Study of the Letters the London Mayor by the Labour Administration

Chiswick Gunnersbury councillor Ron Mushiso reports back

Cllr Mushiso with mayoral hopefuls Samuel Kasumu and Keith Prince AM
Cllr Mushiso with mayoral hopefuls Samuel Kasumu and Keith Prince AM

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June 4, 2023

As teachers and pupils return from the half-term break, ready to tackle the final leg of the academic year, spare a thought for these grappling with the pressures of GCSEs and A levels. While they diligently studied, practiced, and revised, Cllr Rajawat, the leader of the council, had a challenging half-term of his own.

Fresh from the controversy of his ‘strong leader’ move to appoint his choice of Mayor without the usual free vote in the Labour Group, Cllr Rajawat found himself preoccupied with another ‘strong leader’ task: writing letters of support to Sadiq Khan on the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

However, this expansion comes without exemptions for hundreds, if not, thousands of hardworking families and businesses relying on cars and vans to get about their day and work. The initial report from the Mayor of London’s office claimed that only 1 in 10 vehicles in outer London boroughs were non-compliant with ULEZ regulations. However, actual data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that the number was closer to 1 in 6, debunking the mayor's estimate.

This ULEZ expansion poses a significant financial burden on thousands of motorists and businesses in the borough, with some potentially facing yearly charges of up to £4,500 due to the rushed rollout. Hounslow council was caught off guard, requiring a letter to be sent to the London Mayor last summer. Penned by Deputy Council Leader Cllr Dunne, this other letter to the mayor requested an exemption from the ULEZ charge for the council’s fleet of vehicles ahead of the rollout this August. So, if the council itself is unprepared and unable to update its fleet of vehicles in time, is it fair to expect hardworking families, business owners, and delivery drivers to also meet this hurried deadline?

Upon reading Cllr Rajawat's recent letter regarding ULEZ to the London Mayor, it becomes evident that the underlying motive is to blame the Conservative Government for not doing enough. News flash: It was NOT the Government that is enforcing the expansion of ULEZ. It is the Mayor of London. The £110 million vehicle scrappage scheme was announced in January to support low-income Londoners, micro-businesses, charities, and disabled individuals. It is only now that the Labour administration in Hounslow have realised that the support scheme is insufficient.

They fail to admit that this is rushed job by the London Mayor aimed at strengthening the coffers in a financially strained City Hall. In fact, the cameras were being installed before the consultation had even started to gather pace.

I now see this letter for what it is. It is Cllr Rajawat's admission that the ULEZ expansion is marred by poor planning and execution. Interestingly, other Labour MPs have also expressed concerns about the London Mayor's plan. Prominent outer Borough Labour MPs, including Ellie Reeves, Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, Abena Oppong-Asare, and Barry Gardiner, have all called for a review of the scrappage scheme. Even the Labour Mayor for Hackney, Philip Glanville, and the Labour Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Grace Williams, have voiced discontent.

Cllr Rajawat, however, has taken a somewhat different approach, employing political tactics before getting to the point. By publishing the letter, he hopes to reunite his splinted and disheartened Labour Group at the council. So the plan was to initially praise the Mayor's ULEZ expansion to the outer boroughs, clever; then launch a customary salvo, broadside against Conservative Government (by the way this ULEZ mess has nothing to do with the Government and everything to do with the Mayor ) before finally revealing the true purpose of the letter: a plea for reconsideration.

While the full letter is attached for reference, the final parts of its content (the juicy bit) are illustrated here; Cllr Rajawat suggests widening eligibility criteria to include more small businesses, he begs the London Mayor to extend the grace period for retrofitting vans and expanding eligibility further to offer greater support to parents and carers who contribute to the economic life our capital city.

In essence, Cllr Rajawat argues that the ULEZ was rushed, and therefore the necessary provisions to aid residents in transitioning to compliant vehicles were not adequately made. Consequently, they will face more fines, adding to the burdens of Low Traffic Neighbourhood fines and the mayor’s council tax precept which seem to go up by nearly 10% each year. Londoners not only have to contend with the high cost of living but also bear the higher costs of Mayor Khan.

London desperately needs a new mayor. We have a few contenders, but I am convinced that the joint ticket of former 10 Downing Street special advisor Samuel Kasumu and Assembly Member Keith Prince can bring some common sense and competence back at City Hall.

Cllr Ron Mushiso

07976 702887


Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the eight Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn).

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillors takes this surgery). 


Chiswick Gunnersbury (was Turnham Green) ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso 07976 702887

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Jack Emsley 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor 07866 784821

Cllr John Todd 07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Peter Thompson 07977 395810  

Cllr Gabriella Giles 07966 270823 

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