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Mayor's budget fails to lay foundation for fair and sustainable London, says Assembly
Adequate funding to preserve police numbers in the capital and a fair fares package for Londoners should be Mayor Boris Johnson’s top priorities when setting his £14 billion pound budget, the London Assembly said today.
At the end of the Greater London Authority (GLA) budget setting process, the Assembly passed a motion noting that the Mayor’s budget has failed to present a sound foundation for a fair and sustainable London.
The Assembly urged the Mayor to address Londoners’ number one concern about crime by adequately funding the police service and preserving police numbers. The motion also called for particular attention to be given to lessening the impact of bus and tube fare rises on Londoners.
Proposing the motion Mike Tuffrey AM told the Assembly:
“When the Mayor was running for office he said crime would be his top priority, yet his budget cuts police officer numbers by 455. Our simple message to Boris is keep your promise and preserve police officer numbers.”
John Biggs AM, who seconded the motion, said:
“The Mayor’s fare rises were extraordinarily harsh and unfair, hitting the poorest Londoners hardest, despite previously stating that public transport in London was too expensive. It is time for the Mayor to deliver on the content he promised Londoners rather than focusing on flashy packaging and ribbon cutting.”
Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the Assembly said:
“The Assembly has a duty to ensure the Mayor’s plans to spend £14 billion pounds of Londoners money are coherent, efficient and will deliver the quality services they have a right to expect from the GLA group. We do not believe the Mayor has adequately addressed the concerns about the fairness and sustainability of this budget that the Assembly has repeatedly raised since the first draft was published last year. We hope the Mayor will listen a little more and bluster a little less when it comes to setting his next budget.”
This Assembly notes that in his 2010/11 budget the Mayor has failed to present a sound foundation for a fair and sustainable London.
The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to recognise and address in particular:
- Londoners’ number one concern about crime and community safety by ensuring that police services in London are adequately funded, preserving police numbers on the front line and developing and protecting community policing initiatives as well as developing a fair measure to monitor performance.
- How his 2011 fares package can lessen the impact on Londoners, particularly those with low incomes. We urge the Mayor to do this in his fare package for 2011, and before making his final decision allow the London Assembly to provide scrutiny and comment on the proposed fare package for 2011.
The Assembly reaffirms the importance of effective democratic scrutiny of the Mayor noting that many of today’s recommendations follow from the detailed scrutiny work of the Assembly and calls on the Mayor to work positively with all groups represented on the Assembly when putting together his budget for 2011/12.
Notes to Editors
1. The motion was agreed by 13 votes in favour.
For more details please contact Mark Demery in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 5769.
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