Mayor's Annual Report 2001 (Supplementary) [5]

Session date: 
June 20, 2001
Question By: 
Eric Ollerenshaw
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I apologise: I had not realised this was called "On Magazine"; presumably your designer should be tackled on that question.

I should just like a little more detail on the best value performance included in the "Helen Mirren talks to Ken Livingstone" interview. There are penetrating questions like, "How on earth do you balance the hugeness of the bureaucracy and the difficult political issues with that sense of the personal touch, so that people can feel they can deal with you?" [Laughter.] Answer: "People just come up and talk to me." Helen Mirren on affordability and diversity: "Ken, that is a wonderful idea." [Laughter.] "One reason I love living in Battersea is that there's lots of different people living side by side." [Laughter.]

It gets even more profound, and will obviously inform our best value report on transport. In the transport question - there is only one - under "Free tickets for the London Eye", which I note is printed on fully recyclable paper. I really want to know what are the London implications of this answer. This question is accessible even to Mr and Mrs Hackney: "Do you agree that the Mayor should give top priority to improving public transport and tackling traffic congestion in London?" What are we to deduce from the answer to that, I wonder? Are we to deduce that people support congestion charging or not? That is the con that is being played here. The worst part of the con is that three quarters of a million pounds is being spent on this game, and it is unfortunate that that is how it will be seen by Londoners. But how can we justify to voluntary groups across London the fact that you are chucking away £750,000 on self-advertising nonsense like this?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Annual Report 2001 (Supplementary) [5]

Answer for Mayor's Annual Report 2001 (Supplementary) [5]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The law requires that you have to do this as part of the best value performance review -

Eric Ollerenshaw: It does not require that you include 23 pictures of yourself.

The Mayor: We all get used to getting something from our local council containing reams of statistics, which you just know nobody reads. We thought, can we make this more attractive, so that people pick it up, dip into and want to read it? The fact that it has the light style that is typical of so many mass-circulation magazines is part of its strength. I was very disturbed when I read in your question the reference to 23 pictures of me, because 20 are an art works structure around the interview. They are not very big; there are very few full individual photographs of me. On policing and the Fire Authority, which are two of our large sources of expenditure, it is designed to get it across to people that we are responsible for running these bodies. Anyhow, we all like men in uniform.