Mayor's Oral Update

MQT on 2014-02-26
Session date: 
February 26, 2014
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The Mayor is going to provide an oral update of up to five minutes in length on matters that have occurred since the publication of the report.  Once the Mayor has provided that update, there will be a chance for Members to come in with supplementary questions on that update.


Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Thank you, Darren.  I am going to keep it fairly snappy this morning, Darren, because we have all met recently to discuss the budget, as you will recall, Members of the Assembly, and I am very glad and very grateful to all of those of you who passed that budget.  It was very good of you.  Thank you very much.  It of course enables us to deliver £350 million worth of savings and efficiencies across the Greater London Authority (GLA) group.  We have £1.25 billion of funding for affordable homes over 2015-18 and funding for 2,600 more police officers on the front line.  We are of course pushing forward with great schemes for London, new crossings of the river and Crossrail 2, whilst bearing down on council tax and indeed on fares.  Just on council tax, I would point out that Londoners will benefit from a reduction in their council tax as the GLA’s portion will fall from £303 to £299, the first time it has been under £300 for years.  This reduction equates to a 24% reduction in real terms since I was elected, by contrast with the 152% increase that took place under the previous administration.


I have been asked to update you, Members of the Assembly, about a couple of things to do with the Cycle Hire Scheme.  You will be familiar with the £25 million that we have secured from Barclays to cover the cost of the Cycle Hire Scheme.  They are committed to paying that in full and obviously that helps us defray the costs of all the investment in cycle hire, including stage 3, the rollout to southwest London.


You have asked me about the Affordable Homes Programme and how that is going.  What I can certainly tell you is that we are on course to deliver a record number of 100,000 new affordable homes over the two terms of this Mayoralty.  That is pretty remarkable, considering the very adverse financial climate that we have been going through.


One more point just on cycling.  I think I am going to be announcing this today.  It says tomorrow but it must be today.  Never mind.  I am going to announce it now anyway.  We are ripping out ‑‑ we are transforming a load of roundabouts and gyratory systems in London at long last.  There is a £300 million programme to improve safety and to improve the lives of cyclists and pedestrians at Archway, at Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, amongst other places.  I am sure there will be lots more details of this fantastic programme being released later today and I am sure cyclists around London will want to see that.  I hope very much that they will welcome it.