Agenda item

Motions

Report of: Executive Director of Secretariat 

Contact: John Barry, [email protected], tel: 020 7983 4425

 

The Assembly is asked to consider the motions submitted by Assembly Members.

Minutes:

5.1  Jenny Jones AM moved and Darren Johnson AM seconded the following motion:

“This Assembly is alarmed by the decline in species and natural habitats in London and across the UK which was exposed by the State of Nature report, part of a global catastrophe catalogued by the Zoological Society of London and WWF in their Living Planet Report. We recognise the importance of habitats, both in public spaces such as parks and private spaces such as back gardens, which are home to diverse species and are vital for the mental and physical health of Londoners.

 

This Assembly supports the work of the Mayor through initiatives such as the All London Green Grid to protect and enhance these habitats, but believes further action is required to reverse the decline in the quantity and quality of habitats.

 

This Assembly therefore welcomes and supports the call of The Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England. This will go beyond existing policy and legislation to secure nature’s recovery in a generation and place nature at the heart of how decisions are made about health, housing and other development, education, economic growth, flood resilience and social cohesion in London.

 

This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to support this proposal.”

 

5.2  The following amendment to the motion was moved by Murad Qureshi AM and seconded by Len Duvall AM:

“This Assembly is alarmed by the decline in species and natural habitats in London and across the UK which was exposed by the State of Nature report, part of a global catastrophe catalogued by the Zoological Society of London and WWF in their Living Planet Report. We recognise the importance of habitats, both in public spaces such as parks and private spaces such as back gardens, which are home to diverse species and are vital for the mental and physical health of Londoners.

 

This Assembly supports the work of the Mayor through initiatives such as the All London Green Grid to protect and enhance these habitats, but believes further action is required to reverse the decline in the quantity and quality of habitats.

 

The Localism Act 2011 requires the Mayor to produce a London Environment Strategy, including “provisions dealing with the Mayor’s policies and proposals on…biodiversity”. However, this Assembly regrets that there has been no update to the GLA’s approach since the Biodiversity Strategy of 2002 - although a commitment has been made to provide an “update or supplement  to this document. This Assembly hopes the long-awaited update to the Mayor’s approach to biodiversity in the capital will take a comprehensive and thorough approach in tackling the issues that have emerged in the past twelve years. However, the Assembly is sceptical of the Mayor’s commitment to increasing biodiversity in the capital, given that he has weakened protection for open space in London in the latest alterations to the London Plan; changes that will do considerable damage to London’s biodiversity and should be retracted.

   

This Assembly therefore welcomes and supports the call of The Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England. This will go beyond existing policy and legislation to secure nature’s recovery in a generation and place nature at the heart of how decisions are made about health, housing and other development, education, economic growth, flood resilience and social cohesion in London.”

 

5.3  Upon being put to the vote the amendment in the name of Murad Qureshi AM was lost (with 12 votes cast in favour and 12 against; in accordance with Standing Order 2.6B, the Chairman then exercised his second and casting vote, against the proposed amendment, which therefore did not command a majority and was lost).

5.4  Upon being put to the vote, the motion in the name of Jenny Jones AM, namely:

“This Assembly is alarmed by the decline in species and natural habitats in London and across the UK which was exposed by the State of Nature report, part of a global catastrophe catalogued by the Zoological Society of London and WWF in their Living Planet Report. We recognise the importance of habitats, both in public spaces such as parks and private spaces such as back gardens, which are home to diverse species and are vital for the mental and physical health of Londoners.

 

This Assembly supports the work of the Mayor through initiatives such as the All London Green Grid to protect and enhance these habitats, but believes further action is required to reverse the decline in the quantity and quality of habitats.

 

This Assembly therefore welcomes and supports the call of The Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England. This will go beyond existing policy and legislation to secure nature’s recovery in a generation and place nature at the heart of how decisions are made about health, housing and other development, education, economic growth, flood resilience and social cohesion in London.

 

This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to support this proposal.”

was agreed unanimously.

