Mayor welcomes Chancellor’s pledge to protect police budget

25 November 2015
  • Mayor welcomes pledge to protect police from budget cuts and provide a 30% boost to spending on counter-terrorism measures 

 

  • Investment in thousands of new ‘starter homes’ and shared ownership properties will help meet unprecedented demand and get more Londoners on to the housing ladder

 

  • Mayor welcomes £11 billion funding settlement for Transport for London (TfL) and continued commitment to Crossrail 2

 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s pledge to protect the police from budget cuts and to continue to target vital investment for transport and housing in the capital.

Chancellor George Osborne today pledged to ensure that the police will not face real-term reductions in budgets, one of the Mayor’s key concerns for the capital ahead of the Government’s Spending Review.

Since 2008, through efficiency savings and the sale of underutilised police buildings London has been able to keep officer numbers high at around 32,000, whilst safeguarding neighbourhood policing. The Mayor believes that the Chancellor’s promise to protect police budgets will allow the capital to maintain neighbourhood teams, which are vital in the continued fight against crime and terrorism.

Commenting on the Chancellor's announcement that police numbers are to be protected the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Keeping London and Londoners safe is my number one priority as Mayor. That's why I welcome today's focus on keeping officer numbers high. It's absolutely the right thing to do.

"The Government's commitment to counter terror funding, neighbourhood policing and the protection of frontline officer numbers in London is of vital importance.

"Since 2008, through efficiency savings and the sale of underutilised police buildings we have been able to keep officer numbers high at around 32,000, whilst safeguarding neighbourhood policing.

"Further savings will be necessary, as we continue to streamline and reform the Met Police, but this settlement allows us to maintain those neighbourhood teams, whilst keeping officer numbers high, in our fight against terrorism, our drive to continue to reduce crime across London, and our determination to keep this city safe.”

The Mayor has also heralded major investment by the Chancellor into thousands of new ‘starter homes’ and shared ownership properties, plus an extension to Help to Buy, which will help to tackle an unprecedented demand for housing and build on the Mayor’s achievements to help more than 52,000 Londoners on to the housing ladder as part of his First Steps Scheme.

The Mayor wants to double the number of shared ownership units built in London by 2020 and again by 2025 to help an estimated 250,000 more Londoners access affordable homes to rent or buy.

And he has welcomed confirmation by Government of an £11bn funding settlement, which will enable TfL to continue the modernisation of the capital's road, rail and cycling networks, support thousands of jobs and new homes and promote economic growth across the entire UK.

The £11bn settlement will enable TfL to continue to deliver a capital investment programme of over £2bn each year to improve and modernise London's transport network (see Notes to Editors). Through continued efficiencies and greater commercial revenues TfL will cover all day-to-day running costs of the Tube by 2019 – the only major European city transport network not requiring Government subsidy to run a metro network.

Crossrail 2 – a major new railway serving London and the wider South East - received a boost in the Spending Review, as the Chancellor confirmed that it would be eligible for funding from a new £300million Transport Development Fund for the next generation of transport infrastructure projects.

TfL has made a comprehensive business case submission to Government for the development of the project. The Mayor has today welcomed the Government's new fund and looks forward to a positive recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission in March that Crossrail 2 should be taken forward.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, added: “Today’s Spending Review is also a clear show of recognition by the Government of the importance of investment in our capital city. Commitments to transport and housing infrastructure will enable us to continue to deliver the improved services, jobs and homes the capital needs to help support economic growth across the whole country.

“I am pleased with the Chancellor’s ongoing support for Crossrail 2 and look forward to a positive recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission that this vital project should be taken forward.”

 

Today's settlement will enable TfL to continue to deliver:

 

  • The modernisation of the Tube, including completion of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines by 2022 and the early stages of works on the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City lines;

 

  • The biggest ever investment in London's roads and streets. TfL's Road Modernisation Plan is delivering a greener, safer and more attractive network for all road users, including new safe, segregated cycle superhighways and improved spaces for pedestrians;

 

  • Further improvements to the TfL Rail network, including new trains, improvement to stations and faster, more frequent services for customers;

 

  • The delivery of Crossrail into operational service, with the full network open by 2019;

 

  • The development and delivery of new Thames river crossings to support regeneration and growth, particularly in east London.

