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Robert Rock 2017-12-06
img

At the London Assembly Health Committee we have been investigating the state of eye health in the capital.

In my GP surgery we have leaflets and posters on the walls pointing you towards support services, but what if you can’t see them?

Then there is your mental health to consider, both the immediate shock of diagnosis and when dealing with an ongoing long term condition.

Think about being told you might lose your eyesight and then having to walk out of the clinic all alone.

Support needs to be on-going too.

People who are registered blind or are partially sighted have a particularly hard time finding jobs - only a third are thought to be in employment.

collect
0
Eric Erikson 2017-09-04
img

The London Assembly planning committee has told the mayor he needs to embrace prefabricated housing -- or offsite manufactured homes to give them their rebranded modern name -- in order to meet the city's future housing demands.

The planners say [PDF] that prefabricated homes or pods or whatever you call them nowadays are vastly better than the maligned units that necessarily blighted the country in the post-war period, and if the mayor was to put together some sort of standards and design code that could make the buildings acceptable to look at, live in and be surrounded by, they could help the city meet its housing needs for the next 20 years.

Planning committee chair Nicky Gavron said: "These buildings are high quality and outstanding in terms of performance.

Their construction is more environmentally-friendly than traditional construction methods and they are a far cry from their prefabricated predecessors.

Few will disagree that using vacant public land to build homes quickly and with less pollution and disruption could be great news for London, tailored to demands at every price point."

[London Assembly via Construction Index]

collect
0
Gary Johnson 2019-08-19
img

Bill approaching £9m compared to £4.1m for the system in 2016

Concerns have been raised over a key supplier of an e-counting system for the London Mayoral elections in 2020.

The contract, split between Canadaian integrator CGI and Venezuelan-owned Smartmatic, will cost nearly £9m – more than double the procurement cost of £4.1m for the system at the last election in 2016.

During a July hearing about the 2020 elections at the London Assembly Oversight Committee, members heard that Smartmatic, which builds and sells electronic voting tech, had worked on the Scottish elections.

The company was also recently blamed for a number of technical glitches in the Philippine elections.

The London Assembly was told costs had increased because the new vote-counting system offered better functionality than the previous procurement.

collect
0
Paul Jennette 2017-06-29
img

Worse than York, which is 'frankly embarrassing'

The capital has "sub-standard" broadband and 4G speeds, causing it to lag behind smaller UK cities such as York, Coventry and Edinburgh - according to a report (PDF) today by the London Assembly.

Poor connectivity is threatening London's success and international competitiveness, as the capital suffers from "not spots" and "digital deserts" in areas like Rotherhithe in Southwark, it said.

Navin Shah, chair of the Regeneration Committee, said: “London’s digital connectivity is frankly embarrassing in some areas."

The London Assembly Regeneration Committee investigation noted that London lacks full fibre connections, ranking 30 out of 63 cities across the UK when it comes to high broadband speeds.

The capital is also held back by limited 4G coverage – ranking in the bottom five UK cities with 73.6 per cent of 4G coverage, it said.

collect
0
Jeanette Perea 2018-02-15
img

London Assembly report shines light on UK.gov's auto auto plans

The London Assembly has lashed out at driverless cars, declaring that autonomous vehicles could cause "significant job losses" – while figures from the UK's driverless car industry told it that they don't expect Level 4 or 5 (fully autonomous) tech to hit the streets for another decade or more.

While conceding that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) bring "significant potential benefits for road safety and mobility", the assembly's Transport Committee said in a report issued this week that the rise of driverless cars could put London mayor Sadiq Khan's plans for eliminating private car use "in jeopardy".

Shared usage of CAVs is likely to be the most sustainable way of harnessing this technology in London."

The report also acknowledged the benefit of driverless cars for "older and disabled Londoners, who may not be able to drive".

Forget central government's 2021 target for auto autos

collect
0
Paul Cork 2017-03-14
img

Central London is too congested - because we're buying too much online.

That's the claim at the heart of a new proposal by London Assembly member Val Shawcross, who is worried that delivery vans now account for fifth of traffic in the centre of the city.

According to the Evening Standard, Councillor Shawcross wants companies to ban employees from ordering goods direct to work - and instead encourage "click and collect" deliveries, so that people can collect their stuff on the way home rather than while at work.

Whether she actually wants Sadiq Khan to intervene more directly isn't clear - though she does think the Congestion Charge could be changed to charge extra for multiple trips.