 

5.5  Stephen Knight AM moved, and Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM seconded, the following motion altered in accordance with Standing Order 3.6A (1), with the consent of the meeting:

 

“This Assembly notes the recent London Assembly Transport Committee report ‘Feet First’ which reveals that six of London’s top 24 pedestrian collision hotspots are in Oxford Street. This Assembly also notes recent evidence from Transport for London (TfL) revealing that pedestrian collisions with buses have actually increased on this road.

 

This Assembly also notes the recent statement from the Principal Air Quality Scientist of the Environmental Research Group at King's College London that “measurements of NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] concentration recorded at the Oxford Street roadside air pollution monitoring site were to his knowledge the highest in the world.” This view was endorsed by campaigners who, during a site visit to Oxford Street on 28 January 2014, labelled air quality in the area “a national disgrace”.

 

This Assembly further notes that compared to the Mayor’s advocacy of cycling, the benefits of walking and pedestrian initiatives have been largely overlooked across London. This Assembly is especially concerned by his inaccurate statement at Mayor’s Question Time on the 22nd October that VIP Day (Very Important Pedestrian Day) has led to a reduction in footfall.

 

This Assembly believes the safety and pollution record of Oxford Street, combined with the impact of Crossrail, means that maintaining the status quo or even making minor modifications are not sufficient for the long term success of Oxford Street and the West End economy.

 

This Assembly therefore urges the Mayor to immediately support the re-introduction of the highly popular Very Important Pedestrian Day, which should be combined with a programme of weekend pedestrian closures over Summer months based on the successful New York Summer Streets programme.

 

This Assembly also calls for the Mayor to authorise Transport for London to draw up a number of options to end pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries as well as reduce air pollution in Oxford Street, which should then form the basis of a public consultation which should start before the end of 2015. This Assembly also calls on the Mayor – in recognition of his statutory environmental duties across London – to establish what steps the City of Westminster are taking to reduce emissions, which will eventually begin to undermine the West End’s attractiveness to Londoners and tourists alike.”

 

5.6  Upon being put to vote, the motion in the name of Stephen Knight AM, namely:

 

“This Assembly notes the recent London Assembly Transport Committee report ‘Feet First’ which reveals that six of London’s top 24 pedestrian collision hotspots are in Oxford Street. This Assembly also notes recent evidence from Transport for London (TfL) revealing that pedestrian collisions with buses have actually increased on this road.

 

This Assembly also notes the recent statement from the Principal Air Quality Scientist of the Environmental Research Group at King's College London that “measurements of NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] concentration recorded at the Oxford Street roadside air pollution monitoring site were to his knowledge the highest in the world.” This view was endorsed by campaigners who, during a site visit to Oxford Street on 28 January 2014, labelled air quality in the area “a national disgrace”.

 

This Assembly further notes that compared to the Mayor’s advocacy of cycling, the benefits of walking and pedestrian initiatives have been largely overlooked across London. This Assembly is especially concerned by his inaccurate statement at Mayor’s Question Time on the 22nd October that VIP Day (Very Important Pedestrian Day) has led to a reduction in footfall.

 

This Assembly believes the safety and pollution record of Oxford Street, combined with the impact of Crossrail, means that maintaining the status quo or even making minor modifications are not sufficient for the long term success of Oxford Street and the West End economy.

 

This Assembly therefore urges the Mayor to immediately support the re-introduction of the highly popular Very Important Pedestrian Day, which should be combined with a programme of weekend pedestrian closures over Summer months based on the successful New York Summer Streets programme.

 

This Assembly also calls for the Mayor to authorise Transport for London to draw up a number of options to end pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries as well as reduce air pollution in Oxford Street, which should then form the basis of a public consultation which should start before the end of 2015. This Assembly also calls on the Mayor – in recognition of his statutory environmental duties across London – to establish what steps the City of Westminster are taking to reduce emissions, which will eventually begin to undermine the West End’s attractiveness to Londoners and tourists alike.”

 

was agreed (with 16 votes cast in favour and 8 against).

 

5.7  The proposed motion in the name of Andrew Dismore AM, in relation the Mayoral Strategy on Violence Against Women and Girls, had been withdrawn in advance of the meeting.

