Health Inequalities (Supplementary) [8]

Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What I am complaining about is you having a manifesto commitment that you have not followed through on. I am agreeing that this is a crucial issue. I would say to you that the way to deal with the difficulties that all boroughs are rightly in - we have all been there in our time, or most of us have in terms of borough councils. The way to deal with that is not to beat them up and to threaten to take away their powers and to try and get the government to give you the powers to gang up on them. The way to deal with that is to get them sitting round a table, because they have the same concerns that you do, we all share the concerns. The way to do that is to constructively work with you, would you not agree?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Health Inequalities (Supplementary) [8]

Answer for Health Inequalities (Supplementary) [8]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have sat around the table I think with every borough leader except the ever elusive leader of Hillingdon Council, and we have discussed this ad nauseum. I have offered a compromise over a very pleasant dinner organised by Michael Snyder at the City Corporation. I would say the Mayor should have no power to intervene where a borough achieves that 35% affordable housing for rent target. They all went away and they came back and they could not deliver it.

Some boroughs are going to be determined they will not have the 35% affordable for rent. Let us be able to pick on the worst one, Wandsworth with 1%. If Wandsworth is only providing 1%, other boroughs either have to find an awful lot more, or an awful lot of Londoners have no prospect of ever escaping from the overcrowding that Jennette Arnold was just so eloquently talking about. We have all got to do our bit. Given the reluctance of borough councils across all parties, I think it would be better if this power rested with the Mayor.