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Politicians hit out at London Night Czar who visited Romford over night-time economy

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 June 2018

Night Czar Amy Lame meeting Romford police officers and Street Watch members in South Street on Friday night. Photo: Havering Council

Night Czar Amy Lame meeting Romford police officers and Street Watch members in South Street on Friday night. Photo: Havering Council

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Ms Lame visited Romford recently to check out a number of nightclubs and to learn about how the Havering Community Safety Partnership has gone about making the town centre safer.

London's Night Czar, Amy Lame, visiting South Street on Friday. Photo: Havering CouncilLondon's Night Czar, Amy Lame, visiting South Street on Friday. Photo: Havering Council

Politicians have hit out at Night Czar Amy Lame for failing to answer questions about how the city’s night-time industries are managed.

Ms Lame visited Romford recently to check out a number of nightclubs and to learn about how the Havering Community Safety Partnership has gone about making the town centre safer.

The London Assembly met with the Night Czar who works on behalf of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to manage London’s night-time economy.

According to Ms Lame the night-tube alone has boosted London’s economy by £170 million.

Back in February Ms Lame came to Havering to get a first hand glimpse of the work being done by Havering Council, the town centre policing team and a whole host of other partners.

But, Ms Lame failed to give specific details about other parts of London’s night time economy and assembly members were unimpressed at how much she actually knew about the topic.

Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon was the first politician left unsatisfied by the responses to her question.

Ms Pidgeon asked how the Night Time Commission – a team specifically working on London’s night time trade – would be working with the Metropolitan Police to tackle recreational drug use during evening and night-time events.

Ms Lame said: “Drug use does not just take place during the night.

“We work with the Metropolitan Police and a number of partnerships to help keep London safe.”

But Ms Lame’s vague answer caused Ms Pidgeon to respond: “I’m not quite sure you have answered my question.”

This was followed up by a Tweet for the Liberal Democrat politician which said: “A weak performance from Mayor’s Night Czar Amy Lame this morning. Not able to answer my questions and clearly not engaging with residents across the capital.”

And Ms Pidgeon was not the only assembly member to press Ms Lame on how she was tackling the drug use in the capital.

Conservative Party assembly member Gareth Bacon called her answers to Ms Pidgeon “non-specific” and asked Ms Lame what exactly she was doing to combat drug use.

She responded saying: “Drugs are illegal, and I want to make it specific that drug use does not just belong to the night.”

Mr Bacon was unimpressed with her answer and said: “So is the answer that you are doing nothing then?

“You have already made that point, but the question is what you are doing specifically?”

Ms Lame finally answered that she was “working with the police” but again, Mr Bacon was unsatisfied with the answer.

Mr Bacon responded: “Everyone in the room knows the statement you have made is just for platitude and you are actually doing nothing.”

Ms Lame was also caught out on questions from Labour party assembly member, Andrew Dismore about making sure that Londoners working during the night were paid the London Living Wage.

Ms Lame simply said that she “believes all workers should keep their tips.”

Mr Dismore became frustrated at her answer and said: “Could you please answer my question? What are you doing too implement the London Living Wage given the endemic low pay of the night-time economy.”

Again, Ms Lame answered vaguely that she was working closely with stakeholders inside and outside the Greater London Authority (GLA).

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