Publication from Caroline Russell: Green Group Budget Amendment 2019-20
City Hall Greens Budget Amendment 2019-20
In his final draft consolidated budget, the Mayor has set out how he proposes to use an extra £228.9 million of resources, due to variances in council tax and business rates returns.
Having boosted his Capital Programme Reserve by a further £14.3 million to £40.6 million he has ample resources to draw up an emergency plan to make London carbon neutral by 2030. He has created a new £60.7 million Strategic Investment Fund with £52.3 million from the London business rates pilot and £8.4 million of estimated business rates surplus income for 2018-2019.
We are pleased that the Mayor has acted on our suggestion to invest more in scrappage measures to prepare Londoners for the ULEZ and is now also offering credit for green transport as an option instead of a new vehicle.
Although he has doubled funding for scrappage, announcing a welcome scheme for low-income car drivers in addition to his scrappage scheme for small businesses, his final draft budget still doesn’t go far enough to support community groups working towards ULEZ compliance and who want to upgrade their vans and minibuses before the end of the sunset period in 2023.
We therefore propose doubling our initial proposal in order to create a £30 million fund to help charities upgrade polluting vans and minibuses ahead of the expanded ULEZ. Our fund offers far larger grants than the £3,500 - £6,000 proposed by the Mayor and incentivises charities to crowdfund and raise awareness of their work before they receive a grant.
We are disappointed that although the Mayor has assigned extra funding within MOPAC to go towards preventing violence, which we hope will boost the Met’s diversion work as our first amendment suggested, we haven’t seen any specific boost to the Young Londoners Fund that supports positive youth projects across the city and sits within the GLA: Mayor budget.Youth service cuts are still having an impact across London and so our amendment would use £16 million of the Strategic Investment Fund to add £3 million to the funding for each of the next two years of the Young Londoners Fund (2019-2020 and 2020-2021) and extend it with £10 million for a further year in 2021-2022.
We put forward an amendment to the Mayor’s budget with six parts. Each part seeks to support London’s communities to take action on the challenges they face and address gaps in the Mayor’s policies to deal with some of London’s biggest problems.
Each change would create or increase budgets to support Londoners living in social housing, fund climate emergency response measures, vehicle upgrades and air pollution audits, pay for a study on the potential benefits of a shorter working week across the GLA Group and boost funding for concentrated support for youth services.
- Empower Londoners living in social housing by appointing a Social Housing Commissioner to champion their interests at City Hall, give more community groups training to scrutinise viability claims and recruit extra staff to enforce the Mayor’s new estate regeneration policies, all through a new £1.5 million resident engagement package.
- Draw up a 12-year emergency climate change plan that revises carbon reduction targets and triples the reach of the Mayor’s programme to boost solar installations, funded with £650,000 from his Capital Programme Reserve.
- Increase funding for school air pollution audits, using £750,000 of congestion charge revenue.
- Support community and charitable groups working towards ULEZ compliance by match funding at a 2:1 ratio van and minibus upgrades via the Mayor’s crowdfunding platform, using £30 million from the Mayor’s Strategic Investment Fund.
- Launch a study looking into the benefits to GLA employees as well as the wider organisation of implementing a 4-day week across the GLA Group.
- Increase funding by £3 million per year for each of the next two years of the Young Londoners Fund and extend it with £10 million for a further year in 2021-22.