5.8  During the course of the discussion the Chairman proposed, and it was agreed, that Standing Order 2.9A be suspended to extend the meeting in order to allow the remaining motions and other items of business on the agenda to be considered.

5.9  Fiona Twycross AM moved and Tom Copley AM seconded the following motion:

 

“The London Assembly welcomes Living Wage Week.

 

Pay and poverty is an increasingly critical issue in London, as average pay rates continue to fall in the capital. Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2013, average weekly pay was £613 compared to £700 in real-terms (adjusted for RPI) in 2009.  This fall in wages has fed the dramatic rise in poverty in this city. The most recent London Poverty Profile found that in-work poverty has increased in London over recent years while the number of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has also increased sharply since 2007 in both total numbers (from 420,000 to 600,000) and as a proportion of all jobs in this city (from 13% to 17%).

 

The Mayor has set a laudable target to make the London Living Wage the norm in London by 2020. However, the data shows that we are moving further away from realising this ambition. This Assembly believes the Mayor must make the London Living Wage a much bigger priority for this ambition to be achieved. Firstly, the Mayor should place more resources into his business engagement team to ensure that the benefits of paying the London Living Wage are communicated more effectively to firms operating in London. Should these improved efforts fail to deliver a rapid movement towards a situation where the London Living Wage is genuinely the norm in London, this Assembly believes the Mayor should make the case to the Government for introducing the London Living Wage in the capital on a statutory basis, with a higher minimum wage for London being introduced as an intermediary step.”

 

5.10  Upon being put to vote, the motion in the name of Fiona Twycross AM, namely:

 

“The London Assembly welcomes Living Wage Week.

 

Pay and poverty is an increasingly critical issue in London, as average pay rates continue to fall in the capital. Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2013, average weekly pay was £613 compared to £700 in real-terms (adjusted for RPI) in 2009.  This fall in wages has fed the dramatic rise in poverty in this city. The most recent London Poverty Profile found that in-work poverty has increased in London over recent years while the number of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has also increased sharply since 2007 in both total numbers (from 420,000 to 600,000) and as a proportion of all jobs in this city (from 13% to 17%).

 

The Mayor has set a laudable target to make the London Living Wage the norm in London by 2020. However, the data shows that we are moving further away from realising this ambition. This Assembly believes the Mayor must make the London Living Wage a much bigger priority for this ambition to be achieved. Firstly, the Mayor should place more resources into his business engagement team to ensure that the benefits of paying the London Living Wage are communicated more effectively to firms operating in London. Should these improved efforts fail to deliver a rapid movement towards a situation where the London Living Wage is genuinely the norm in London, this Assembly believes the Mayor should make the case to the Government for introducing the London Living Wage in the capital on a statutory basis, with a higher minimum wage for London being introduced as an intermediary step.”

 

was agreed (with 16 votes cast in favour and 8 against).

 

5.11  Murad Qureshi AM moved and Andrew Dismore AM seconded the following motion altered in accordance with Standing Order 3.6A (1), with the consent of the meeting:

 

“This Assembly denounces the Mayor for his abject failure to tackle the biggest environmental challenges facing London. On every single issue from air pollution to carbon reduction and decentralised energy, the Assembly is appalled by the toxic environmental legacy the Mayor will leave Londoners.

 

Before he was elected the Mayor vowed to “take action to make London the greenest city in the world”. Six years later, London is set to face fines for illegal levels of air pollution whilst the evidence grows of how toxic pollutants are damaging young Londoners’ health. Despite this, the Mayor rejected calls to use his 2014-15 budget to retrofit London’s bus fleet with the latest emission reducing technology, which could significantly improve air quality in the capital.

 

“This Assembly is further disappointed by the Mayor’s current proposals for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which have gone back on his earlier commitment to restrict central London “only to those vehicles which have zero or near-zero tailpipe emissions”[1]. The Mayor's initial ULEZ proposals should form only the first stage of a programme to eventually be expanded beyond the initial Congestion Zone boundary, and outline a specific target date for a total ban on polluting vehicles entering central London.” 

