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the launch today of Dr Gerard Lyons' report, titled "The Europe Report - A win-win situation" said:

    "When has a report launch about Europe had anything less to do with Europe?

    "This taxpayer funded report should have been launched many months ago and would have played a useful contribution in the public debate running up to the European Elections. Instead this report has been used by the Mayor as a blatant cover to promote his own career ambitions. He is putting his own future before that of Londoners he has been elected to serve.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2014

    Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor's proposals to introduce a £10 surcharge for diesel vehicles to enter into central London as part of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone said:

    "This is simply a backward step. Only last year the Mayor's 2020 Vision stated that his plan for an Ultra Low Emission Zone would restrict central London only to those vehicles which have zero or near-zero tailpipe emissions."

  • Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and policing spokesperson, commenting on today's report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on how the Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with budget pressures said:

    "The overall judgment given to the Met Police Service's record so far is encouraging, however we cannot hide away from the fact that severe pressures will face the Met, starting from 2016.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2014

    New figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, have revealed the Metropolitan Police Service are subsidising gun owners by millions of pounds each year.

    Last year over £3 million was spent by the Met in issuing gun licences, and since 2008 the total cost to the Met has been in excess of £20 million. Yet with the annual cost for a gun licence being just £10 (£50 for a five year licence) the amount raised by the licence fees is now just a quarter of the real bill facing the Met in carrying out vital checks before issuing gun licences.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson commenting on the highly critical KPMG report on the collapse of the Bombardier signalling contract which has just been published said:

    "It is staggering that TfL simply accepted at face value significant claims made by Bombardier before they awarded such a major contract. Due to a lack of research and basic enquiries about their actual record TfL signed up with a company that had no track record in London and little chance of being able to deliver the new signalling on some of the oldest and most complex Tube lines in the world."

  • Article: Jul 11, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the latest Airports Commission's inner Thames estuary studies, revealing significantly higher estimated costs for train and road links to the proposed airport than previously suggested by the Mayor said:

    "These latest reports are a potential death blow to the Mayor's dream of creating a massive airport located in the Thames estuary.

  • Article: Jul 7, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson, commenting on the awarding of £53 million in fines to Network Rail due to its poor punctuality record said:

    "These fines will be considered by most train passengers as long overdue. Hopefully they will force Network Rail to ensure real improvements take place in the punctuality of rail services.

  • Article: Jul 3, 2014

    The Mayor of London has accepted that real action is needed to better safeguard children who go missing from the care of local authorities in response to questions put to him by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

    Earlier this year Caroline Pidgeon published a report Looked After Children: Missing From Care, based on freedom of information requests made to every London Borough. Her report revealed that across London 931 looked after children went missing from the care of London Boroughs in 2012 and 2013 for at least 24 hours.

  • Article: Jun 20, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on Transport for London's plans to make it easier for customers to get a refund for a delayed tube, DLR or London Overground journey said:

    "For far too long very few passengers have actually received the compensation they are entitled to. Millions of passengers have simply missed out because the process has been far too complicated and long winded.

  • Councillor Jack Cohen
    Article: Jun 20, 2014
    By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    EVERY vote counts - as proved by the fact that I was re-elected by nine votes. I am disappointed that my two colleagues in Childs Hill were not successful, though.

    Clearly, we suffered on account of the unpopularity of our national party. I now have to adjust to being the sole Liberal Democrat on Barnet Council.

    Curiously, the only Lib Dem councillors on Brent and Camden councils both also represent wards which cover Cricklewood. I am back on the area planning subcommittee - and that's about it.

    Unless there is a major upset at the upcoming Colindale ward election, the Conservatives will have an overall majority of one. I suspect my vote is going to make a difference sooner or later.

    Mind you, the annual council meeting made me wonder whether it is all worthwhile. I have never seen such a shambles of a meeting, or such crass behaviour by the Conservatives.

    Why local politics have to be so tribal is beyond me. So for my part I intend to do what I was elected to do, to put the interest of the residents first.

    I am heartened by the good wishes of so many local people - and no sooner had the votes been counted than my email box was buzzing with all the usual issues that local people are concerned about.

    In a way I am glad I am not tied down so much any more to committee meetings and all the petty politicking that goes with it. I'll leave that to the Tories and Labour.

  • Article: Jun 11, 2014

    Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor's agreement to his request at today's Mayor's Question Time to put air pollution alerts on the www.london.gov.uk website said:

    "Air pollution causes the premature death of an estimated 4,250 Londoners each year and the Mayor has a clear legal duty to improve public health in London. Yet until today he had repeatedly refused to issue air pollution information to Londoners. His agreement today to start doing so is therefore a very significant step that shows he is at last taking some responsibility for the problem.

  • Article: Jun 10, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and deputy chair of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, commenting on the decision by the Mayor of London to proceed with purchasing water cannon said:

    "There is no evidence at all to defend the provision of water cannon in London. After three evidence hearings at City Hall the case against the use of water cannon was compelling.

