Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

MQT on 2015-12-16
Session date: 
December 16, 2015
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor



Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Thank you so much, Jennette.  There is quite a bit to get through.

You will remember that we recently had the international summit on climate change in Paris.  I attended represented London, which has, as you know, a very good story to tell.  We have reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 14% since 2008.  In spite of a massive increase in population of about 1 million and considerable economic growth, we are nonetheless bringing down CO2 emissions, which is a testament to the programmes that we have for using technology, retrofitting and all of the other measures that are in place.  I was very pleased to see that the summit did eventually produce a good step forward for the planet in the sense that there is an agreement to keep on reducing CO2 emissions and to restrain the growth in global temperatures.  We discussed the Clean Bus Summit that we had recently in City Hall.  That was felt by international representatives to have been a ground-breaking event and we are sharing and experiences across the C40 group of countries [C40 Climate Cities Leadership Group].

You will appreciate that whilst in Paris I also took the opportunity on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and of Londoners to lay a tribute at the Bataclan concert hall where so many people lost their lives in last month’s terrorist attacks.

You will be pleased to know - I hope - that London has been named the top European city for volunteering and the European Volunteering Capital of 2016.  That is very much in recognition of the work of everybody in this place at Team London who have helped 120,000 people to get active in volunteering and delivered the first UK speed volunteering app.  We are supporting 1,600 charities across the city and the country, offering grants of £3 million to date.  We have raised about £20 million all together through the charities in one way or the other.  It is very good to see that all of that massive volunteering flowering during the Olympics has by no means died away in this city.  People have a very lively culture of volunteering and that is a great thing to see.

We yesterday launched, together with the Chancellor and Jeremy Hunt [Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health], a substantial devolution of healthcare in London.  I know that the Assembly has been following this with great interest because it is of considerable significance for our proceedings in this place.  There are about five pilots, three of them on preventative care, one of them on estates and how to make sure that the land available to the National Health Service (NHS) is released in such a way as to deliver housing for London and regeneration of medical facilities in the city.  The most interesting - and the most important, perhaps - pilot is the integrated care model that we are trialling in the northeast quadrant of the city in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.  That will mean a pot of funding going on a per capita basis to those areas so that social services and primary care have an incentive to co‑ordinate their activities to keep people out of hospital, basically, and to keep people healthy in order to get our population even healthier.

You have asked for three oral updates.  Very briefly, on the Green Belt: my view is that we should stick with the London Plan policy guidance, which states very clearly that the strongest protection should be given to London’s Green Belt in accordance with national guidance.

You have asked for a comment on the Government’s decision to postpone a conclusion on aviation in the light of Sir Howard Davies’ [former Chairman, Airports Commission] report.  This is, basically, inevitable.  The difficulties with building Heathrow’s runway three are becoming apparent to many people in the Government.  We have a long way to go now before we get a final answer, but the idea of building a third runway at Heathrow is becoming manifestly undeliverable.  I know that that is a view shared by a large proportion of the Labour Party, if not by my chuntering friend on my right.