Saturday, June 16, 2007

You're Fired!

Livingstone has announced that he will not be sanctioning the appointment of Conservative or Lib Dem members to the Fire Authority this year.

Ostensibly this is because we - for I am included - are male, and he wants more women members. However he has reappointed the Labour and Green men to the board. Last year he lost political control of the authority and we overturned some of his wackier proposals, including the forced contribution of Fire Brigade money to his 'award winning' free sheet, The Londoner.

So the real minorities Livingstone is trying to protect are his own supporters. And democracy comes a poor second to political correctness in the Mayor's office.

Blackwall Tunnel

The tidal flow arrangement was ceased and thousands of drivers inconvenienced because of alleged dangerous driving by some individuals. But had other options been considered? The following exchange is illuminating:

Bob Neill: How many prosecutions have been launched in pursuit of those who drive dangerously in the Blackwall Tunnel since 2005?

Ken Livingstone: I have been informed by the MPS that there were NO incidents recorded for the offence of dangerous driving. The MPS did however record 2 incidents since 2005; one of which was an offence for a dangerous load and the other a speeding and document offence.

Other incidents relate primarily to damage only collisions, the majority of which are self reported and resulted in no further action as no offences were disclosed or verified.

And the dangerous load offence was dismissed at court...

Friday, June 15, 2007

More Logo Fun

This came from a paper approved at yesterday's budget committee:

Develop a London Brand

The long term goal for the sponsorship function, particularly in the lead up to the 2012 Games, is to develop a consolidated London brand, in which all of the GLA group are stakeholders, similar in scale to the New York brand example.

Let's hope the result is better than the recent 2012 effort and that it is the product of a genuine consultation rather than the choice of the usual suspects.

Does the GLA need a brand?
What should it look like?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tube Ticket Office Closures

London Underground have revealed a plan to remove ticket office staff at forty of the less busy stations on the network. The redeployment of staff to platform duties is a consequence of Oyster card introduction and this is a matter for London Underground but the actual closure of offices has not been raised before. We can expect to see local campaigns at some locations. Proposed ticket machine only stations are:

Barkingside, Becontree, Boston Manor, Buckhurst Hill.
Canons Park, Cannon Street, Chesham, Chiswick Park, Chorleywood, Croxley.
East Putney.
Goldhawk Road.
Latimer Road.
Mansion House, Mill Hill East, Moor Park.
North Ealing, North Harrow, Northwood Hills.
Park Royal, Perivale.
Ravenscourt Park, Regent's Park, Royal Oak, Ruislip, Ruislip Gardens.
South Ruislip, Sudbury Hill.
Temple, Totteridge & Whetstone.
West Acton, West Finchley, West Harrow, West Ruislip, Wimbledon Park.

The proposals are subject to consultation and agreement with the unions but are planned for March 2008 - three months before the Mayor faces re-election...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Blackwall Tunnel Tidal Flow

The London Assembly Transport Committee will be considering TfL's decision to end the morning tidal flow at the Blackwall Tunnel. At the meeting on 7th June at City Hall, representatives of TfL and the Met Police will be explaining their decision and the lack of consultation. There will also be evidence from borough councils affected by the extra traffic and congestion which have resulted.

The committee has no power to change the Mayor's decision but we will be exploring the consultation process, possible alternative measures and the future plans for both the Blackwall and Rotherhithe Tunnels.

Olympics 2012 Logo

We've all seen it by now. I'm not going to offer an opinion but it says something when even the Mayor reserves his support. Perhaps we won't be seeing much more of it, because it allegedly triggers epilepsy - although there are other good reasons too...

Capital Ring - South Kenton to Highgate

11 miles completed in the sun on Sunday. This is a pleasant walk through suburbs and green space in North London. High points included the Welsh Harp Reservoir and the final section through Highgate Wood and Queen's Wood. I also stopped off for a bagel in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Not so good was the signage particularly in Barnet, where many were missing, making a straightforward walk more confusing than it needed to be.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Lib Dem GLA List Selected

There's a great story over at Iain Dale's Diary about the Lib Dem list selection. Their members have been getting stirred up about a bias in favour of South West London, which they say has been perpetuated by the selection system. It's certainly true with the present members:

Lord Tope - Sutton
Baroness Hamwee - Richmond
Mike Tuffrey - Lambeth
Dee Doocey - Richmond
Geoff Pope - Richmond

Not sure where the two new candidates come from, but I can make a wild guess...

Lib Dems are also unhappy with the lack of ethnic minority candidates on the list.

And they make some rather cruel comments about the performance of the incumbents...