Surge in demand at foodbanks in Universal Credit trial borough as claimants wait 13 weeks for cash

From Southwark News: Demand at foodbanks in the London Borough of Southwark has surged due to waits of up to three months for people starting on Universal Credit to get their first payments, it has been claimed.

More than 4,000 Southwark residents have joined the Universal Credit system since it was introduced at local Job Centres in early 2016. Labour councillor Fiona Colley said claimants have “dropped off a cliff” for periods of twelve to thirteen weeks, forcing them into rent arrears.

Universal Credit (UC) – which groups six types of benefit into one payment – was touted as the Conservative Party’s big hitting welfare reform after they came to power in 2010. Read more

Tory member of London Assembly: Overseas investors buying up blocks of new homes benefits us all

Channel 4 News video: Watch Tory member of the London Assembly for West Central, Tony Devenish, literally claim that new blocks of housing being bought up en masse by overseas billionaire investors benefits us all, and that there’s no alternative.

'New homes are not for Londoners or affordable'

“We are building lots of homes but who are they for? They’re for billionaire investors, they’re not for Londoners.”Author Anna Minton argues that new homes in London are not affordable.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, August 1, 2017

There’s an event to unseat Boris Johnson and hundreds of people are going

From The Independent: Hundreds of people are planning to attend an event campaigning for Boris Johnson to be unseated from his west London constituency. The event, which was set up by campaigner and columnist Owen Jones, is set to take place in the Foreign Secretary’s Uxbridge & South Ruislip seat.

[Read full article on Independent website…] [Go to Facebook event…]

Tories call for ‘help’ as Labour begins campaign to unseat Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford

From East London & West Essex Guardian: The Conservatives are calling for “help” as over 500 Labour supporters prepare to launch their campaign to unseat Iain Duncan Smith.

According to a letter, believed to be from the local Tory association, the Conservative MP is preparing himself for a fight from the “hordes of Momentum”.

While IDS increased his vote share by 1.2 per cent at last month’s general election (helped by UKIP not standing) his 2015 majority fell from 8,386 to 2,438. Read more

Fire station closed by Boris Johnson to be turned into luxury flats by Tory donor

[Meme from Wear Red – Stand Up and Be Counted]

One of 10 fire stations shut by Boris Johnson while he was Mayor of London is to be converted into luxury flats – by a company whose directors include a Tory donor. Belsize fire station was closed in 2014 after 100 years of service to the local community.

Vulcan Property Ltd, which bought the grade II listed building from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) for £7.8 million, was given planning permission for the flats this week.

Electoral Commission records show one of the company’s three directors, William Richard Woodward-Fisher, made a £2000 donation to a Conservative association in 2005.

Read more

Watch Boris Johnson telling opponent to ‘get stuffed’ when questioned on fire cuts

From The Independent: During his time as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s cuts in 2014 led to the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 552 firefighter jobs, following on from an 8% reduction in fire staff between 2007 and 2012.

At the time, Labour Assembly leader Andrew Dismore raised the issue of these cuts during a meeting at City Hall.

Boris’s reply was telling him to “get stuffed”.

[Watch video on Independent website…]