 

TfL also today confirmed that from 2019 it will cover all operational costs from non-Department for Transport (DfT) grant sources of income - including fares, commercial revenues and the retention of business rates from non-domestic and commercial properties - an income stream expected to rise as the capital's economy continues to grow.

All of this means that London will be the only major European city transport network not to require an operational subsidy.  This has been made possible through:

Major improvements to capacity and reliability of the network - such as those delivered on the Victoria, Northern and Jubilee lines for example - which has meant significant reductions in maintenance costs;

The successful implementation of a major savings and efficiencies programme and greater commercial revenues, while protecting frontline services and investment.

This means that from 2019 forward, all DfT grant received by TfL will be directed towards investment in London's transport infrastructure necessary to support the Capital's population growth - set to rise from a record 8.6m today to around 10m by 2030 - and ensure TfL can continue to improve London's transport networks, environment, air quality and accessibility.

London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown MVO said: “This settlement means we will continue to modernise and improve London’s road, rail and cycling networks, its environment, air quality and accessibility.  It also recognises the tough decisions we must continue to take to deliver more efficiently for fare and tax payers’, while protecting and modernising frontline services and investment. I also the welcome the Chancellor’s continued support for Crossrail 2.

“We will now get on with delivering the transport improvements London needs to harness significant population growth.  We need to keep this great city working, growing and we need to make life in London better for all who live, work in and visit us.”

Notes to editors

About Crossrail 2

 

  • Crossrail 2 will support some 200,000 new homes and 200,000 new jobs, given the housing and economic growth it would support;

 

  • 60,000 full-time jobs would also be supported through the construction and operation of Crossrail 2 and across the UK in engineering, construction and manufacturing through its supply chain, driving hundreds of millions of pounds to regional local economies;

 

  • TfL is currently conducting a detailed consultation on the Crossrail 2 route, to ensure it is ready to begin construction in 2020 and the first services can operate from 2030.

 

TfL’s Business Plan

 

  • TfL's £11bn funding settlement covers the period from 2015/16 to 2020/21 and includes a total of £5.8bn in Investment Grant and £1.4bn in General Grant from DfT, alongside a total of £3.8bn in borrowing powers;

 

  • The Investment Grant begins with a commitment of £925m in 2015/16 rising to £1,007m in 2020/21.  Existing and separate financing and borrowing for the completion of Crossrail remain in place;

 

  • At the same time, TfL's General Grant will be reduced in phases from £675m in 2015/16 to zero by 2018/19;

 

  • In total, TfL's grant funding from DfT has been reduced by £2.8bn over the course of TfL's Business Plan, from 2015/16 to 2020/21;

 

  • As a result, TfL will continue to deliver over £2bn of stable and sustained annual capital investment in London's transport infrastructure over the period of its Business Plan to 2020/21;

 

  • TfL is delivering a major savings and efficiencies programme totalling £16bn, while continuing to protect and modernise frontline services and investment. This represents a 15 per cent sustained reduction in the cost of the organisation.  Without such efficiencies, TfL would need to find an additional £1.5bn through extra grant or higher fares income each year;

 

  • Following the funding settlement, TfL will now revise its Business Plan, which will be published in early 2016.

 

Housing

 

  • Having exceeded his manifesto to target help 50,000 people into intermediate homes, the Mayor wants to double the number of shared ownership units built in London by 2020 and again by 2025 to help an estimated 250,000 more Londoners access affordable homes to rent or buy. Share to Buy provide the FIRST STEPS property portal which lists all available properties across London and details of how to apply: https://www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps    

 

  • The scheme’s deposits start from as little as £5,000, averaging at £13,000, with average household wages of £37,000.

 

  • The Mayor wants to double the number of shared ownership units built in London by 2020 and again by 2025 to help an estimated 250,000 more Londoners access affordable homes to rent or buy, and this vital new government housing investment will help achieve this ambition.