 

Meanwhile, in energy security the Mayor is ‘missing his targets’ to build up London’s decentralised energy capacity, a vital measure to ensure future security of supply.[2] On tackling carbon reduction the Mayor received only 4/10 on progress to date following the Environment Committee’s latest audit.[3]

 

The Mayor’s attacks on renewables and support for fracking are symbolic of his regressive approach to London’s environmental challenges. Given this, the London Assembly does not support any fracking activities within the boundaries of Greater London.

 

This Assembly calls on the Mayor to use his remaining time in office to re-focus his efforts and ensure the GLA’s Environment Team have the resources necessary to make London a more sustainable city.”

 

5.12  Upon being put to vote, the motion in the name of Murad Qureshi AM, namely:

 

“This Assembly denounces the Mayor for his abject failure to tackle the biggest environmental challenges facing London. On every single issue from air pollution to carbon reduction and decentralised energy, the Assembly is appalled by the toxic environmental legacy the Mayor will leave Londoners.

 

Before he was elected the Mayor vowed to “take action to make London the greenest city in the world”. Six years later, London is set to face fines for illegal levels of air pollution whilst the evidence grows of how toxic pollutants are damaging young Londoners’ health. Despite this, the Mayor rejected calls to use his 2014-15 budget to retrofit London’s bus fleet with the latest emission reducing technology, which could significantly improve air quality in the capital.

 

“This Assembly is further disappointed by the Mayor’s current proposals for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which have gone back on his earlier commitment to restrict central London “only to those vehicles which have zero or near-zero tailpipe emissions”[4]. The Mayor's initial ULEZ proposals should form only the first stage of a programme to eventually be expanded beyond the initial Congestion Zone boundary, and outline a specific target date for a total ban on polluting vehicles entering central London.” 

 

Meanwhile, in energy security the Mayor is ‘missing his targets’ to build up London’s decentralised energy capacity, a vital measure to ensure future security of supply.[5] On tackling carbon reduction the Mayor received only 4/10 on progress to date following the Environment Committee’s latest audit.[6]

 

The Mayor’s attacks on renewables and support for fracking are symbolic of his regressive approach to London’s environmental challenges. Given this, the London Assembly does not support any fracking activities within the boundaries of Greater London.

 

This Assembly calls on the Mayor to use his remaining time in office to re-focus his efforts and ensure the GLA’s Environment Team have the resources necessary to make London a more sustainable city.”

 

was agreed (with 15 votes cast in favour and 8 against).

 

5.13  Navin Shah AM moved and Nicky Gavron AM seconded the following motion:

 

“This Assembly notes with concern the revelation earlier this year by New London Architecture that over 230 tall buildings are in the pipeline for development. The cumulative impact of these developments on London’s skyline is not being thoroughly considered, with the resultant often bland design and irreversible negative impact posing a threat to London’s heritage, character and architectural distinctiveness. 80% of these buildings are residential, mostly luxury flats which will do little to alleviate the housing crisis.

 

Tall buildings can make a positive contribution to city life and the skyline, but only if they’re in the right places, meet the right needs, and respect the character and identity of the surrounding area. However, the flaws of ill-considered tall buildings have been well demonstrated by the skyline campaign.

 

The London Plan includes policies on tall buildings, but these are not being properly implemented in planning decisions. There are also examples where height limits established by Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks have been ignored.

 

This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to rethink his approach to tall buildings in London. To protect London’s skyline and arrive at well considered appropriate high rise buildings the Mayor should establish a ‘skyline commission’ made up of design experts from a variety of fields to offer advice on commissioning, have an enabling role and carry out design reviews.

 

The Mayor should also develop more detailed and rigorous masterplanning processes, including engagement of local residents and stakeholders, especially within Opportunity Areas, and implement a clusters policy. There should be a review of existing protected views with the intention of adding new viewing corridors, as well as a recognition that views from all angles – even if not within a protected corridor - should be a planning consideration. The GLA should support the development of a fully interactive 3D computer model of London’s emerging skyline in order to allow development proposals to be visualised within the context of their contribution to the London skyline. Finally, the Mayor should require all developers with proposals for tall buildings to consider other building configurations.”

