Mayor's Report

MQT on 2006-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2006
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor



Answer for Mayor's Report

Answer for Mayor's Report

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have already mentioned the two meetings with Gordon Brown yesterday and today. I also met, on Monday, with the Home Secretary. Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner of Police of the Metropololis), Tessa Jowell (Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and myself went to see him to discuss the question of the funding of the security aspects of the Olympic Games. As members of the MPA (Metropolitan Police Authority) will know, we face a bill of about £4.6 million, in financial year 2007/08, inside the Metropolitan Police, as they begin preparing for this. I am happy to say that this morning I received a phone call from Tony McNulty (Minister of State, Home Office) saying the Government has undertaken to meet that bill in its entirety. Slightly over 24 hours is the quickest I have ever been able to get a decision out of the Government. The other news is that Dr Reid (Home Secretary) has agreed that the Home Office and ourselves will submit a bid for the Spending Review 2007 for the full additional cost to the Metropolitan Police, to be met by central government.

Then, just briefly, to say that you may not have noticed it, but yesterday, we published on the TfL (Transport for London) website the results of the latest opinion poll in West London on the West London Tram. This is quite interesting because it is within, as I flagged up, the margin of error. 40 per cent of people in the area of the West London Tram support it, and 44 per cent are opposed to it. Given that we have had two and a half years of people campaigning against it, and we have not gone out there engaging with that, I have, therefore, decided to recommend to the TfL Board that we shall proceed and to submit an application for an order under the Transport Works Act (in order to obtain the necessary consent to operate and construct the tram line). All the arguments, the doubts, the fears, will be argued out at an independent public inquiry. In a situation where opinion in West London is virtually divided down the middle, with neither side having a majority, that sort of independent public inquiry, I think, should be the way we resolve this and take it forward.