Mayor sets out first budget to support London’s future growth
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today published his first draft budget – with the focus on building a city where nobody feels left behind and where everyone has the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.
The draft budget confirms plans to invest a record-breaking £3.2bn to deliver affordable housing, doubling the amount spent on tackling London’s poor air quality and freezing all Transport for London fares for four years.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “My first budget as Mayor of London sets out my plans to ensure that all Londoners get the opportunities that our wonderful city gave to me. Crucially, it is a budget designed to deliver real results for Londoners.
“This budget supports London’s future growth and success, entrepreneurial spirit, thriving economy, extraordinary diversity and creativity, tolerance and openness to the world.
“Against a background of ever tightening resources from Government, I will not tolerate waste and inefficiency. I have thoroughly reviewed and challenged spending plans across the Greater London Authority Group - in particular with Transport for London, who will achieve financial breakeven on their operating account by 2020-21.”
The Government is making significant cuts in the Met’s funding for next year. This is after the Met has made £600 million of cuts since 2013 and £420 million of future cuts are required over the next four years. This is because the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, made the political decision to cut the police precept – in the same year as the Mayoral election. This was despite a warning by Government 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 week 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.
The draft 2017/2018 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. Its plans include:
· A record-breaking investment of £3.15 billion to support 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;
· Maintaining the strategic target of 32,000 police officers for London against the backdrop of significant Government cuts to police funding for London, with real neighbourhood policing for all and better support for victims;
· 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 £4m on culture as a top priority for London, to fund new projects including London Borough of Culture, Creative Enterprise Zones and a vision for 24-hour London.
· 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;
· Support for London’s largest opportunity area through the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.
A consultation document that sets out the Mayor’s proposals has now been made available on the Greater London Authority website at: www.london.gov.uk/budget
Members of the public have until 12 January 2017 to comment on the draft Budget. The Budget is due to be considered by the London Assembly on 25 January and 10 February.
Notes to editors
· 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 2016-17 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, will be 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.