London: Four years on (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
March 14, 2012
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Richard Barnes (Deputy Mayor): Chair, I know a number of hymns that would lift us, but I have heard the gloom from the Labour Party, and as they are only half-full glass people, then it would be difficult.

Anyway, Mr Mayor, I am grateful that Assembly Member Doocey raised the issue of the Olympics under this open-ended question. Is it not true that when you assumed office four years ago, there was no legacy plans for the Olympics? Is it not true that the cost of the Olympics had gone up from 2005 at £2.4 billion to £9 billion in March 2007, that there were no policies in place to achieve that slogan that was adopted, 'The most accessible Games ever' and that in those four years, you have brought that budget under control, you have ensured that the Olympics will be delivered on time and to budget

Jennette Arnold (Chair): Can you finish? Can you bring that to order?

Richard Barnes (Deputy Mayor): and that policies are in place to achieve the most accessible Games ever, and indeed, the most green Games ever, and as a result, Londoners can be proud and better off than they were four years ago?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for London: Four years on (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for London: Four years on (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I am grateful to you, Richard, for what you say.

Jennette Arnold (Chair): Can you stop?

John Biggs (AM): Is there a requirement for Members to be remotely truthful in their questions, Chair, under Standing Orders?

James Cleverly (AM): You guys never bother. .

Jennette Arnold (Chair): There is an expectation by Londoners that we are here to do a job. That is for Members to represent them and bring their questions and the concerns to the Mayor, and it is for the Mayor to answer those questions in a direct and concise and correct a way as possible. That is the expectation here today. Now, thank you for that note. Deputy Mayor Barnes, have you got another question around this?

Richard Barnes (Deputy Mayor): No, I have asked the question and it is related to the original one, and I am grateful that

Jennette Arnold (Chair): It is related. Can I have a clear, concise, correct answer to that question?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Thank you. The answer is yes, Richard, your question is excellent and we did take the Olympic budget in hand, and in particular there were some programmes that were proposed that would have placed significant extra pressures on the budget that we cut out. We planned, for instance, to build a new basketball court outside the Olympic Park itself, but there was no real purpose to be served by that. We stopped that and I am very pleased not only that we have been able the deliver the Games on time and under budget, with at least £500 million of headroom left, but also of course that London pupils at London schools will get free tickets, and 125,000 are now being distributed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and that was thanks to the efforts of this mayoralty. Yes, we have taken the whole legacy project in hand, and the legacy from the Olympic Games, which was pretty inchoate, pretty unformed when I came in, is going to be utterly fantastic, and already you are seeing investment from Qatari Diar/Delancey in the Village. As I was saying earlier on in my answer to Roger, a huge amount of investment coming in around that part of East London.