To be honest, whether this can be called a "ban" is up for debate - but that's how they characterised the story, and who are we to stand in the way of a clickable framing?

In any case, the idea actually makes a degree of sense, given concerns about air pollution and the fact that the streets are completely rammed.

collect
0
Thomas Cann 2016-08-09
img

Image caption Andrew Boff believes the Met should upgrade its PCs

A London Assembly member has questioned why the Metropolitan Police are still using Windows XP on tens of thousands of computers.

Conservative Andrew Boff told the BBC it would not be cost-effective to keep paying for patches to make sure the operating system was secure.

Last year, a Freedom of Information request by the tech site Motherboard found 35,000 Met PCs ran XP.

Mr Boff said this had fallen to 27,000, which remained "worrying".

"I have fond memories of XP, I've only just got rid of it myself a few months ago," said Mr Boff.

collect
0
Adam Amie 2016-06-17
img

OK, who registered their name as Jane Smith'; UPDATE votes SET choice Sadiq;--

The confirmation of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London last month was delayed for several hours by a database application bug.

The election saw Khan voted into the Mayor's office over rival Zac Goldsmith.

While the results of the election were not disputed, the tabulation was completed much later than expected: the announcement should have been made Friday evening, but it did not take place until early Saturday.

IntElect CEO Steve Gowers, who was grilled at the Thursday meeting, said the individual votes were fed into a database, and that this raw information was correct.

However, the code that queried the database to pull out the totals was not working properly, leading to "small discrepancies" between the number of paper votes and the reported totals.

Gowers insisted the system had been tested prior to deployment.

collect
0
Jackie Brown 2017-11-30

We all want the best for our children.

But how do ensure that all children in London get the healthiest start in life?

It’s a question we are asking this winter at the London Assembly Health Committee.

In essence, we’re storing up issues before babies are even born.

In London the average baby weighs a little less than in the rest of the country but there are huge variations between different areas.

Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, which last all the way into adulthood.

collect
0
Gary Meyer 2017-11-14
img

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to remove the party whip from one of his MPs after ‘unacceptable’ comments she made about a Tory candidate were discovered online.

Emma Dent Coad apologised for offending London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey, after a six-year-old blog post in which she referred to him as a “token ghetto boy” and a “scumbag” was unearthed by the Guido Fawkes website.

But Conservative MPs James Cleverly and Kemi Badenoch have now written to the Labour leader to ask if he will remove the whip from Dent Coad, who won her Kensington seat at the snap general election.

They said: “The comments made by Ms Dent Coad in relation to Mr Bailey are unacceptable in any circumstance and particularly so from an elected representative.

“Your failure to condemn her comments is both disappointing and concerning.”

The MPs said Corbyn’s claim during the 2017 election campaign that “only Labour can unlock the talent of BAME people” was “as inaccurate as it was insulting” and said they believed there were too many people in the Labour Party who viewed Conservatives from black and minority ethnic backgrounds as “traitors”.

collect
0
Gary Tokarski 2018-05-20
img

And how can we reach those not yet benefitting from current efforts to improve workplace health?

The London Assembly Health Committee has been exploring these questions with a wide range of stakeholders— from small business owners to trade union reps and national charities.

The Committee also commissioned fresh research from Populus on Londoners’ experiences of workplace health and some of the messages we got back were shocking.

Feeling secure in your job brings a sense of safety and peace of mind.

After all, no-one likes being told what to do…

We are not just talking about office jobs though.

collect
0
Sean Biro 2018-02-14
img

Transport for London speaks up about what more needs to be done to boost transport innovation across London.

The report from London Assembly Transport Committee outlines shortfalls of standards in harnessing new technology is holding the city back from improvement the transport system.

However both the report suggests there should be exchanges on both parts, allowing TfL to gather data from apps to inform what improvements are needed to the transport network.

Professor Kamargianna, app developer of CityMapper, said that in order to make it easier, data must be exchanged by both parties to reap the benefits.

Kamargianna said: “It is very important to have a two-way flow of data, therefore, yes, definitely provide the data but also for the companies to give back the data and especially the data from on-demand services which can provide the public authorities more information about how people move around.”

The report said reciprocating data sharing should be a requirement for all existing app providers, as well as any new ones looking to enter the market.

collect
0
Carlo Prine 2016-12-01
img

Airbnb announce it will automatically block hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than the legal yearly limits

AirBnB is to block hosts in London from renting out homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent.

Under the proposals, hosts renting out entire properties will be notified as they approach the limit and given details of where to seek an extension.

