Mayor's Oral Update

Meeting: 
MQT on 2013-10-23
Session date: 
October 23, 2013
Reference: 
2013/3932
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

The Mayor will now provide an oral update of up to five minutes in length on matters occurring since the publication of his report.

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Since the publication of that report, obviously, there has been quite a lot of activity.  We went on a big trade mission to China, which you will have seen, championing not just exports from the United Kingdom and from London but also having considerable conversations and indeed negotiations with Chinese partners about investment in London.  You will be aware, Chair, and the Assembly will be aware that billions are already coming into our city and I expect there will be many more billions to come in the next few years.  I do think that that trip will be seen to have been a good use of our time and of taxpayers’ money.

Members of the Assembly will know that we have set up an Ethics Panel for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and this is something that I think is important in view of the issue of police confidence, which is absolutely vital for Londoners.  Confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service is actually now at a three-year high, I am proud to say, in London and that is very largely because I think the police are doing a fantastic job of bringing crime down across all types and the results are very clear.  There has been a 7% or 8% fall in one year alone in crime in this city.

That is very encouraging, but Alex Carlile, Lord Carlile [Queen’s Counsel], will be chairing the Ethics Panel of the MOPAC to give a public face to that question and to make sure there is a point of reference for the city when these issues of ethics and the handling of sensitive questions by the police do come up.  I think he will do a first-class job.

There is a terrific report out by the Greater London Authority (GLA) Economics unit that says that older people contribute far more to the London economy than they receive by way of payment, so I think that is a very important point to get across.  I was stunned to see that they not only contribute £47 billion in paid work to the London economy, but only 0.2% of London burglars are over 60, I was delighted to see, which shows what a fantastic bunch of senior citizens we have, ladies and gentlemen.

 

The Assembly has asked briefly for updates on the Chinese visa issue which came up whilst we were in China.  I think that is a good step forward.  Obviously, we are looking at the detail.  The question is could it be rolled out to other countries.  Could you simplify it for other countries?  That is, in my view, a very good question.  What we want to do is to make sure that London and the United Kingdom gets its share of the massive Chinese tourist market.  It is absurd at the moment that we are underperforming when you consider the large numbers of Chinese visitors who go to other European Union countries when they could be enjoying London, which is the number one tourist destination for overseas visitors in the world.  Chinese tourists should be coming in greater numbers.

Finally, the Assembly has asked for an update on the casualties and the fatalities on the Cycle Superhighways.  I really do not want to go much beyond what I have been able to say in the last few days, except to say that obviously the sympathies of everybody, I am sure - of Transport for London (TfL), of me, of everybody involved in promoting cycling in London - will be with the victims and with their families after what has taken place.  Just to repeat, we continue with a massive programme of investment in cycling and in cycle safely measures in the order now of £1 billion and we are determined to make all those routes as safe as we possibly can.  If there is stuff that we can learn from the reports of the various coroners, then of course we will do so.