The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has once again delivered value for money for Londoners, by reducing his share of the council tax with his fifth annual budget. The budget, which today was approved unamended by the London Assembly, provides significant investment for housing, transport and regeneration.
The Mayor has achieved a 1.2 per cent cut in the precept (GLA portion of the council tax) which means that the amount the average household (Band D) in London will pay will fall from £306.72 to £303.00. Since elected in 2008, the Mayor has achieved a 20 per cent reduction in the precept in real terms. This is in contrast to the 152 per cent increase that was reached by the previous administration.
The budget sets out plans to maintain police officer numbers at around 32,000 and to develop local policing models, which will redeploy officers from the back office to the frontline and will deliver an additional 2,600 officers in Safer Neighbourhood Teams, making police more visible and accountable to their local communities.
There is also provision for £250 million to help deliver 55,000 new affordable homes by 2015, £111 million investment for cycling in the capital for 2013/14 and a further £16.8 million to tackle rough sleeping in the capital over the next two years.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
‘It is vital that we boost economic growth and create the jobs that we need to help lift this city and country out of our current economic difficulties. Businesses will only want to invest here if they see us offering the best quality of life for a major world city. That means building more houses, making London safer and continuing with crucial infrastructure projects like the upgrade of the Tube and Crossrail. Delivering value for money, whilst making London safer and ensuring that we have emergency services that we can continue to be proud of is one of my key priorities.’
The tough economic climate has meant a reduction in resources for the Fire Authority. However the Mayor secured a better than expected financial settlement for the Fire Authority, which means that despite some difficult decisions about the estate, plans for a balanced budget have drawn up. Proposals for a reduction in the number of fire stations in the capital from 112 to 100 mean that London-wide response times would continue to be met and, at borough level, more boroughs would meet the targets.
Other highlights of the budget include:-
- £231 million investment in the capital's urban landscape
- £2.4 million for major skills and employment projects
- £300,000 to support homeless people with a UK Armed forces background in addition to the free travel that is already provided for injured veterans
- £650,000 to help deliver 250,000 apprentices
The budget will also ensure that Crossrail and the Tube upgrades will be delivered, helping the city to emerge from the current economic difficulties more competitive than ever.
Notes to editors
1. The Mayor’s consolidated council tax requirement is £778.7million. The total GLA precept will fall from £306.72 to £303.00 in 2013/14 for a Band D household.
2. The Mayor froze the GLA precept over his first three years in office and has now reduced for the last two years (which is equivalent to a 20 per cent cut in real terms over the last five years).
3. The Mayor’s council tax precept comprises of £216.92 to support the Metropolitan Police service, £ 49.87 for the London Fire Brigade, £20 to fund the Mayor's agreed contribution from the precept to fund the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and £16.21 for transport and other services.
4. The Mayor’s draft budget consists of – the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Transport for London, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, the London Legacy Development Corporation, and the Greater London Authority including the London Assembly. The total budget for GLA Group services is £16.5 billion.
5. The document is available on the Greater London Authority website www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/gla/budget-expenditure-charges/budget-2013-14.