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How City Hall is helping reduce the cost of living

London Assembly member Joanne McCartney on City Hall’s efforts to improve transport, fund more police, and cut the cost of living

Joanne McCartney has represented Haringey at City Hall since 2004

As we start the new year, I am prouder than ever to represent Haringey at the London Assembly. The vibrance and strength of our community in North London never ceases to amaze me.

The past twelve months, for many, were defined by the challenges we’ve faced from the government’s cost-of-living crisis.

This has meant that Haringey has seen a 40% jump in foodbank use over two years – showing just how much the government’s economic mismanagement is hurting the poorest. Families, those without jobs, and workers whose wages don’t meet the cost of living, have been forced to turn to foodbanks to make ends meet.

At City Hall, we are doing what we can to lessen the impact of this crisis. As a living wage commissioner, I’ve been championing the London Living Wage, and we’ve seen it raised to £13.15.

By encouraging more employers to pay the living wage, more people can afford to live in London – and businesses see improved morale and better staff retention.

Higher wages will support the 15,000 Haringey residents who are forced to claim Universal Credit despite already being in work. I’m pleased that the higher living wage rate will give them the little extra they need to get by.

I’m especially proud of the mayor’s free school meals programme which I help to deliver in my role as deputy mayor for children and families. An extra 287,000 primary school pupils receive a nutritious school lunch, making sure our children are ready to learn on a full stomach – and saving parents £440 a year per child.

We are also making London cheaper to live in in the long term. While the government has missed its own target on affordable homes, in London we’ve met ours, with 116,000 affordable home starts – that’s 46% of the national total. I’m especially proud that London is building council housing again with 23,000 homes underway across the city, including here in Haringey.

We dearly need investment in our public services, which are buckling under pressure. Instead, the chancellor has announced real-terms cuts. After nearly 14 years of austerity this government is intent on more of the same – and we can see the pain this is causing our communities.

Despite this, at City Hall we are doing what we can to improve our public services – and protect London from the damage the government has done to the rest of the country. We are funding more police officers and have plans to recruit 500 extra PCSOs (police community support officers) to rebuild our local safer neighbourhood policing teams.

On top of this, we’ve seen the recent launch of Transport for London’s new Superloop express bus which runs along the North Circular – speeding up journey times and helping everyone get around.

Throughout 2024 I will continue my campaigns to make Haringey a better place to live, including pushing for much-needed signalling upgrades to the Piccadilly Line which would enable 36 trains per hour.

As your voice in City Hall I will continue to fight your corner and help deliver a safer, greener and fairer Haringey.

Labour’s Joanne McCartney is the London Assembly member for Enfield and Haringey. To get in touch with her:
Call 020 7983 5524
Email [email protected]