The announcement brings the home-sharing website into line with UK law.

The move, which comes into effect from Spring 2017, follows concerns that short-term lets were fuelling a London housing crisis.

Tom Copley, Labour's housing spokesman on the London assembly, called the move a "huge step in the right direction".

collect
0
Richard Bond 2017-10-17
img

The case of Uber vs Transport for London isn't going to end anytime soon.

It's going to drag on and on with appeals, and possibly even appeals to those appeals.

Well there's a new development, with the London Assembly Tories claiming that Londoners could end up paying an extra £90 million every year (combined, not each) if Uber's licence isn't reinstated.

Part of that comes from the 40,000 drivers who are employed-but-not-employed by Uber, with the LAT claiming they would lose a combined £864 million every year.

Their analysis of the situation also claims that, even with surge charges, an Uber is 40 per cent cheaper than taking a black cab.

And here I was thinking that black cabs were one of the cheapest ways to travel.

collect
0
Jose Wenger 2018-02-23
img

In a move that will no doubt make him very popular with the transport unions, Sadiq Khan has spoken out against the idea of driverless trains on the London Underground.

If you've paid attention to the long-running driverless tube train story, you'll know that they've been surprisingly controversial.

But speaking at a London Assembly meeting yesterday, Khan hot back against the idea.

"Anybody who understands the basic knowledge of the underground system will know there are some deep level, deep underground services, where the idea of having driverless trains is madness.

In the interests of saving some pounds to risk the safety of Londoners, of staff and visitors, is the height of recklessness.

Where it's safe to do so of course we'll consider whatever efficiency savings that we can do."

collect
0
Charlie Warren 2016-08-09
img

Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs imaginable.

Every day you go to work, not knowing whether you'll face violence or danger.

And even worse - you might have to use Windows XP.

According to V3, 27,000 computers used by the Metropolitan Police are still on XP - which was first released in 2001 and received its last major update in 2008 - 8 years ago.

What's slightly worrying about this is that Microsoft ended support for XP in 2014 - meaning that it wouldn't receive any more patches or updates to guard against bugs which could conceivably leave systems vulnerable to hackers or viruses.

V3 quotes London Assembly member Andrew Boff summing the situation up by saying that "Operating systems age more like milk than wine, and Windows XP is well past its sell-by date".

collect
0
Robert Rock 2017-12-06
img

At the London Assembly Health Committee we have been investigating the state of eye health in the capital.

In my GP surgery we have leaflets and posters on the walls pointing you towards support services, but what if you can’t see them?

Then there is your mental health to consider, both the immediate shock of diagnosis and when dealing with an ongoing long term condition.

Think about being told you might lose your eyesight and then having to walk out of the clinic all alone.

Support needs to be on-going too.

People who are registered blind or are partially sighted have a particularly hard time finding jobs - only a third are thought to be in employment.

Gary Johnson 2019-08-19
img

Bill approaching £9m compared to £4.1m for the system in 2016

Concerns have been raised over a key supplier of an e-counting system for the London Mayoral elections in 2020.

The contract, split between Canadaian integrator CGI and Venezuelan-owned Smartmatic, will cost nearly £9m – more than double the procurement cost of £4.1m for the system at the last election in 2016.

During a July hearing about the 2020 elections at the London Assembly Oversight Committee, members heard that Smartmatic, which builds and sells electronic voting tech, had worked on the Scottish elections.

The company was also recently blamed for a number of technical glitches in the Philippine elections.

The London Assembly was told costs had increased because the new vote-counting system offered better functionality than the previous procurement.

Jeanette Perea 2018-02-15
img

London Assembly report shines light on UK.gov's auto auto plans

The London Assembly has lashed out at driverless cars, declaring that autonomous vehicles could cause "significant job losses" – while figures from the UK's driverless car industry told it that they don't expect Level 4 or 5 (fully autonomous) tech to hit the streets for another decade or more.

While conceding that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) bring "significant potential benefits for road safety and mobility", the assembly's Transport Committee said in a report issued this week that the rise of driverless cars could put London mayor Sadiq Khan's plans for eliminating private car use "in jeopardy".

Shared usage of CAVs is likely to be the most sustainable way of harnessing this technology in London."

The report also acknowledged the benefit of driverless cars for "older and disabled Londoners, who may not be able to drive".

