Siân Berry: Do you agree that it is unfair that it costs more to use public transport than to drive in London?
Siân Berry: Thank you very much, Mr Mayor. I was not expecting to have tabled the last ever Mayor’s question answered in this Chamber, but I appear to be in that position and so let us make it a good one.
Siân Berry: Thank you very much, Mr Mayor. Other cities are far behind us on this relative cost of driving and public transport, but I have been looking at the bigger picture across London, trying to add up every kilometre that people travel and every penny that people pay on different modes. No matter what I do, it comes out that people are paying more per kilometre for public transport travel across...
Siân Berry: I agree that we are ahead of other cities and I agree that we have been talking all day about the other levers that you might use, but the way I see it, I have always talked about having a prescription of three active ingredients, if you like, to clear congestion: prioritising space on the street, genuinely improving public transport with better buses and trains, and then price and these...
Siân Berry: Yes. In light of some of the really micro discussions that were going on earlier on, I want to keep that bigger picture in mind and to keep these three active ingredients going in the right direction. At the moment, they are in danger of going backwards and we need to make sure that does not happen.
Siân Berry: What will be the cost of your forthcoming Deployable Enforcement Camera (DEC) programme, per installation?
Siân Berry: I am informed that some councils are having difficulty with the affordable housing requirement on smaller major schemes of around 25 to 80 homes, where a developer proposes to include affordable housing, but is unable to find a Registered Provider interested in acquiring these homes on a scheme of that size. This could mean lower affordable housing delivery, particularly in outer London, and...
Siân Berry: What is the cost of adding a new pedestrian crossing to an existing signaled junction, such as the works undertaken on the north side of Battersea Bridge by Transport for London (TfL)?
Siân Berry: Thank you for your answer to my question 2021/4093. By what date do you expect to develop and implement appropriate targets for reducing embodied carbon emissions in construction in London?
Siân Berry: The Joseph Rowntree briefing published in September 2021, What’s Causing Structural Racism in Housing?, highlights how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the structural inequalities Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities face in accessing affordable and secure homes. Are you aware of the briefing and, if so, what is your response to the issues it raises relating to London?
Siân Berry: In your answer to question 2021/3614, you mention resuming the initiative whereby officers visit residents in new GLA-funded homes to hear feedback. What feedback will you be asking your housing team to collate in these visits, and how will you ensure that a representative cross-section of Londoners is interviewed, in the same way that the London Housing Panel is made up of a diverse membership?
Siân Berry: Through your debt advice services such as Debt Free London and the Advice in Community Settings Programme, have you undertaken any analysis on the sources of debt? Could you tell me what proportion of service users are seeking advice about housing debt compared with other sources of debt, and whether this proportion is increasing?
Siân Berry: Your Leadership 2025 programme, which aims to improve diversity in the housing sector, last updated The Altair Review in 2019. When will it next be updated and are you satisfied that the programme is having its intended effect? If not, what further action will you take to increase the number of staff from BAME backgrounds within the housing industry?
Siân Berry: At the Housing Committee meeting on 20 July 2021, Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, informed us that your retrofit programmes are aiming for EPC Band B. The Government’s standard for retrofitting homes across England is to achieve EPC Band C. Are you concerned that building owners, particularly large landlords, will choose to focus any retrofit funding on homes...
Siân Berry: Your new funding guidance for the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 does not require trees to be preserved wherever possible in redevelopment or infill plans. How will you avoid giving grants to developers who are planning estate regeneration that includes unnecessary tree loss and do you plan to amend this guidance or introduce new conditions in future funding programmes?
Siân Berry: What data do you hold on the total number of shared ownership homes in London, and how this number has grown in recent years? Could you provide any data you hold on this that is not already included in published reports or Government statistics?
Siân Berry: What use are you planning to make of the data from the 2021 Census data when it is released in 2022 to support your housing and planning policies, for example by assessing overcrowding and the need for larger homes?
Siân Berry: How are you working to help renters who are in arrears in London?
Siân Berry: Thank you very much, Mr Mayor. I do appreciate the wider work you started to do on renters’ rights and things like rent controls and I think we both agree on that now. I do not want to focus on that today though, and I do want to focus specifically on the arrears that have already been built up. As you said, we have got increased living costs, cuts to benefits and a crisis in many sectors...
Siân Berry: I think Generation Rent has now switched to saying grants from previously. The clarity here is really important because we do not want to be adding to renters’ problems with further debts and that is what we need to be calling on particularly the new Minister --