Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on

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Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on

14 October 2009

South London Line

Question No: 2651 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Will you express your support for the retention of the South London rail service from Victoria to London Bridge via Denmark Hill, and oppose any reduction in this service that is carried out for financial reasons rather than capacity reasons?

Oral response given

Missing Updates

Question No: 2932 / 2009

John Biggs

Are there any unusual, novel, or contentious issues that have arisen since the last Mayor’s Question Time meeting, which you have failed to include in either your last written report or your oral update today?

Oral response given

Limousines and chauffeurs for the Met’s senior officers

Question No: 2939 / 2009

Dee Doocey

Following your comments at last months MQT, where you said that cars that ferry around Ministers, civil servants, and other people on the ‘taxpayer’s payroll’ should be got rid of, will you be taking action to abolish limousines and chauffeurs for senior MPS officers?

Oral response given

London Plan

Question No: 3106 / 2009

Steve O’Connell

What does the Mayor consider to be the most important aspects of the latest draft of the London Plan and how do they reflect his priorities for London?

Oral response given

Young People

Question No: 2745 / 2009

Joanne McCartney

What recent initiatives have you delivered for young people in London?

Oral response given

Congestion Charge

Question No: 3072 / 2009

Victoria Borwick

Further to your answers to questions 3014/2008 and 1053/2009 on helping the retail economy the Mayor said he would re-look at bringing forward the post-Christmas Congestion Charge-free days to before Christmas. What progress has been made with this?

Oral response given

Mayoral progress

Question No: 2712 / 2009

Valerie Shawcross

What progress are you making on the implementation of your manifesto commitments and campaign pledges?

Oral response given

Diversity Officers (2)

Question No: 3060 / 2009

Brian Coleman

How many diversity officers are employed by TfL, LFEPA, the MPA and the LDA?

Oral response given

Understanding Different Cultures

Question No: 3133 / 2009

Richard Barnbrook

In light of the Mayor’s advice to non-Muslims to fast during Ramadan in order to ‘understand Muslims better’, would the Mayor urge Muslims to sing carols and eat Christmas pudding at Christmas to understand Christianity?

Oral response given

Eurostar Platforms (1)

Question No: 3076 / 2009

Richard Tracey

In your discussions with the DfT has anyone been able to give you a reasonable answer as to why Platform 20 at Waterloo is still not ready for use by South West Trains?

Oral response given

Whose Hand at the Tiller

Question No: 2793 / 2009

John Biggs

Do you believe that you adequately understand your role and responsibility, and that of your boards, for the Functional Bodies?

Answer from the Mayor:

Yes I do adequately understand my role and responsibility in relation to the boards of the functional bodies.

The two are not mutually exclusive of course as I have the option – which I have exercised – to chair two of the functional bodies.

In stark contrast to the approach of the previous administration, I have taken great steps to clarify roles and responsibilities between the GLA and its functional bodies.

In May 2009 I signed off the GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement which covered issues such as my appointments to the boards of the functional bodies, codes of conduct for functional body board members and a protocol overseeing the relationship between the GLA and each functional body.

Step-Free Access

Question No: 3115 / 2009

Gareth Bacon

Does the spending of £97 Million on the introduction of step-free access at Green Park Station represent value for money?

Oral response given

Closing the Tube funding gap

Question No: 2997 / 2009

Caroline Pidgeon

What progress has been made in closing the funding gap between London Underground and Tube Lines for the PPP’s second 7.5 year Review Period?

Oral response given

Rape Crisis

Question No: 2904 / 2009

Jennette Arnold

Do you think that London’s women would be better served by investing £600,000 in 2 new Rape Crisis Centres or a new logo for London?

Answer from the Mayor:

As Mayor I want to make London safer and economically more successful, restoring jobs and growth.

I therefore intend to open three new rape crisis centres (as well as supporting the expansion of London’s only existing Rape Crisis Centre in Croydon) during my Mayoral term and also invest through the LDA in promoting London's competitive position internationally.

We are not developing a logo for the city, rather we are creating a brand platform that will help us integrate our promotional activity and highlight the very best of the city's offer.

At a time when London's reputation has been affected by the economic crisis we must redouble our efforts to promote the strengths of our economic offer.

The budget for any branding development work will not divert funds for other projects, but come from existing international development budgets held by the LDA for this purpose.

HGVs and safety

Question No: 2652 / 2009

Jenny Jones

Will the cuts to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit make London’s roads less safe for cyclists?

