The spot­light

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

each night, but added: “Al­though this is too many, set in con­text with other ma­jor cities like New York which has tens of thou­sands sleep­ing rough ev­ery night, Lon­don wasn’t do­ing too badly.”

To test this the Mayor said he had spent a night sleep­ing rough in Lon­don but had sought no public­ity for it.

Boris re­ported that the nu­mer­ous cranes that can be seen all over Lon­don is ev­i­dence of the hard work go­ing into build­ing hun­dreds and thou­sands of new af­ford­able homes.

Nicky Gavron, Labour’s hous­ing and plan­ning spokesper­son at the GLA, dis­puted the Mayor’s fig­ures say­ing only half the num­ber of homes Boris claimed, were ac­tu­ally be­ing built.

Navin Shah, as­sem­bly mem­ber for Brent and Har­row, added it was due to ‘sky high prices’ with the av­er­age home now £500k or 15 time the av­er­age in­ner Lon­don salary (£34.5k).

“A num­ber of land­lords are earn­ing more from their sec­ond home in­come than they are from their main em­ploy­ment,” he said.

Boris ad­mit­ted he was against rent con­trols, say­ing they don’t work and lead to fewer land­lords putting prop­er­ties up for rental. Tom Co­p­ley, Chair of Lon­don As­sem­bly’s hous­ing com­mit­tee, re­futed this, cit­ing ma­jor cities like Hong Kong and New York as rent con­trol suc­cess sto­ries.

The Mayor said he was proud that Hilling­don is re­port­edly the fastest grow­ing busi­ness area in Lon­don, with con­struc­tion at its high­est level in 40 years.

He quoted some fas­ci­nat­ing sta­tis­tics to back up Hilling­don’s com­mer­cial acu­men – light sabers are man­u­fac­tured here by HAS­BRO in Uxbridge – and bus stops are made by True Form of Hayes and ex­ported to Las Vegas.

As­sem­bly mem­bers and Boris re­stated their op­po­si­tion to Heathrow ex­pan­sion on en­vi­ron­men­tal and noise grounds and Lib­eral Demo­crat Caro­line Pid­geon rec­om­mended Gatwick, Lu­ton and Stansted be looked at as vi­able al­ter­na­tives.

On the pro­posed HS2 high speed rail­way line through Hilling­don bor­ough, there was agree­ment that the project was bad for Lon­don.

Jenny Jones AM (Green Party) said it was a waste of money just “to save 20 min­utes off the train jour­ney to Birm­ing­ham” adding that busi­ness­men and women could spend the time work­ing on the train any­way. Mayor John­son said: “The mit­i­ga­tion is not good enough and there isn’t even a real con­nec­tion be­tween HS1 and HS2. If you wanted to travel from Birm­ing­ham to Paris, you’d have to get off in Lon­don. Walk a mile. Then get an­other train at Strat­ford In­ter­na­tional to Paris.”

Boris stated that crime had fallen by 50 per cent since he be­came Mayor in 2008 and, while he ac­cepts that hate crimes have risen, he at­trib­uted this to more re­port­ing of them by vic­tims.

The next Peo­ple’s Ques­tion Time will be in Croy­don on March 10 next year.

There isn’t even a real con­nec­tion be­tween HS1

and HS2”

n PEO­PLE POWER: Onkar Sa­hota chair­ing the Peo­ple’s Ques­tion Time at Hayes Beck The­atre on Novem­ber 26 2015. Ben Pruchnie

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