  • Article: May 29, 2014

    £60 million of the public's money is now being held in a cash pile by TfL due to a growing number of Oyster cards that have not even been used for at least one year.

    The huge cash pile is due to the soaring levels of money that Transport for London (TfL) generate from people obtaining Oyster cards that are used just once, or very rarely.

  • Article: May 27, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokersperson, commenting on the publication today of 2013 figures measuring the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured in London said:

    "Of course this fall in serious injuries in 2013 compared to 2012 is welcome, but in reality these figures provide absolutely no grounds for complacency.

  • Document: May 5, 2014
    154.15 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    The Liberal Democrats' manifesto for Barnet Council, 2014

  • Cllr Jack Cohen being interviewed by the BBC
    Article: May 5, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have launched our manifesto for the Barnet Council elections on 22 May.

    Launching the manifesto, Cllr Jack Cohen, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Barnet Council, said:

    "The Conservatives have become tired and jaded and contemptuous of local residents. This is reflected in how they run the Council. We believe it is time for a change. Our residents want a Council that will listen to them, a Council that is open and transparent, and a Council not driven simply by ideology. We want a Council that has the political will to act in the interests of all our residents. Tough decisions of course sometimes have to be taken when it comes to spending tax payers' money. Our residents know this, but the Council must change the way it interacts with local residents. We want to restore confidence in the way the Borough is run. We take pride in the diversity of our Borough. We want everyone to play their part. That is why we believe in real consultation, listening to and empowering our residents. This is the road to a successful Borough."

  • Document: May 5, 2014
    206.12 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document
  • Article: Apr 28, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and transport spokesperson, commenting on the news that a 48-hour Tube strike will now almost certainly go ahead from 9.00 pm tonight after talks broke down between London Underground and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said:
    "This is a totally unnecessary strike which will have devastating impact for London's economy and create the greatest disruption for ordinary Londoners, such as teachers and nurses. The cause of this strike is a dubious mix of poor leadership by London Underground management and a leadership battle within the RMT positioning for strike action.

  • Why are you IN?
    Article: Apr 24, 2014

    Today, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched the Liberal Democrats' 2014 European election campaign. The launch took place in Colchester at a rally with activists and supporters, followed by a public town hall-style Q&A session hosted by Heart FM.

    Speaking at the launch event, Nick Clegg said:

  • Article: Apr 11, 2014

    The high number of children who go missing for 24 hours or more from the care of London local authorities has been revealed in the report Looked After Children: Missing From Care, published by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

    Through freedom of information requests made to every London Borough detailed information has been gathered showing that in every part of London there is a serious problem with runaway children who are in the legal care of local authorities.

    The report reveals that there is not only a serious problem with looked after children missing within their boroughs, but an even bigger problem with missing looked after children that have been placed in foster care or specialist care outside of the borough.

    And while the detailed figures provided from most London Boroughs are disturbing, the report exposes an even greater problem that a few London Boroughs have no real idea of the actual number of children that are at risk, with some London Boroughs unable to even provide figures on the number of missing looked after children.

    Caroline Pidgeon commenting on the figures revealed in her report said:

    "The scandal of London's missing looked after children is now painfully clear.

    "There is a high number of recorded missing children from boroughs across every part of London. But even worse there is a failure of a few London Boroughs to even have accessible data on record relating to the children they are legally responsible for in terms of care and legal protection.

    "A local authority looked after child who goes missing for 24 hours or more is immediately at serious risk, including at worse the risk of physical abuse. As Scotland Yard have recently confirmed there are across the capital at least 10 organised criminal syndicates targeting girls and boys for sexual abuse. Inevitably many of these gangs will target runaway children, a significant proportion of whom are local authority looked after children.

    "The widespread failure to keep some of the most vulnerable children in our society safe while they are in the legal care of a local authority is nothing short of a disgrace.

    "It is time that all councils in London actively gathered data on children going missing and then used this information to put policies in place to keep children safe. In every part of London real improvements could be made in improving the safety of children who are in the care of local authorities."

    Some specific findings of the report include:

    Barnet: In 2013 had 29 different Looked After Children placed inside their borough go missing from care for more than 24 hours with 120 incidents of these children going missing for more than 24 hours.

    Brent: In 2013 had 14 Looked After Children in placements outside their borough go missing from care for more than 24 hours with 81 incidents of these children going missing for more than 24 hours.

    Lewisham: Sent figures for Looked After Children that had gone missing from their care whose location had never been recorded. In 2009 there were 10 such children missing for 24 hours or more and 21 recorded incidents of these children being missing for 24 hours or more.

    Waltham Forest: Has only been recording the data on Looked After Children who have gone missing from their care since 2010

    Some other councils including Bexley and Hillingdon refused to answer the freedom of information request, claiming that retrieving such data would be too expensive.

  • Councillor Jack Cohen
    Article: Apr 11, 2014
    By Councillor Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    THIS is my last column before the local elections next month.

