London Assembly mqt – 23 May 2012 1st Mayor’s Report to the Assembly




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London Assembly


MQT – 23 May 2012

1st Mayor’s Report to the Assembly




This is my first report to the Assembly, fulfilling my duty under Section 45 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999. It covers the period 1 March to 9 May 2012.


Executive Summary


Jobs and growth at heart of the Mayoralty


On 8 May, I revealed that creating jobs and growth will be at the heart of my mayoralty, as I announced key appointments to my top team. I have pledged to invest in London’s infrastructure, regeneration and housing to create 200,000 jobs over the next four years and to ensure young Londoners can take advantage of the jobs London is creating.

 

I announced the first appointments to my team who will drive forward delivery of these priorities. Kit Malthouse has been appointed my Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise. Kit will spearhead plans to boost jobs in the capital, help create 250,000 new apprenticeships and continue to attract investment to the city.

 

Key to London's growth will be the release of surplus public land inherited from the London Development Agency (LDA) and Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to create thousands of homes and jobs, with the capital receipts being reinvested to the benefit of all Londoners. Richard Blakeway has been appointed my Deputy Mayor for Housing Land and Property, and will chair Homes for London to drive forward investment in housing and regeneration.

 

Munira Mirza has been appointed my Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, to focus on a range of projects to boost young people’s education and attainment, including plans for a supplementary schools programme and the Mayor's Education Inquiry Panel.

 

Sir Edward Lister will remain as my Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning, where he will deliver my commitment to cut council tax, and continue building on work to reduce waste and achieve value for money.


On 9 May, I announced further key appointments to help me deliver the massive investment in infrastructure required to boost economic growth in the capital.

I have re-appointed Isabel Dedring as Deputy Mayor for Transport and have also proposed her as Deputy Chair of Transport for London. Isabel will oversee the vital upgrades of the Tube and the construction of Crossrail. She will be tasked with reducing delays on the Tube by 30 per cent by 2015 and help to pave the way for automation of the Underground, as committed to in my manifesto. Isabel and I will also lobby Government for increased powers over London’s suburban railways and take forward my commitment to easing congestion on the capital’s roads.

I have also proposed Daniel Moylan as Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which was established on 1 April 2012.  Daniel will lead the promotion and delivery of the physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration of the Olympic Park and surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the 2012 Games.


Assembly Member Victoria Borwick has been appointed as my Statutory Deputy Mayor. As a London-wide member of the London Assembly, she has served on the Transport Committee, the Economy, Culture and Sport committee, was chair of the Health and Public Services Committee and was also a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

I have also proposed Assembly Member James Cleverly as chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LfEPA) and have appointed him chair of the London Regional Resilience Forum.


Finally, I have confirmed that Daniel Ritterband will continue in his role as Director of Marketing and 2012 Communications, overseeing all London Games-related communication.

£3.5 million funding to cut youth re-offending

 

On 1 March, I announced £3.5 million of funding over the next three years to tackle the vicious cycle of youth re-offending. The fund will target 14 - 17 year olds who have either been remanded or sentenced to custody and, support them through the difficult transition on release, motivating them to access education, training or employment. 


The £3.5 million is part of a £10 million ESF match funded grant aimed at vulnerable young people, the rest of which will target youngsters excluded from school and help disabled young people secure employment. Organisations were invited to bid for contracts until the end of March, with projects commencing from September 2012.


Major expansion of cycle hire scheme goes live


On 8 March, a major expansion of my flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme opened to the public. Londoners are now able to pick up one of my iconic blue bikes from 2,700 new docking points across the east of the capital.


Barclays Cycle Hire now covers 65km2 and stretches from Shepherd’s Bush in the west of the capital, through central London and east to the fringes of the Olympic Park. As well as the eastern expansion, an extra 1,500 docking points are being installed in the original central zone and 600 new points have been provided in a spur west to the Westfield London Shopping Centre.


Over 2,300 new bikes have also been provided as part of the expansion and these have been upgraded from the earlier model to feature a new saddle design and redesigned bell. In total, over 8,000 bikes will now be available from over 570 docking stations and 15,000 docking points.


Green light to levy hefty charges on utilities that dig up London's busiest roads


On 16 March, I announced that London will be the first city in the UK to make utility companies pay for the amount of time they dig up the busiest roads, incentivising them to complete works at the least disruptive times.


I have successfully lobbied for the scheme, which has been formally approved by the Department for Transport (DfT) to begin on 11 June 2012. This will allow Transport for London (TfL) to charge utility firms up to £2,500 a day for working in congested areas or at busy times. It will cover around 330km (57 per cent) of the TfL road network. The new scheme will also apply to any TfL works carried out on its road network, further ensuring that works are delivered with minimal disruption.


New £41m capital fund to drive jobs and economic growth in London


On 16 March, I announced details of a new £41 million London Growth Fund to drive jobs, boost housing and stimulate economic growth across the capital.


