Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

MQT on 2018-02-22
Session date: 
February 22, 2018
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  The Mayor will now provide us with an update of up to five minutes in length on matters occurring since the publication of his report.


Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Happy new year to you, Chair ‑‑


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Happy new year to you.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ and to everyone else here as well.  For the first time since modern records began, London is entering the third week of January without having breached legal limits for toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution.  At long last, we are seeing some improvements in our toxic air, but much more needs to be done before Londoners can finally breathe a proper sigh of relief.  Despite objections from some Members of the Assembly, I have made it my priority to safeguard Londoners’ health by targeting the capital’s most polluted areas and I am taking bold action to transform London’s air.  We have introduced the T-Charge and are bringing forward the Ultra Low Emission Zone, ensuring Transport for London (TfL) has the funding it needs for its creation and expansion.


However, I cannot stop this health crisis without more help.  Londoners deserve a government that wakes up to the scale of this problem and delivers tough new air quality legislation and resources so that legal limits are met all year round.  Today I have awarded £1.1 million to community projects across the capital to help them improve and create new local green spaces including a community garden following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.  Whether it is designing a new garden, planting trees or greening school playgrounds, these projects will transform local spaces, improve health and wellbeing and help clean up our toxic air.


As part of our comprehensive plan to tackle knife crime, I have announced a further £1.4 million investment to fund more specialist youth workers in hospital accident and emergency departments (A&Es).  Youth support in major trauma centres has already made a difference to hundreds of young Londoners, helping them choose a different path away from violence.  By expanding this work into A&Es, we can reach even more, offering them help when they most desperately need it.  I am doing everything I can to tackle this scourge in our city and I announced additional funding to our police yesterday, but we all have a responsibility to give our young people the best chance in life.  The Government must stop shirking the responsibility and urgently deliver the funding necessary for the police to keep young Londoners safe and to tackle the root causes of violent crime if we are to bring to an end the tragic deaths we see on our streets.


Finally, the independent expert analysis I commissioned revealed the potential economic risks and human costs at stake in the Brexit negotiations.  This analysis shows why the Government should now change its approach and negotiate a deal that enables us to remain in both the single market and the customs union.


I have also been asked, Chair, for two oral updates, the first from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Yes, from Assembly Member Kurten.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Many Brits love both [the United States of] America and Americans, as I do.  My first trade visit was to the USA.  We are working with American businesses and cities to encourage even better trade partnerships between the Brits and Americans.  I want to thank the US businesses, innovators and investors who help contribute to London’s success.  We also thank American students, tourists, visitors and others who love London and our country.


Many Brits will see the raft of comments about London made by President Trump as hardly in tune with the special relationship between our two countries.


The US has also made clear that its first priority in Brexit negotiations is to secure a trade deal with the European Union (EU).  The United Kingdom (UK) is simply not able to enter into new trade deals with other countries until we have left the EU.  Therefore, the UK Government’s focus should be on getting a good deal from the Brexit negotiations.  43% of UK exports in goods and services are to the EU, making it our largest trading partner by far.  The best way to protect this trade along with the jobs and investment that it creates is by negotiating a Brexit that keeps the UK in the single market and customs union.


The second request for an oral update is about Carillion from Assembly Member Dismore?


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Yes, thank you.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  The collapse of Carillion is a worrying time for the thousands of staff and subcontractors affected, as well as those who receive the services they provide.  My team has been in contact with the organisations that make up the Greater London Authority (GLA) family regarding the collapse at Carillion.  We have been assured that plans are in place to ensure any services that involve Carillion are maintained and we will continue to monitor the situation.  It is a key priority of mine to work with TfL and trade unions over the coming days to do what I can to protect jobs and livelihoods.  I am clear that these services must be maintained, and I will do what I can to protect the jobs and livelihoods of staff providing essential services to Londoners.