Forget central government's 2021 target for auto autos

Thomas Cann 2016-08-09
img

Image caption Andrew Boff believes the Met should upgrade its PCs

A London Assembly member has questioned why the Metropolitan Police are still using Windows XP on tens of thousands of computers.

Conservative Andrew Boff told the BBC it would not be cost-effective to keep paying for patches to make sure the operating system was secure.

Last year, a Freedom of Information request by the tech site Motherboard found 35,000 Met PCs ran XP.

Mr Boff said this had fallen to 27,000, which remained "worrying".

"I have fond memories of XP, I've only just got rid of it myself a few months ago," said Mr Boff.

Jackie Brown 2017-11-30

We all want the best for our children.

But how do ensure that all children in London get the healthiest start in life?

It’s a question we are asking this winter at the London Assembly Health Committee.

In essence, we’re storing up issues before babies are even born.

In London the average baby weighs a little less than in the rest of the country but there are huge variations between different areas.

Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, which last all the way into adulthood.

Gary Tokarski 2018-05-20
img

And how can we reach those not yet benefitting from current efforts to improve workplace health?

The London Assembly Health Committee has been exploring these questions with a wide range of stakeholders— from small business owners to trade union reps and national charities.

The Committee also commissioned fresh research from Populus on Londoners’ experiences of workplace health and some of the messages we got back were shocking.

Feeling secure in your job brings a sense of safety and peace of mind.

After all, no-one likes being told what to do…

We are not just talking about office jobs though.

Carlo Prine 2016-12-01
img

Airbnb announce it will automatically block hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than the legal yearly limits

AirBnB is to block hosts in London from renting out homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent.

Under the proposals, hosts renting out entire properties will be notified as they approach the limit and given details of where to seek an extension.

The announcement brings the home-sharing website into line with UK law.

The move, which comes into effect from Spring 2017, follows concerns that short-term lets were fuelling a London housing crisis.

Tom Copley, Labour's housing spokesman on the London assembly, called the move a "huge step in the right direction".

Jose Wenger 2018-02-23
img

In a move that will no doubt make him very popular with the transport unions, Sadiq Khan has spoken out against the idea of driverless trains on the London Underground.

If you've paid attention to the long-running driverless tube train story, you'll know that they've been surprisingly controversial.

But speaking at a London Assembly meeting yesterday, Khan hot back against the idea.

"Anybody who understands the basic knowledge of the underground system will know there are some deep level, deep underground services, where the idea of having driverless trains is madness.

In the interests of saving some pounds to risk the safety of Londoners, of staff and visitors, is the height of recklessness.

Where it's safe to do so of course we'll consider whatever efficiency savings that we can do."

Eric Erikson 2017-09-04
img

The London Assembly planning committee has told the mayor he needs to embrace prefabricated housing -- or offsite manufactured homes to give them their rebranded modern name -- in order to meet the city's future housing demands.

The planners say [PDF] that prefabricated homes or pods or whatever you call them nowadays are vastly better than the maligned units that necessarily blighted the country in the post-war period, and if the mayor was to put together some sort of standards and design code that could make the buildings acceptable to look at, live in and be surrounded by, they could help the city meet its housing needs for the next 20 years.

Planning committee chair Nicky Gavron said: "These buildings are high quality and outstanding in terms of performance.

Their construction is more environmentally-friendly than traditional construction methods and they are a far cry from their prefabricated predecessors.

Few will disagree that using vacant public land to build homes quickly and with less pollution and disruption could be great news for London, tailored to demands at every price point."

[London Assembly via Construction Index]

Paul Jennette 2017-06-29
img

Worse than York, which is 'frankly embarrassing'

The capital has "sub-standard" broadband and 4G speeds, causing it to lag behind smaller UK cities such as York, Coventry and Edinburgh - according to a report (PDF) today by the London Assembly.

Poor connectivity is threatening London's success and international competitiveness, as the capital suffers from "not spots" and "digital deserts" in areas like Rotherhithe in Southwark, it said.

Navin Shah, chair of the Regeneration Committee, said: “London’s digital connectivity is frankly embarrassing in some areas."

The London Assembly Regeneration Committee investigation noted that London lacks full fibre connections, ranking 30 out of 63 cities across the UK when it comes to high broadband speeds.

The capital is also held back by limited 4G coverage – ranking in the bottom five UK cities with 73.6 per cent of 4G coverage, it said.

Paul Cork 2017-03-14
img

Central London is too congested - because we're buying too much online.

That's the claim at the heart of a new proposal by London Assembly member Val Shawcross, who is worried that delivery vans now account for fifth of traffic in the centre of the city.

