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City Matters 112

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Page 4 | 27 November -

Page 4 | 27 November - 10 December 2019 city_matters CITYMATTERS.LONDON News Matters Mayor launches new tech challenge THE Mayor of London has challenged new tech companies to tackle some of the capital’s most pressing problems – extremist radicalisation, congestion, and the housing crisis, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. Sadiq Khan launched this year’s Civic Innovation challenge this week, encouraging start ups in the Capital to bid for funding. Forty successful bids will receive support with their projects, with the best three proposals handed £40,000 funding to make their ideas a reality. Launched last year, the scheme is a partnership with the Social Tech Trust and is supported by Microsoft. Solution In 2018, it supported the development of an electric vehicle charger, a digital tool to help Ealing residents get more active, and an app that helps build walking into your commute. This year the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority have all submitted challenges. The Met wants a tech solution to help its counter-terrorism unit combat online radicalisation. While 38% of Londoners would report extremist behaviour they saw online, only 15 per cent know how to do it. TfL is calling for a more efficient and greener model for deliveries in the Capital. And the Mayor has called for start ups to use artificial intelligence and immersive reality to visualise planning applications, so Londoners can engage with changes in their communities. ATTENTION TURNS TO GENERAL ELECTION AFTER VICTORY Labour wins CoL seat with 47% of vote THE Labour Party has won today’s council by-election in the City of London ward of Aldersgate, with candidate Helen Fentimen winning 47% of the votes cast. Labour now holds six seats on the City’s Common Council, having never won a seat in the City until 2014. The City forms part of the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, one of the key marginal seats in December’s General Election. The ward of Aldersgate covers the western half of the brutalist Barbican Estate. Expectations Ms Fentimen is a resident of the ward, and a former chief executive of an NHS trust. She was given an OBE for services to healthcare in 2006. Labour retains the seat in Aldersgate following the resignation of previous councillor Richard Crossan in September. Ms Fentimen said: “I was always hopeful of winning the by-election, but to win 47% of the vote is far beyond our expectations. “It’s a huge vote of confidence in what the Labour members of the council have already been able to do in the City, and I’m looking forward to joining them. This also gives all of us in Labour in this area a huge confidence Westminster Abbey & St Margaret’s Church Celebrate the Christmas story Westminster Abbey Sunday 15 th December 5.45 pm Christmas Meditation featuring Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols Monday 23 rd December 6.00 pm Service of Lessons and Carols Tickets required Tuesday 24 th December Christmas Eve Noon Crib Service The Christmas story for families 4.00 pm Service of Lessons and Carols Tickets required 11.30 pm Christmas Midnight Mass Tickets required Wednesday 25 th December Christmas Day 8.00 am Holy Communion (BCP) 10.30 am Sung Eucharist 3.00 pm Evensong Faith at the heart of the nation St Margaret’s Church Sunday 22 nd December 6.00 pm Service of Lessons and Carols Tuesday 24 th December Christmas Eve 6.00 pm First Eucharist of Christmas Wednesday 25 th December Christmas Day 11.00 am Choral Matins All are welcome, but to ensure your place at services marked ‘Tickets required’ apply online: westminster-abbey.org/events/christmas westminster-abbey.org seats up for grabs: the General Election will take place on 12 December boost with a General Election just a month away. “Labour has won here today, and it can do it again on December 12. We have a brilliant candidate for the Cities of London THE next government should fund more housing for police, firefighters, nurses and teachers in London, a leading think tank has said, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. Policy Exchange said workers providing essential services must not be priced out of living in the Capital – and Metropolitan Police officers in particular needed housing support. Half of all London police live outside the city, with no officers from Hammersmith and Fulham or Greenwich living in the borough they serve, according to data released last year. And many London public sector workers in their twenties spend more than half their income on rent, according to research by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Essential Policy Exchange has called on the next government to set up a Help to Buy scheme for London police, modelled on an existing scheme for soldiers. Armed Forces personnel can borrow up to £25,000 interest-free for a deposit on a house through the Forces Help to Buy scheme. The think-tank also called for more money for affordable housing in London, and said the Mayor should fund homes for essential public sector workers. It also called on local councils to prioritise essential public sector workers for social housing, and build new homes reserved for people in those jobs. But the think tank said that for this to be effective, the Government should narrow the definition of key workers – focusing on nurses, and Westminster in Gordon Nardell, and I hope our Labour councillors in the City will soon be working with him as our MP.” Next government should fund key worker housing teachers, fire fighters, police and emergency responders. The current definition is much broader, and includes jobs in planning and careers services. Jack Airey, Policy Exchange head of housing, said the Met would struggle to hit its recruitment targets without housing incentives. He said: “Just like the Prime Minister and Chancellor are provided homes in Downing Street as part of their job, so should other vital public sector workers be supported to live near their workplace. He added: “We need to ensure that the most essential local staff are prioritised, particularly those with unpredictable and antisocial working hours. “The list of eligibility for key worker housing has sprawled wider than necessary and the government needs to review it with a view to streamlining it.” Outgoing Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who represented Poplar and Limehouse, backed the call and said public sector workers today “desperately need” housing support. He said: “When working as a firefighter in the 1970s, I was provided a home as part of my job. “It was a huge help and allowed me to get on with serving the public rather than worrying about next month’s rent.” Former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said Policy Exchange’s proposals were a “blueprint” for Government policy. He said: “Helping police officers with housing will be an important part of the Met’s recruitment drive, especially if the proposed 5,000 new officers are to come from London and reflect the Capital’s diversity.”

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