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12.12.13

Concerns published ahead of London budget

The London Assembly’s pre-budget report calls for more clarity on how budget cuts could affect services in the capital.

The budget and performance committee warned that while crime was falling, it had dropped by a lower rate than in the rest of England and Wales and victim satisfaction with the service they received was also lower than the average.

The report, published ahead of the Mayor’s 2014/15 budget, calls for the GLA to become the official land disposal agent for the capital, allowing surplus government land to be used for affordable housing.

It also recommends that TfL should publish fully-costed options to encourage part-time work, reduce travel costs for low-paid workers and encourage people to travel outside of peak times.

Uncertainty around government grants could also make long-term planning difficult, the committee warned.

John Biggs AM, chair of the Committee, said: “With London lagging behind the rest of England and Wales on victim satisfaction, the Met needs to ask some serious questions about how they can build trust and cut crime, while still driving down costs.

“In particular, we’d like to know the impact of replacing experienced officers with cheaper new recruits, and whether declining police morale is having an effect on the service victims receive from the police.

“I hope the Mayor will take on board the recommendations of our report and provide the Assembly with the information and assurances we need before we consider his budget over the coming months.”

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