    The first thing the Conservatives did four years ago when they were returned to power was to award themselves a 54 per cent increase in allowances.

    The last thing they have done is cut the funding to Mapledown Special School, in Cricklewood. This means the school has had its budget for vital after-school clubs and half-term playschemes slashed by 25 per cent.

    It sums up the way this administration has run the borough for the past four years.

    Yes, it is cutting council tax by 21p per week per household, but, as I warned before, this gimmick will prove costly.

    And is it a coincidence that the school is in Cricklewood? This council has shown a complete disregard for the people of Cricklewood.

    Look at its record - voting to take away green and open spaces, voting through inappropriate development and hitting residents with massive hikes in car parking charges before having them reversed by the High Court.

    Residents I speak to are fed up. They say the council is not listening and is out of touch, and they complain that the council has got its priorities wrong.

    In my ward of Childs Hill, which Liberal Democrats have represented since 1986, voters recognise the vital role local politicians can play working in partnership with the community.

    I believe our record is second to none. That is why we keep getting elected.

    And that is our commitment for these local elections. We will be listening, we will give more say to local people and we will ensure our services are protected.

  • Article: Apr 10, 2014

    Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on today's Public Health England report "Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution said:


    "This is just the latest scientific report confirming that air pollution remains the second biggest public health risk facing Londoners after smoking."

  • Article: Apr 10, 2014

    Campaigning for safer roads has for a long time been a key priority of mine and it has been a key issue I have continually raised at City Hall, including challenging the Mayor to meet the repeated promises he has made to cyclists. In 2012 there were 118 cyclists killed on our roads in the UK. Many more adults and children were seriously injured, in some cases with lifelong injuries.

  • Article: Apr 4, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the freedom of information request by Mayorwatch website confirming a long standing attempt by Transport for London to cover up the full details of the actual income being received from Barclays Bank for sponsorship of the cycle hire scheme said:

  • Document: Mar 22, 2014
    1.63 MiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    The latest news from Childs Hill's Liberal Democrat team - Councillors Jack Cohen, Monroe Palmer and Susette Palmer with Jonathan Davies and Charlotte Henry

  • Document: Mar 22, 2014
    655.67 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    The latest news from Childs Hill's Liberal Democrat team - Councillors Jack Cohen, Monroe Palmer and Susette Palmer with Jonathan Davies and Charlotte Henry

  • Article: Mar 19, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor's statement today that he will be seeking a formal request to the Home Secretary to arm the Metropolitan Police Service with water cannon said:

    "This is a foolish and misguided decision by the Mayor of London.

  • Document: Mar 19, 2014
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    High Barnet Liberal Democrtas latest Focus news for local residents

  • Article: Mar 14, 2014

    On another day of high air pollution facing London a report has been released by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Stephen Knight revealing the shocking lack of information and support given to schools located near to the pollution hotspots of London's busiest roads.

    Based on a survey of 935 London schools and nurseries that are situated within 150 metres of a road carrying more than 10,000 vehicles per day the survey reveals that just two per cent of schools are even aware of the airTEXT service which provides free daily air pollution forecasts for Greater London. This is despite the Mayor consistently claiming that airTEXT provides an adequate pollution alert service to vulnerable Londoners.

  • Article: Mar 12, 2014

    The appalling lack of access to the London Underground for people with mobility issues has been finally revealed in new figures which show the true extent of unscheduled closures of individual lifts at London Underground stations

    The very worst station in terms of access to its individual lifts was Westminster station where last year its lifts broke down on 99 occasions, totaling up to over 2073 hours of closures.

  • Article: Mar 6, 2014

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor's proposals to try to secure changes to the composition of the London Fire Authority by reducing its composition of elected London Assembly Members and borough councillors and to increase the number of Mayoral appointees said:

  • Article: Mar 5, 2014

    The Mayor of London is standing by and allowing the decimation of community policing claims Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson, after questioning the Mayor and the Met Commissioner,Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe at City Hall today.

    Over the last year the Mayor has pushed through significant changes to Safer Neighourhood Teams (SNTs). For almost a decade London adopted a successful model of community policing, with each ward in London having a SNT of one sergeant, two PCs (Police Constables) and 3 PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers), however in the last year the Mayor has forced through a centralisation of policing in London with SNTs being hollowed out. Each ward in London now only has one PC and one PCSO. There is now growing evidence that even these officers are being drawn away from work in their dedicated wards.

  • Barnet Liberal Democrats' budget will keep Council tax down and improve services
    Article: Feb 28, 2014
    By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    So the Conservatives will be proposing a 1% cut in Council Tax. Well I suggest readers think before they cheer. The Conservative Leader describes the cut as a gesture, but to my mind it smacks of a gimmick and it may turn out to be an expensive gimmick at that.

    When a driver burst a tyre on a pothole in the road they can comfort themselves that they are 21 pence richer and as residents continue to pay hefty charges for parking them too can also take comfort.