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Debate to begin over the future of London taxi services

The following guests will discuss London's taxi and private hire services later today:

  • Matthew Daus, US guest & President, International Association of Transportation Regulators
  • John Stewart, Chair of Policy Committee, London Travelwatch
  • Seema Chandwani, Policy and Services Manager, Suzy Lamplugh Trust
  • Faryal Velmi, Director, Transport for All
  • John Dickie, Director of Strategy & Policy, London First

Investigation into taxi and private hire services in London

Over 300,000 trips a day are made in taxis and minicabs - and as the taxi debate in London heats up, the London Assembly Transport Committee begins a timely investigation today into taxi and private hire services in London.

Credit: PA

The London Assembly will investigate if taxi and private hire services are meeting passenger needs, how can safety be improved, and can London learn any lessons from the experiences of New York and other world cities?


London health service demand examined

There is concern the capital's health services may not be able to cope with growing demand. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The London Assembly is to examine whether the capital's health services can cope with future demand on resources.

Demand for healthcare is expected to grow by four per cent each year, which could mean an NHS funding gap of £30bn by 2020.

Met Police 'does not have convincing case' for water cannon

A London Assembly report has found that the Metropolitan Police has failed to make a "convincing case" for buying three water cannon.

The police and crime committee says that, with no specific intelligence of disorder, it is unclear why there is a "rush" to get them.

German riot police use a water cannon to end a rally in 2007. Credit: Reuters

London Mayor Boris Johnson is consulting on plans to pay up to £100,000 each for three second-hand water cannon from Germany.

The Met has said the water cannon would be "rarely seen and rarely used" and it claims to have public support for the idea.

The vehicles have been used in Northern Ireland but they are not currently authorised in mainland Britain.

The home secretary must approve their introduction in England and Wales.

Experts quizzed over flood risk to capital

Thames Barrier Credit: REUTERS/Russell Boyc

The Environment Committee will quiz London Assembly experts and the Environment Agency today about whether the capital is sufficiently equipped to deal with future rising water levels and flood threats.

Experts from the Environment Agency, the National Flood Florum and the London Assembly will answer questions on the sustainability of London's flood defences and the capital's readiness to react in an emergency.

Second day of talks over water cannon

Mayor Boris Johnson's controversial plans to allow the Metropolitan Police to purchase water cannon will come under scrutiny at City Hall for a second day.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh will appear before the Assembly today to answer questions on the Mayor's proposals.

Chair of the Police and Crime Committee Joanne McCartney AM said: "Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said water cannon in London would be 'rarely used and rarely seen'. We have yet to hear a convincing case for when and how they would improve safety for all on London's streets."


Boris's budget criticised

Labour has criticised Boris Johnson's budget for 2014/2015. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The London Assembly budget committee will discuss aspects of the Mayor's draft budget for 2014/15 today.

Labour has criticised the Mayor for failing to address London's "cost of living crisis", claiming that his proposed cut of the Mayoral council tax precept is meaningless compared to the impending rise in travel tickets.

Report: London's economy suffering because jobs market doesn't cater for parents

London's economy is missing out on skills because parents - particularly women - are poorly served by the capital's labour market, which often forces them into lower-paid, less secure part-time jobs, the London Assembly has claimed today.

A new paper from the Assembly's Economy Committee says a lack of affordable flexible childcare is also hindering parents from working in the capital. The Committee claims this represents a waste of a significant proportion of London's skilled workforce.

Plebgate has damaged Metropolitan Police, says chief

The head of Scotland Yard admitted his force has been damaged by the Plebgate controversy but defended his own handling of the affair.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe said there was "no doubt some damage had been done".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Credit: PA

He also insisted crime statistics were "generally sound" despite investigations into serious allegations that officers are manipulating them to improve performance records.

One officer is being prosecuted and eight face disciplinary action in the wake of the row over claims - which he disputes - that the then cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell called officers "plebs".

Sir Bernard said soon after the incident that his officers "accurately reported what had happened".

London Assembly to question Police Commissioner

Metropolitan Police Commissioner: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee will question the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on the work of the Metropolitan police later today.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh will also appear.

Crime statistics and student protests are just two of the subjects to be discussed at the meeting.

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