Hugerford Bridge/Trafalgar Square (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
December 19, 2001
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

We are going to debate the Budget at greater length at another date, but I do not think you have really addressed the question about the conflict between that and Londoners facing sizeable council tax increases next year. Something has to give, and is this not an example where, if you were to phase it in over a longer period, or were perhaps less concerned with it being completed before you might seek re-election, the interests of Londoners might be better protected?

Answer

Answer for Hugerford Bridge/Trafalgar Square (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Hugerford Bridge/Trafalgar Square (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I merely took on a project that the Deputy Prime Minister was very keen should go ahead. The timing, the phasing and the cost were all effectively determined before I became Mayor. If this project were stopped now, it would cost more to do it in future. It would mean standing down the team. Losses would undoubtedly be incurred, because the vast bulk of the preparatory work is done, and the first phase of the building work is about to start. It is so late in the day that it would be a false saving.

Anyhow, I am not facing Londoners with a substantial increase in the council tax. The whole cost of everything we do at the GLA would mean £1 a week for the average family, which, as I pointed out earlier, is half a pint of bitter or four or five fags.