Mayoral Strategies (Supplementary) [27]

Session date: 
October 17, 2001
Question By: 
Tony Arbour
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


That is rather disingenuous of you, to say that this is going to be providing housing for key workers in the way you have listed. So far as I can tell - and I look at all your comments on applications that come in - you merely say that you do not like the amount of affordable housing they have provided because they have not provided up to the figure you have set. You are right: almost invariably, they come back and say they will increase the amount of affordable housing. But that is precisely the use of the stick that we are complaining about.

The use of the stick has failed spectacularly in one part of London, in the London Borough of Sutton. In that borough - yes, I can see Lord Tope blushing, as well he might - the residents were ordered to put out refuse on particular days, in particular cartons, in particular wheelie bins, and the people of Sutton have rebelled. They have said, "We will not be told by a local authority how to do this." It transpires that the Sutton experience, which I hope is not repeated elsewhere, has shown that determined burghers - [Interruption.] - "burghers", I said - will sabotage such schemes. I fear that, if you go around saying to London boroughs, "Thou shalt" do something or the other, and you direct refusal, you are likely to end up at public inquiry, which of course is their only sanction when they say, "We are unwilling to accept this."

Therefore, are you willing to fight any cases in which a borough says that it will go to appeal on the basis that you have directed refusal?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Mayoral Strategies (Supplementary) [27]

Answer for Mayoral Strategies (Supplementary) [27]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

On the first instance, about the question of refuse, that is precisely why we are planning to use the carrot, and why John Duffy has conducted the experiment in Lambeth under which people get a cashback on their council tax for separating their rubbish. So we will try the carrot. Then we will come round and beat them with the stick if they don't. [Laughter.]

As for planning, we have been able to get agreement with all developers on affordable housing. Where we will go to inquiry is on the erosion of the green belt. I cannot remember them all off the top of my head, but one that sticks in my mind most vividly is the provision of a totally unacceptable pub in the middle of a park in one East End borough, where the local people are supporting my direction of refusal.