Funding has been allocated from central Government after I successfully bid for a share of the national Growing Places Fund to free-up potential development. The aim of the capital fund is to encourage private sector investment in key large scale infrastructure and regeneration projects. Working with my newly established London Enterprise Panel to approve which proposals will get a share of the funding, I will announce successful bids in the autumn.


London 2012 confirms Torchbearers and the street route for London for the Olympic Flame


On 19 March, LOCOG confirmed places for hundreds of inspiring people from London who will be carrying the Olympic Flame as Torchbearers in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.


The Torchbearers announced include those that were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. Also unveiled was the uniform that will be worn by the 8,000 Torchbearers.


More information can be found at: www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay.


Devolution of housing powers


On 26 March, the ownership of the land and property portfolio of the LDA was transferred to me. The LDA’s Land and Development Team also transferred to the GLA.  


Under the Localism Act 2011, responsibility for making decisions about the capital’s housing issues, currently undertaken by Government and the HCA, was transferred to me on 1 April, so I am now responsible for the investment of London’s share of national housing resources. On the same date, the land and property holdings owned by the HCA in Greater London were also transferred into my ownership, together with HCA’s London staff.   


On 16 April, under a Statutory Instrument, I also took over responsibility for the land, properties and grant funding programmes of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. The staff team responsible for these activities has also transferred.


These new responsibilities will significantly improve the strategic leadership for and delivery of housing policies in the capital, by ensuring that the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy is the key policy-making document driving housing investment decisions. 


London 2012 Festival  


On 26 April, the full cultural programme for the London 2012 Festival was announced. Over 10 million free tickets will be available for the 12,000 events & performances featuring 25,000 artists from all 204 participating Olympic nations.


Over 160,000 free tickets are available for concerts in six Thames-side locations for BT River of Music and 100,000 music fans are expected for BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend. The Festival runs from midsummer's day 21 June to 9 September.


More information can be found at: http://festival.london2012.com/.


Policing and Community Safety


£3.5 million funding to cut youth re-offending


On 1 March, I announced £3.5 million of funding over the next three years to tackle the vicious cycle of youth re-offending. The fund will target 14 - 17 year olds who have either been remanded or sentenced to custody and, support them through the difficult transition on release, motivating them to access education, training or employment. 


The £3.5 million is part of a £10 million ESF match funded grant aimed at vulnerable young people, the rest of which will target youngsters excluded from school and help disabled young people secure employment. Organisations were invited to bid for contracts until the end of March, with projects commencing from September 2012.


I made the announcement as an independent evaluation of my pioneering pilot resettlement unit at Feltham Young Offenders Institute revealed that early findings from a small sample of those released from the Heron wing indicated that re-offending rates had been reduced to 41 per cent. This is in comparison to an analysis on all 15-17 year olds released from the juvenile secure estate which showed that 61 per cent of young people discharged within 9 months re-offended.


Transport


Major expansion of cycle hire scheme goes live


On 8 March, a major expansion of my flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme opened to the public. Londoners are now able to pick up one of my iconic blue bikes from 2,700 new docking points across the east of the capital. Less than two years since the launch of the scheme and over 10 million hires later, Barclays Cycle Hire has expanded by almost a third in size.


Barclays Cycle Hire now covers 65km2 and stretches from Shepherd’s Bush in the west of the capital, through central London and east to the fringes of the Olympic Park. As well as the eastern expansion, an extra 1,500 docking points are being installed in the original central zone and 600 new points have been provided in a spur west to the Westfield London Shopping Centre.


Over 2,300 new bikes have also been provided as part of the expansion and these have been upgraded from the earlier model to feature a new saddle design and redesigned bell. In total, over 8,000 bikes will now be available from over 570 docking stations and 15,000 docking points. I have also asked TfL to prepare plans for a westward expansion of the cycle hire scheme in 2013, through the boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.


Virgin Media selected to offer Wi-Fi on Tube stations


On 15 March, I confirmed that Londoners will be able to use Wi-Fi to access mobile internet services at Tube stations from June. A contract has been awarded to Virgin Media to provide public access Wi-Fi at up to 120 Tube station platforms at zero cost to the fare or taxpayer.


The new Wi-Fi service will launch as a free, unlimited service for all Tube passengers this summer and will continue to offer free live TfL travel information via a new online portal after this period. Virgin Media, in partnership with London Underground, will initially introduce Wi-Fi at over 80 stations. By the end of 2012 up to 120 Tube stations, many of them deep-level, will be connected. 

Following this period, Wi-Fi at Tube stations will be made available as part of Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions and all Tube passengers will be able to stay up-to-date with travel information thanks to the free online portal. Full Internet access via Wi-Fi will become available via Pay-As-You-Go and other commercial models.  


Green light to levy hefty charges on utilities that dig up London's busiest roads


On 16 March, I announced that London will be the first city in the UK to make utility companies pay for the amount of time they dig up the busiest roads, incentivising them to complete works at the least disruptive times.


I have successfully lobbied for the scheme, which has been formally approved by the DfT to begin on 11 June 2012. This will allow TfL to charge utility firms up to £2,500 a day for working in congested areas or at busy times. It will cover around 330km (57 per cent) of the TfL road network. The new scheme will also apply to any TfL works carried out on its road network, further ensuring that works are delivered with minimal disruption.


By encouraging utility companies and highway authorities to carry out their work overnight or during off-peak hours, road users, including drivers, cyclists and bus passengers, will benefit from more reliable journey times and less disruption. Any additional revenue raised by the scheme, once operating costs have been recovered, will be put towards measures that could reduce disruption from roadworks, to be jointly overseen by TfL and the major utility companies. The introduction of this groundbreaking scheme will be the latest weapon in my battle against roadworks.


Spiderweb reduces theft on London transport by 14 per cent


Since its launch, Project Spiderweb, a joint initiative between TfL, the MPS and the British Transport Police (BTP) has delivered a 14 per cent reduction in theft and pick pocketing on the capital’s transport network, in addition more than 300 arrests for theft and handling offences in the six months since its launch.


Spiderweb’s aim is to reduce theft on public transport in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, when the network will be busier than usual. The operation involves hundreds of officers and other specialist staff from TfL and both police forces working together across all 32 London boroughs to build on seven successive years of crime reduction on the Tube and bus network.


70 additional hybrid buses coming to London's streets


On 23 March, the DfT announced funding for investment in cleaner buses across England, with TfL awarded £5 million to add an additional 70 hybrid buses to its fleet.


The funding from DfT’s Green Bus Fund means that at least 400 cleaner hybrid buses are expected to be operating on London’s streets by the end of March 2013. There are currently over 260 hybrid buses operating in London.


Improvements to key piers completed in time for the 2012 Games


On 19 March, TfL announced that two key strategic piers on the Thames at Tower Pier and Greenwich Pier have been improved to accommodate more passengers and provide better facilities in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

A 30 metre extension of Tower Pier has increased capacity by 25 per cent on one of London's busiest piers. Passengers using the pier will now find it better lit, thanks to a new low energy lighting system which operates solely from energy generated by solar panels on the pier roof.


Passengers using Greenwich Pier are also benefiting from a brand new UK built roofing system and new lighting system that improves the ambience of the passenger areas. London River Services completed the works well ahead of the London 2012 Games to ensure a relaxing and scenic route for passengers between central London and events being held in River Zone venues in Greenwich.


Tube incident response times almost halved in first month of blue lights trial


On 19 March, a trial allowing TfL’s Emergency Response Unit vehicles to travel under the same blue light conditions used by police, ambulance and fire services resulted in response times to critical incidents almost halving in the first month.


The specialist units, which respond to emergency incidents on the Tube network, are now able to get through London’s traffic more quickly under the trial which is being carried out with the BTP. This swifter response helps improve passenger safety and reduces disruption and delays across the network.


Under blue lights, the Emergency Response Unit responds to incidents where public safety is at risk, such as obstructions blocking the track, broken down trains, ‘person under a train’ incidents and other emergency response and recovery situations.


The time taken to restore services after incidents involving people under trains was greatly improved. In 2010, the average time to restore normal service was 2 hours 25 minutes and in 2011 it was 82.5 minutes. At a recent incident at Leicester Square, services resumed after 65 minutes, while services were restored in 57 minutes following an incident at Northfields and 48 minutes after an incident at Southgate.


Hammersmith Flyover work to restore full traffic use continues apace


On 16 April, TfL announced that it would shortly begin installing the new tensioning cables inside the Hammersmith Flyover as part of its continuing work to fully reopen the structure to all traffic.


A team of engineers are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to complete the work, often in a crawl space far less than human height. Once key enabling works are completed, TfL will begin to install a new concrete base, drainage and tailored anchorages for the new cables within the structure. The design for the new post-tensioning system will see new cables installed above and below the bridge deck, inside a specially made duct which will supplement the load capacity of the remaining cables.


Following the completion of this phase of works, TfL will continue to work around the clock to complete these works and fully reopen the flyover in June 2012, well ahead of the London 2012 Games.


Plans for London 2012 Games transport legacy unveiled


On 19 March, TfL and I, supported by the six Olympic and Paralympic host boroughs, published a joint plan to ensure that the 2012 Games leave a permanent transport legacy to benefit millions of people and support economic development for generations to come.


Londoners are already reaping the benefits of a £6.5 billion investment in transport improvements, which which has delivered improvements to Tube, DLR, rail and cycling infrastructure. This includes a 50 per cent increase in DLR capacity, with the line extended to Woolwich and Stratford International, an upgraded Jubilee line, with more frequent and reliable services, as well as extra capacity on the Central line.


Hosting the Games will provide an unprecedented opportunity to learn lessons for the future and help seal the regeneration of East London. There is a huge opportunity for businesses and organisations to gather valuable information from Games' time activity, such as flexible patterns of staff travel and changes to freight and servicing. This can help develop permanent solutions to a range of challenges, such as using office space more efficiently and helping businesses become more resilient in responding to challenges such as adverse weather. 
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