Oral response given


Question No: 2886 / 2009

Murad Qureshi

Given your u-turn on the WEZ, how soon can we expect a u-turn on phase III of the LEZ?

Answer from the Mayor:

Western Extension Zone (WEZ)

Informal consultation on the Congestion Charging Western Extension in September 2008 raised concerns about the scheme and majority of people responding wanted WEZ removed.

My Draft Transport Strategy contains a proposal for the removal of WEZ. However, my final legal decision is subject to public and stakeholder consultations on the Transport Strategy and also a revised Congestion Charging Scheme Variation Order.

I will carefully consider all views expressed in those conulattaions– for and against – and my other legal obligations before coming to a decision

The earliest time that the scheme could be removed is in 2010 after the new revised MTS is in place and theVariation Order has been consulted upon (usually 10 weeks), and the results of the consultation compiled and reported to be for my decision on whether to confirm the Variation Order (with or without modification)

Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Phase 3

I have set out a broad package of proposed measures in my draft Air Quality Strategy to improve air quality in London, including deferring LEZ Phase 3 to 2012

LEZ Phase 3 important in helping London address its air quality challenges. However, given the current economic circumstances, I consider it appropriate to defer it to 2012 to allow operators more time to comply and mitigate some of the potential negative impacts for businesses and community groups

It is also important to note the Government’s announcement on 28 September 2009 that most vehicles affected by LEZ Phase 3 will now be eligible for the national scrappage scheme.

Deferring LEZ Phase 3 to 2012 strikes an appropriate balance for London between environmental and economic objectives.

This is consistent with earlier announcements where I stated my intention was to suspend LEZ Phase 3 (ie not introduce it in 2010) given the current economic circumstances, and again my final legal decision is subject to public consultation on a policy in my revised draft Transport Strategy and on a variation Order to implement deferral.  

230 Bus

Question No: 3100 / 2009

Andrew Boff

What action will the Mayor be taking to address the concerns of residents of Avon Road and Bisterne Avenue, E17, over the disturbance caused by the 230 bus?

Oral response given

Future of the LDA

Question No: 2900 / 2009

Len Duvall

In the interests of improved governance and increased transparency do you agree with me that it is now time to bring the LDA under the direct control of the GLA and will you undertake to begin talks with the government to facilitate this process, which I believe would be supported by a majority of Assembly Members?

Answer from the Mayor:

Through the work of the LDA Chair and Board, and its Chief Executive, I have already transformed the governance of the LDA and made this transparent. The new team are making excellent progress in sorting out the serious systemic failures within the LDA that arose before my election.

You will be aware of a range of views amongst the political parties on the future of RDAs. Conservative policy, set out in the localism green paper of last year, is generally to transfer RDA functions to local government, with a London specific approach to take account of its unique governance with an elected Mayor.

I welcome this approach and agree there could be advantages to the integration of the LDA into the GLA. I am sure there will be further discussions on the way forward in the event of the election of a Conservative government.

However, with national elections fast approaching, I do not think that talks on this matter with the present Labour government would serve any purpose.

River Crossings

Question No: 3119 / 2009

James Cleverly

When will TfL undertake further work to investigate the possibility of a Silvertown crossing and of upgrading the Woolwich Ferry?

Oral response given

Deportation of Foreign Criminals

Question No: 3134 / 2009

Richard Barnbrook

In light of the Mayor’s commendable strategy for protecting women against violence, does the Mayor concur that foreign criminals who commit serious crimes of violence should be deported at the end of their sentences?

Oral response given

House prices

Question No: 3090 / 2009

Tony Arbour

In setting the GLA precept, does the Mayor consider that ‘mansions’ should be in a class of their own?

Oral response given

Policing Challenges

Question No: 2744 / 2009

Joanne McCartney

What policing challenges do you envisage arising over the next twelve months?

Answer from the Mayor:

Policing is an area of public service where the challenges are often significant and many. However, as set out in my MetForward document, I consider that there are a number of key areas of challenge for policing in London:

  • Fighting crime and reducing criminality – serious youth violence and terrorism remain key challenges accompanied now by an upturn in burglary fuelled by a downturn in the economy.

  • Increasing public confidence in the Met following several high profile incidents.

  • Preparing for the 2012 Olympics

  • Giving us better value for money - particularly in the context of constraints we all face set by tighter public sector financial settlements.

However, it should be noted that the police also have the responsibility of providing a reactive 24/7 service responding to demands as they arise, and so there may well be new issues emerging which we are not able to predict a year in advance.

