Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [11]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Lynne Featherstone
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I think there are a whole raft of concerns about the go live date, which really are substance based, but in terms of the judicial review I would have thought you had nothing much to fear because I believe that you have consulted very rigorously and you've also been through an extensive scrutiny of this Assembly, which has put certain caveats. But I would suggest, Mayor, that the reason for the Conservatives in Westminster seeking a judicial review, are spurious. Would you not agree that, given they were willing to drop their request for a judicial review on the basis of you granting a 90% discount to the entire population of Westminster, that this is simply political shenanigans and has got nothing to do with the benefit of London?

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [11]

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [11]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have to say that my political career is littered with occasions when people told me I was certain to win a particular court case and then I found I didn't. Our advice is incredibly strong, but I have to say, in a British Court you never know what's going to happen when actually the Judge opens his mouth to deliver his final verdict. It was the unanimous position of the legal profession that my fares reduction was lawful and that we would win before the Law Lords and we lost on every point of law with all the Justices.

I'd say in all the correspondence from Westminster there was overwhelming emphasis on why we hadn't had an environment impact analysis, why we hadn't had a public enquiry. In all my meetings with the politicians of Westminster Council almost the only topic of discussion was, "Will you exempt all our residents?" and I had to point out that you couldn't simply exempt Westminster's residents, you would have to have a similar exemption for every borough where the community was divided. Basically, all the people living in inner London most likely would have ended up exempt and there would be no point in doing it.

I have never said to people that this is not a painful change in transport patterns in people's way of life and there'll be people that will never forgive me for it. But, equally, if we don't act now the increasing population in London is going to bring us to gridlock and in two years' time everyone will be saying, "Why didn"t the Mayor do something about it?'