 

5.14  Upon being put to vote, the motion in the name of Navin Shah AM, namely:

 

“This Assembly notes with concern the revelation earlier this year by New London Architecture that over 230 tall buildings are in the pipeline for development. The cumulative impact of these developments on London’s skyline is not being thoroughly considered, with the resultant often bland design and irreversible negative impact posing a threat to London’s heritage, character and architectural distinctiveness. 80% of these buildings are residential, mostly luxury flats which will do little to alleviate the housing crisis.

 

Tall buildings can make a positive contribution to city life and the skyline, but only if they’re in the right places, meet the right needs, and respect the character and identity of the surrounding area. However, the flaws of ill-considered tall buildings have been well demonstrated by the skyline campaign.

 

The London Plan includes policies on tall buildings, but these are not being properly implemented in planning decisions. There are also examples where height limits established by Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks have been ignored.

 

This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to rethink his approach to tall buildings in London. To protect London’s skyline and arrive at well considered appropriate high rise buildings the Mayor should establish a ‘skyline commission’ made up of design experts from a variety of fields to offer advice on commissioning, have an enabling role and carry out design reviews.

 

The Mayor should also develop more detailed and rigorous masterplanning processes, including engagement of local residents and stakeholders, especially within Opportunity Areas, and implement a clusters policy. There should be a review of existing protected views with the intention of adding new viewing corridors, as well as a recognition that views from all angles – even if not within a protected corridor - should be a planning consideration. The GLA should support the development of a fully interactive 3D computer model of London’s emerging skyline in order to allow development proposals to be visualised within the context of their contribution to the London skyline. Finally, the Mayor should require all developers with proposals for tall buildings to consider other building configurations.”

 

was agreed unanimously.

 

5.15  Andrew Dismore AM moved and Nicky Gavron AM seconded the following motion:

 

“This Assembly notes the Mayor’s representations to the Government in response to their consultation on permitted development rights. This Assembly believes that the Mayor did not go far enough and failed to fulfil his pledge at September Mayor’s Question Time that “Thermonuclear weapons will be used”. This Assembly believes permitted development rights that enable offices to be converted to flats without the need to apply for planning permission should not be made permanent. Bringing in permitted development on office space and other employment uses, such as light industry and warehouses, represents a threat to London’s economic recovery.”

 

5.16  The following amendment to the motion was moved by Andrew Boff AM and seconded by James Cleverly AM:

 

“This Assembly notes the Mayor’s representations to the Government in response to their consultation on permitted development rights. This Assembly believes permitted development rights that enable offices to be converted to flats without the need to apply for planning permission should not be made permanent. Bringing in permitted development on office space and other employment uses, such as light industry and warehouses, represents a threat to London’s economic recovery.”

 

5.17  Upon being put to the vote the amendment in the name of Andrew Boff AM was lost (with 8 votes cast in favour and 14 against).

5.18  Upon being put to the vote, the motion in the name of Andrew Dismore AM, namely:

 

“This Assembly notes the Mayor’s representations to the Government in response to their consultation on permitted development rights. This Assembly believes that the Mayor did not go far enough and failed to fulfil his pledge at September Mayor’s Question Time that “Thermonuclear weapons will be used”. This Assembly believes permitted development rights that enable offices to be converted to flats without the need to apply for planning permission should not be made permanent. Bringing in permitted development on office space and other employment uses, such as light industry and warehouses, represents a threat to London’s economic recovery.”

 

was agreed (with 14 votes cast in favour and 8 against).



[1] Mayor of London, 2020 Vision

[2] As stated at the Environment Committee by an officer in March.

[3] See the Committee’s Carbon Report card from July 2014.

[4] Mayor of London, 2020 Vision

[5] As stated at the Environment Committee by an officer in March.

[6] See the Committee’s Carbon Report card from July 2014.

Supporting documents: