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City & London East Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai, talks Tube noise, safety at football matches, and costly IVF treatments in his latest exclusive column for City Matters.

It was positive to recently welcome London’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, to the Barbican Estate where she met local residents suffering from the impact of Tube noise.

During the visit, the loud rumblings of passing trains punctuated one resident’s account of having to hold down their crockery due to their home being shaken.

The deputy mayor listened sympathetically to the concerns of Barbican residents about how Tube noise has disrupted their lives and sleeping patterns for too long.

In response, she underlined that whilst there are no quick solutions, TfL would try to mitigate the issue by looking into putting speed restrictions in place alongside other measures.

However, it is clear, that even though TfL are unable to offer a panacea to this problem, Barbican residents need some decisive and urgent interventions to be made.

Alongside, Councillor Mary Durcan, who has been pursuing the issue so doggedly, I will continue to monitor and press TfL into testing and implementing the potential actions discussed.

I also recently visited Mansell Street at the request of local Councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali to discuss the issue of engine idling among local bus routes and associated ASB issues with TfL officers.

Concerns have been raised about buses that been kept running whilst stationary in the area and this is thwarting the measures being taken by the Mayor and the City of London to clean up toxic air levels in our community.

On a separate matter, I have been trying to raise awareness towards the struggles being faced by couples in the Capital affected by infertility. Earlier this year, I was contacted by a constituent who highlighted the perhaps little-known issue and injustice of the unequal provision of NHS IVF treatment across London.

NICE guidelines for fertility treatment recommend three full IVF cycles to effectively treat infertility.

However, patients in the City of London, and in most boroughs, are only able to access one cycle of treatment from their local CCG due to funding issues. Whilst the Mayor of London does not have control over NHS services in the Capital, I have asked him to raise this issue with the London Health Board at the earliest opportunity.

Tackling hate crime in all of its forms has been one of my key campaigns at City Hall. With the start of the new football season, I have also written to all football league clubs in the Capital to gather information on the measures that they plan to take on the under-reporting of hate crime and racism at their grounds on matchdays.

Sadly, we have recently seen some shocking incidents of abuse targeted at players and fans. We cannot risk this turning the beautiful game ugly and football clubs have a duty to ensure that all Londoners can support their team in a safe environment.

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