Air Quality

Question No: 3113 / 2009

Gareth Bacon

What level of improvement in London’s air quality does the Mayor expect to result from the measures in his Air Quality Strategy, and what level of reduction does the Mayor expect to see in harmful emissions from PM10 and NO2?

Oral response given

Air Quality Strategy

Question No: 2977 / 2009

Mike Tuffrey

What “robust action to reduce air pollution in London” [Environment Programme, p.5] is contained in your Air Quality Strategy, and will these actions bring London’s air quality within EU limits?

Answer from the Mayor:

On 5 October I published my draft Air Quality Strategy. This builds on the actions I have already taken to improve air quality in London and focuses on four key areas: reducing emissions from transport, targeting air quality hotspots, reducing emissions from homes, offices and industry and increasing awareness of air quality issues.

In particular, the introduction of Phase 3 of the Low Emission Zone in 2012 along with the proposals for an age limit for taxis will reduce emissions of particulate matter from vans, taxis and minicabs – some of the main sources of emissions in central London.

While the taxi emissions strategy will deliver large emissions reductions, particularly in central London, on its own, Phase 3 of the Low Emission Zone will reduce emissions of particulate matter by less than one per cent across Greater London – which is why we need additional measures.

Other highlights of the Strategy include:

  • Cleaning up London’s bus fleet so that it meets the Euro IV standard for both particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen by 2015;

  • Introducing a new standard for the LEZ to address oxides of nitrogen from 2015;

  • Implementing targeted action plans at air quality ‘hotspots’;

  • Scaling up schemes to retrofit homes and public buildings to improve energy efficiency; and

  • Making better use of the planning process to ensure that new developments are ‘air quality neutral’.

The challenge to improve air quality is made more difficult by the fact that around 40 per cent of concentrations of particulate matter in central London originate from outside London. And 35 per cent of road transport emissions of particulate matter from central London are from tyre and brake wear rather than exhausts, and these cannot currently be regulated.

Nevertheless, the measures laid out in the Strategy – which includes almost all the recommendations made by the Assembly in its recent report into air quality - increase the confidence that all parts of London will meet the EU limit values for particulate matter in 2011.

However, our analysis suggests that even strong action by London will not be enough for the nitrogen dioxide limit values to be met in the capital by 2015. That is why my draft Strategy also includes measures that need to be implemented nationally by the Government. I will be discussing these with ministers as well as funding for proposals to be implemented by the GLA Group.

Trafalgar Square Hawks

Question No: 3116 / 2009

Gareth Bacon

In the current economic climate, does the provision of £45,000 for hiring two hawks to chase pigeons out of Trafalgar Square represent a sensible use of taxpayers’ money?

Answer from the Mayor:

Yes. The programme of control, as a combination of signage, intervention by the square’s wardens to prevent feeding and hawk flying to deter feral pigeon’s, has proved successful in dispersing numbers from around 4,000 to, at peak today, of around 120 / 140.

As a result the square, reflecting its heritage status, is far safer - by removal of trip hazards and public health risks - cleaner and hygienic for the many visitors to one of the capital’s most visited, premier and iconic locations.

Further, the programme enables a significant ease on the costs of cleaning the site and conservation of statues.


Question No: 2925 / 2009

John Biggs

Do all your advisers do a full weeks work for you?

Answer from the Mayor:

All Mayoral Advisers appointed under section 67 1(a) and (b) of the GLA Act 1999 are contracted to work 37 hours a week (full time) for the GLA. Pamela Chesters, Mayoral Advisor on Health & Youth Opportunities, worked part time (2 days a week) between 4 May and 30 June 2009. The employment details for these staff are on the GLA website.


I do also have advisers who are not employees of GLA such as Kate Hoey MP, Commissioner for Sport and James Cleverly, Ambassador for Young People, who work on an adhoc, part time basis for me.
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Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconWritten Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconSubject: Questions to the Mayor – Written Answers

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on icon3. After you have completed this application, check to make sure you have answered all questions

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAppendix e written Answers mqt 12 December 2007

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAlmost any experiment teaches us something, but not always necessarily what we expected. And it may raise more questions than it answers

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAll answers are to be written into the Blue Book. Leave the first inside page blank for scoring

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAll answers are to be written into the Blue Book. Leave the first inside page blank for scoring

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAll answers are to be written into the Blue Book. Leave the first inside page blank for scoring

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAll answers are to be written into the Blue Book. Leave the first inside page blank for scoring

Written Answers to questions not answered at Mayor’s Question Time on iconAll answers are to be written into the Blue Book. Leave the first inside page blank for scoring

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