Tue 25 Jun 2019
A View from City Hall - The shame of child poverty
By Joanne McCartney AM E: email@example.com Web: www.joannemccartney.com
Tel: 0207 983 5524
It is shameful that in one of the world’s richest economies, an increasing proportion of our children are regularly going hungry and without the daily basics needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living. The recent figures from the London Child Poverty Alliance make for shocking reading. In Enfield 42% of our children are living in poverty (after housing costs) - that’s over 39,000 children in our Borough.
In my role as Deputy Mayor of London, leading City Hall’s work on education, I visit schools across our city and increasing numbers have set up food and clothing banks to support their vulnerable children and families. Teachers tell me of hungry children and the strain poverty is having on their learning and wellbeing.
It is inexcusable to allow child poverty to blight our society and is a damning indictment this government’s failed austerity policies. I have long campaigned on this issue and recently published a short report, ‘Children: Victims of austerity’, which you can read here: www.london.gov.uk/people/assembly/joanne-mccartney/publication-children-victims-austerity
Great Northern Rail Line
I am continuing my campaign to hand our local overground train line (the Great Northern out of Moorgate) to Transport for London. Although new trains are being introduced, there are still too many cancellations.
Last year in our Transport Committee investigation into the botched new timetable fiasco I questioned Govia Thameslink Railway (the franchisee) about their ability to run a reliable service, in particular focussing on their lack of drivers. Despite assurances it is disappointing that trains are still being cancelled due to lack of drivers. We need a frequent, reliable metro service that is more accountable to Londoners than the current franchise owners.
I am pleased that TfL have informed me that they are preparing to bid for the line and I have written to the Department of Transport (again) urging them to work with TfL to ensure this happens. I will continue making the case for a better train service.
London Assembly Investigations
The London Assembly scrutinises the work of the Mayor and matters of importance to Londoners. We investigate and make recommendations to the Mayor and other bodies on how their policies could be improved to make London better. Current investigations are examining: child dental health, organ donation in BAME communities, the disability employment gap, temporary accommodation and welfare reform. Full details and information about how you can send in your views can be found at www.london.gov.uk
Joanne is the London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey and is the statutory Deputy Mayor of London.
This article was featured in the summer issue of Palmers Green and Southgate LIFE magazine.
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