According to the Evening Standard, Councillor Shawcross wants companies to ban employees from ordering goods direct to work - and instead encourage "click and collect" deliveries, so that people can collect their stuff on the way home rather than while at work.

Whether she actually wants Sadiq Khan to intervene more directly isn't clear - though she does think the Congestion Charge could be changed to charge extra for multiple trips.

To be honest, whether this can be called a "ban" is up for debate - but that's how they characterised the story, and who are we to stand in the way of a clickable framing?

In any case, the idea actually makes a degree of sense, given concerns about air pollution and the fact that the streets are completely rammed.

Adam Amie 2016-06-17
img

OK, who registered their name as Jane Smith'; UPDATE votes SET choice Sadiq;--

The confirmation of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London last month was delayed for several hours by a database application bug.

The election saw Khan voted into the Mayor's office over rival Zac Goldsmith.

While the results of the election were not disputed, the tabulation was completed much later than expected: the announcement should have been made Friday evening, but it did not take place until early Saturday.

IntElect CEO Steve Gowers, who was grilled at the Thursday meeting, said the individual votes were fed into a database, and that this raw information was correct.

However, the code that queried the database to pull out the totals was not working properly, leading to "small discrepancies" between the number of paper votes and the reported totals.

Gowers insisted the system had been tested prior to deployment.

Gary Meyer 2017-11-14
img

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to remove the party whip from one of his MPs after ‘unacceptable’ comments she made about a Tory candidate were discovered online.

Emma Dent Coad apologised for offending London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey, after a six-year-old blog post in which she referred to him as a “token ghetto boy” and a “scumbag” was unearthed by the Guido Fawkes website.

But Conservative MPs James Cleverly and Kemi Badenoch have now written to the Labour leader to ask if he will remove the whip from Dent Coad, who won her Kensington seat at the snap general election.

They said: “The comments made by Ms Dent Coad in relation to Mr Bailey are unacceptable in any circumstance and particularly so from an elected representative.

“Your failure to condemn her comments is both disappointing and concerning.”

The MPs said Corbyn’s claim during the 2017 election campaign that “only Labour can unlock the talent of BAME people” was “as inaccurate as it was insulting” and said they believed there were too many people in the Labour Party who viewed Conservatives from black and minority ethnic backgrounds as “traitors”.

Sean Biro 2018-02-14
img

Transport for London speaks up about what more needs to be done to boost transport innovation across London.

The report from London Assembly Transport Committee outlines shortfalls of standards in harnessing new technology is holding the city back from improvement the transport system.

However both the report suggests there should be exchanges on both parts, allowing TfL to gather data from apps to inform what improvements are needed to the transport network.

Professor Kamargianna, app developer of CityMapper, said that in order to make it easier, data must be exchanged by both parties to reap the benefits.

Kamargianna said: “It is very important to have a two-way flow of data, therefore, yes, definitely provide the data but also for the companies to give back the data and especially the data from on-demand services which can provide the public authorities more information about how people move around.”

The report said reciprocating data sharing should be a requirement for all existing app providers, as well as any new ones looking to enter the market.

Richard Bond 2017-10-17
img

The case of Uber vs Transport for London isn't going to end anytime soon.

It's going to drag on and on with appeals, and possibly even appeals to those appeals.

Well there's a new development, with the London Assembly Tories claiming that Londoners could end up paying an extra £90 million every year (combined, not each) if Uber's licence isn't reinstated.

Part of that comes from the 40,000 drivers who are employed-but-not-employed by Uber, with the LAT claiming they would lose a combined £864 million every year.

Their analysis of the situation also claims that, even with surge charges, an Uber is 40 per cent cheaper than taking a black cab.

And here I was thinking that black cabs were one of the cheapest ways to travel.

Charlie Warren 2016-08-09
img

Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs imaginable.

Every day you go to work, not knowing whether you'll face violence or danger.

And even worse - you might have to use Windows XP.

According to V3, 27,000 computers used by the Metropolitan Police are still on XP - which was first released in 2001 and received its last major update in 2008 - 8 years ago.

What's slightly worrying about this is that Microsoft ended support for XP in 2014 - meaning that it wouldn't receive any more patches or updates to guard against bugs which could conceivably leave systems vulnerable to hackers or viruses.

V3 quotes London Assembly member Andrew Boff summing the situation up by saying that "Operating systems age more like milk than wine, and Windows XP is well past its sell-by date".