Mayor to take questions from London Assembly on first budget
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today set out how he plans to deliver real results for Londoners as he answers questions from the London Assembly on his first draft budget.
The Mayor’s draft 2017-18 budget covers the entire Greater London Authority Group – including Transport for London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade. It is built around Sadiq Khan’s vision for a London where nobody feels left behind and where everyone has the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.
In addition to investing a record-breaking £3.2bn to deliver increased amounts of new affordable housing, doubling the amount spent on tackling London’s poor air quality and freezing all Transport for London fares for four years, Sadiq Khan is expected to set out in detail that the budget will maintain the strategic target of 32,000 police officers across London, and is providing an additional £24.2m to help the Met maintain officer numbers this year.
Since 2010, the government has systematically cut police budgets in London. The Met Police have had to make £600m of savings since 2013, and over the next few years they will have to find a further £400m.
Last month, the government set out that funding next year would be £17.4m lower than in 2015-16, because the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, cut the police precept last year - the same year as the Mayoral election. This was despite a Government warning that if he did not provide additional funding from council tax, it would result in a future cash cut to police funding.
In response, the budget proposes to close this gap, partially through proposals announced last month to increase the policing share of council tax bills by an average of 8p a week from April 2017 in order to help maintain police officer numbers across London.
Sadiq Khan will also confirm that he is proposing to increase the gross budget of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation from £5.8m in 2016-16 to £7.3m for 2017-18, so that the corporation can move forward with delivering the tens of thousands of homes and jobs that can be created at this West London site.
Speaking at the Budget and Performance Committee today, Sadiq Khan is expected to say: “This is a budget designed to deliver real results for Londoners to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.
“I am determined to keep Londoners safe. That means keeping the number of police officers on our streets as high as possible, and I am committed to maintaining the strategic target of 32,000 officers across London.
“But in the face of continued central government cuts this is becoming increasingly difficult. I have done my bit, and found an additional £24.2m for the Met this year, and we continue to lobby the government to do their bit to provide the funding we need to ensure London remains protected.
“I also believe that Old Oak and Park Royal is one of the capital’s most important regeneration projects. The previous Mayor inflated last year’s OPDC budget by allocating a one-off payment of £6m to the organisation. Taking that into account, I am, in fact, proposing to increase the Development Corporation’s budget compared to what the Assembly agreed last year.”
The Mayor’s draft budget for 2017-18 also includes:
· A record-breaking investment of £3.15 billion to support the building of 90,000 new genuinely affordable homes in the capital over the next five years;
· A freeze on all TfL fares for four years, while protecting concessions and extending the new Hopper bus fare;
· Tackling London’s filthy air that is resulting in 9,400 deaths every year by doubling the amount spent on improving air quality from £425m committed by the previous Mayor to £875m through to 2021/22;
· Record investment in modernising our transport infrastructure including the biggest Tube capacity growth London has ever seen, extending the London Overground and Northern lines, starting planning for the Bakerloo Line extension and progressing new east London river crossings;
· Continuing to work with London’s businesses, investors and innovators to ensure London’s key sectors are protected and Londoners’ economic opportunities maximised during the forthcoming negotiations to leave the European Union.
· Launching a Skills for Londoners taskforce, to ensure skills training meets the needs of London’s economy.
· A proposed additional commitment of £4 million to help all Londoners can access our city’s culture and our creative industries can flourish.
· A shift towards more active and healthier travel for Londoners, by making walking and cycling easier, safer and more attractive;
· A target to dispatch a fire engine within 10 minutes to any incident anywhere in London 90 per cent of the time. This is an improvement on the current standard;
· A commitment to speed up the delivery of housing on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park;
A consultation document that sets out the Mayor’s proposals was made available on the Greater London Authority website at: www.london.gov.uk/budget on 21 December.
Members of the public and other stakeholders have until this Thursday (12 January) to comment on the draft Budget. The Budget is due to be considered by the full London Assembly on 25 January and 20 February and the final budget and council tax precept will be approved by the Mayor after this second meeting.
Notes to editors
· The previous Mayor maintained the strategic target of 32,000 officers throughout his eight years. Actual police numbers varied widely over this period, dropping as low as 30,235 in 2013.
· This variation, and the previous Mayor’s 2016/17 budget, means that a £38m saving has been found because officer numbers fell slightly below target in 2016/17. This will help bridge the budget gap in 2017/18 as there will be vacancies in early 2017/18. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has made clear that this in itself will not balance the budget from 2018/19 onwards and further savings and/or additional resources will need to be identified. Please see points 2.2.7 and 2.2.8 here:
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
· The Mayor is proposing a gross budget for OPDC of £7.3m for 2017-18.
· In 2016-17, the Assembly approved OPDC receiving a gross budget of £5.8m from the previous Mayor. This is £1.5m less than the Mayor’s proposal for 2017-18. The current Mayor is increasing OPDC’s gross budget so that the corporation can move forward with delivering the tens of thousands of homes and jobs that can be created at this site.
· The previous Mayor also chose to allocate an additional one-off payment of £6m to the organisation in 2016-17. This additional payment was to support the OPDC’s ongoing work to take ownership from Government of public land surrounding the proposed new station at Old Oak.
· The forecasted spend for OPDC in 2016-17 is £9.2m.
· The Mayor’s GLA Group Budget proposals include a recommendation to reduce OPDC’s gross budget from £9.2m to £7.3m, the equivalent of 21 per cent.
· A further £1m is planned to be held in reserve by the Mayor, pending a proposal for further investment in the area.
· The Mayor of London’s 2017-18 draft Council Tax requirement is £801.3m – this being the total sum forecast to be collected from Londoners to fund GLA services. Under the proposal the total GLA precept will be increased from £276.00 to £280.02 a year (Band D household) for residents of the 32 boroughs – an overall increase £4.02 or 1.5 per cent. All of this increase will be provided to the Metropolitan Police. The Band D precept for taxpayers within the Corporation of London area – which has its own police force – is provisionally set at £73.89.
· The Mayor’s proposed council tax precept comprises £589.5m to support the Metropolitan Police service, £138.2m for the London Fire Brigade and £73.6m for other services such as transport and the GLA itself.
· The Mayor’s draft budget consists of allocations for - the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (Metropolitan Police), Transport for London, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (London Fire Brigade), the London Legacy Development Company (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation, the core Greater London Authority and the London Assembly.
· The proposed total budget for the GLA Group for 2017-18 is £15.8 billion. This comprises a revenue budget of £11.7 billion and a draft capital spending plan of £4.1 billion.
· The consultation document, which outlines the Mayor’s proposals, was circulated to all 32 London Borough Councils, the Corporation of London, key business representative bodies and other key stakeholders representing London’s wide range of interests on 21 December and made available on the Mayor’s budget homepage – www.london.gov.uk/budget . The consultation closes on Thursday 12 January and responses should be emailed to [email protected]