Agenda item

Questions to the Mayor

(To be circulated separately)

 

Part A:

The Assembly will put questions to the Mayor.

 

Part B:

Motion submitted in the name of the Chair:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.”

Minutes:

5.1  The record of the discussion with the Mayor, including oral answers given by the Mayor to Members’ questions, is attached as Appendix 2.

 

5.2  The written answers to those questions not asked or unanswered during the meeting is attached as Appendix 3.

5.3  At 11.57am the Chairman adjourned the meeting for one minute. The meeting resumed at 11.58am.

 

5.4  During the course of the question and answer session the Chairman proposed, and it was agreed, that Standing Order 2.9B be suspended to extend the meeting in order to allow the remaining questions on the priority order paper to be put to the Mayor and for the remaining items of business on the agenda to be considered.

5.5  At the conclusion of the question and answer session, the Chairman moved the motion set out on the agenda, namely:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked”.

 

5.6  Len Duvall AM moved and Darren Johnson AM seconded the following amendment to the motion:

 

After “That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.” add:

 

“Further, the London Assembly is deeply concerned at the Mayor’s failure to address fully concerns regarding the granting to Advanced Business Park (ABP) of the tender to develop the 35-acre site at the Royal Albert Dock, which includes 3.2 million square feet of office space, leisure facilities, and 845 residential flats.

 

“This Assembly is also troubled by the fact that, despite compelling evidence calling into question ABP’s human rights record in China, neither the Mayor’s Office nor London and Partners assessed ABP's human rights record as part of the evaluation process in respect of the Royal Albert Dock development. In particular, this Assembly is disappointed by the Mayor’s recent admission that ABP's human rights record in China “wasn't relevant to the tendering process.”[1]

 

“This Assembly notes the comments of Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, who has publicly stated that the tendering process “has the smell of a semi-corrupt arrangement…”[2]

 

“Given the gravity of the concerns raised by Channel 4 News’ investigation into the Albert Docks Development, this Assembly calls on:

 

The Mayor to:

 

·  Appoint an independent investigation into the tendering process and relationship between the Greater London Authority and allied agencies, and ABP, in the awarding of the Royal Albert Dock development.

 

The London Assembly Audit Panel (with authority delegated to the committee Chair in consultation with Group leads to agree the terms of reference) to:

 

·  Launch a scrutiny session on the internal audit process undertaken by the Mayor in relation Royal Albert Dock development, and seek a commitment from the Mayor to appear before the Panel as part of the scrutiny.

 

The London Assembly Economy Committee and Planning Committee (with authority delegated to the committee chair(s) in consultation with group leads to agree the terms of reference) to:

 

·  Launch a joint scrutiny session on the economic and planning aspects of Royal Albert Dock development, and seek a commitment from the Mayor to appear before the Committee as part of the scrutiny.

 

“The London Assembly also notes revelations in the Guardian on 18.11.14 that Mayoral advisors have proposed cuts of up to 90% in funding for education and youth schemes – including mentoring, volunteering, supplementary schooling, healthy eating, and services for young people excluded from schools –  targeted at some of London’s most deprived young people[3].

 

“Given the extent of the proposed cuts, and the Mayor’s acknowledgement that the GLA “need[s] to scale up 10 times the efforts to ensure Londoners can compete successfully in a changing and competitive market place”[4], this Assembly calls on the Mayor to reject the proposals of officers and deliver the funding vulnerable young Londoners need to avoid the trap of long-term unemployment and increased risk of offending.

 

“This Assembly also calls on the London Assembly’s Education Panel to conduct an urgent impact assessment of the proposed cuts.”

 

5.7  Following debate, and in accordance with Standing Order 2.7, Jennette Arnold AM requested that a recorded vote be taken upon this amendment.

 

5.8  Upon being put to the vote, the votes in respect of the amendment in the name of Len Duvall AM were cast as follows:

 

For the amendment: John Biggs AM, Tom Copley AM, Andrew Dismore AM, Len Duvall AM, Nicky Gavron AM, Darren Johnson AM, Jenny Jones AM, Stephen Knight AM, Joanne McCartney AM, Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Murad Qureshi AM, Onkar Sahota AM, Fiona Twycross AM and Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair).

 

Against the amendment: Tony Arbour AM, Andrew Boff AM and Roger Evans AM (Deputy Chairman).

 

5.9  There being 14 votes in favour of the amendment and 3 votes against, the amendment was agreed.

 

5.10  Upon being put to the vote, the motion as amended, namely:

 

That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.

 

“Further, the London Assembly is deeply concerned at the Mayor’s failure to address fully concerns regarding the granting to Advanced Business Park (ABP) of the tender to develop the 35-acre site at the Royal Albert Dock, which includes 3.2 million square feet of office space, leisure facilities, and 845 residential flats.

 

“This Assembly is also troubled by the fact that, despite compelling evidence calling into question ABP’s human rights record in China, neither the Mayor’s Office nor London and Partners assessed ABP's human rights record as part of the evaluation process in respect of the Royal Albert Dock development. In particular, this Assembly is disappointed by the Mayor’s recent admission that ABP's human rights record in China “wasn't relevant to the tendering process.”[5]

 

“This Assembly notes the comments of Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, who has publicly stated that the tendering process “has the smell of a semi-corrupt arrangement…”[6]

 

“Given the gravity of the concerns raised by Channel 4 News’ investigation into the Albert Docks Development, this Assembly calls on:

 

The Mayor to:

 

·  Appoint an independent investigation into the tendering process and relationship between the Greater London Authority and allied agencies, and ABP, in the awarding of the Royal Albert Dock development.

 

The London Assembly Audit Panel (with authority delegated to the committee Chair in consultation with Group leads to agree the terms of reference) to:

 

·  Launch a scrutiny session on the internal audit process undertaken by the Mayor in relation Royal Albert Dock development, and seek a commitment from the Mayor to appear before the Panel as part of the scrutiny.

 

The London Assembly Economy Committee and Planning Committee (with authority delegated to the committee chair(s) in consultation with group leads to agree the terms of reference) to:

 

·  Launch a joint scrutiny session on the economic and planning aspects of Royal Albert Dock development, and seek a commitment from the Mayor to appear before the Committee as part of the scrutiny.

 

“The London Assembly also notes revelations in the Guardian on 18.11.14 that Mayoral advisors have proposed cuts of up to 90% in funding for education and youth schemes – including mentoring, volunteering, supplementary schooling, healthy eating, and services for young people excluded from schools –  targeted at some of London’s most deprived young people[7].

 

“Given the extent of the proposed cuts, and the Mayor’s acknowledgement that the GLA “need[s] to scale up 10 times the efforts to ensure Londoners can compete successfully in a changing and competitive market place”[8], this Assembly calls on the Mayor to reject the proposals of officers and deliver the funding vulnerable young Londoners need to avoid the trap of long-term unemployment and increased risk of offending.

 

“This Assembly also calls on the London Assembly’s Education Panel to conduct an urgent impact assessment of the proposed cuts.”

 

was agreed (14 votes cast in favour, 3 votes cast against).



[1] Big questions for Boris over billion dollar property deal, Channel 4 News, 13.11.14

[2] Ibid

[3] Syal. R & Muir. H, Boris Johnson to consider 90% funding cuts to youth and education schemes, The Guardian

[4] Ibid

[5] Big questions for Boris over billion dollar property deal, Channel 4 News, 13.11.14

[6] Ibid

[7] Syal. R & Muir. H, Boris Johnson to consider 90% funding cuts to youth and education schemes, The Guardian

[8] Ibid

Supporting documents: