Mayor's Oral Update

MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  The subjects we have requested an update on are: Transport for London (TfL) and New Year’s Eve sponsorship; the incident in Regent Street involving a cyclist and where the police decided not to prosecute; and an update on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s comments on public spending that were made recently.  The floor is yours.


Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Roger.  In addition to those points that I will come to in a minute, I of course remind the Assembly and everybody that in the period since I last saw you we have secured a fantastic deal for the sale of the New Scotland Yard building for £370 million.  That is about three times what we borrowed to pay for it in 2008.


We have launched a London Co-Investment Fund for tech and science start-up businesses.  That is a £25 million fund from us in the Greater London Authority (GLA), matched by £60 million from six private sector partners.  We hope to invest in 150 small businesses over the next three years and trigger 2,600 jobs.


We are planting the last of the current Street Tree Initiative with 4,300 going in so that we will reach our target of 10,000 street trees by March next year.  You know all about the plan to increase the canopy of leaves across London.


I have approved a huge new development in Canary Wharf with 3,610 homes and 17,000 jobs on a 13.6 hectare site at Wood Wharf, a sign of the incredible confidence and growth of the London economy.


I should point out that Rosie Boycott [Chair, London Food Board] attended the launch of London’s first social supermarket.  It was on Monday.  I was very sad I was not able to go down there myself, but I am going down later on.  It seems to be going very well.  The idea is that people who are on low incomes have access to a full range of food at low prices.


Chelsea [Football Club] has joined the London Living Wage campaign and unemployment has fallen to its lowest for six years.


On the three things that you have asked for, on cycling prosecutions, Jenny [Jenny Jones AM] has asked about the sad death of Mr Mason.  Obviously, our thoughts are with his family.  I am limited in what I can say about the police decision not to make any prosecutions.  I might recommend that if you want more detail about that operational decision, you should probably consult Craig Mackey, Deputy Commissioner [Metropolitan Police Service], at the Police and Crime Committee (PCC) tomorrow.  As you know, this decision, Jenny, in no way affects our basic desire to prosecute for infringements of the rules of road traffic.  That applies to cyclists, to motorists and to everyone.


The Labour Group has asked about Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe’s excellent article in The Guardian about pressures on police funding.  He is absolutely right to say that reform is necessary.  It has to be essential for all forces, including the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), to keep going with the programme of reform in order to deliver value for money and he certainly will do that.


The Liberal Democrats have asked about sponsorship of free travel at New Year’s Eve.  We do not have a sponsor this year, but we are nonetheless going ahead.  We did not have one in 2007 or 2008, I notice, but we have had people like Wonga in the past, you will be thrilled to know.  We are going ahead with free travel at New Year’s Eve, as we normally do, in order to help people get away from the centre of London as easily as possible.  I am sure it will be a fantastic success.