London Assembly mqt – 23 March 2011 Twenty-ninth Mayor’s Report to the Assembly




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London Assembly


MQT – 23 March 2011

Twenty-ninth Mayor’s Report to the Assembly




This is my twenty-ninth report to the Assembly, fulfilling my duty under Section 45 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999. It covers the period 10 February – 9 March 2011.


Executive Summary

My Final Budget for 2011-12


I presented my final draft consolidated budget for 2011-12 to the London Assembly on 23 February 2011. The budget was agreed unamended and now represents my final approved budget for 2011-12.


For three years running I have frozen the GLA’s element of the Council Tax for residents of the 32 London boroughs, as well as fulfilling my manifesto commitment that Band D households would continue to pay only 38p a week for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


This means that by the end of this Mayoral term City Hall’s precept will have fallen by 10 percent in real terms.


Launch of The Right Direction


I visited Finsbury Park transport inter-change on 21 February to launch "The Right Direction" my strategy for improving safety and security on public transport until 2013. The chance of being a victim of crime on the capital’s bus network is at its lowest since records began in 2004/05. In the last three years overall crime has fallen by 30 per cent on the buses and by 20 per cent on the Tube.

Plans to lift police recruitment freeze and boost officers on London’s streets




On 10 February, I announced proposals to lift the recruitment freeze with an additional £42m funding.


Due to budget cuts, forces throughout England have frozen recruitment, but the funding boost would allow the Met to start hiring again, resulting in London having approximately 32,510 uniformed police officers by May 2012, more than when I was elected.

Crucial London Overground rail link opens three months early



On 28 February, I opened a crucial rail link allowing passengers to move swiftly between north London, the City, Docklands and the south of the capital, three months ahead of schedule.


Barclays Cycle Hire wins Design Award


On 28 February, Transport for London announced that Barclays Cycle Hire had won the Transport Category of the prestigious Brit Insurance Design Awards that showcase the most innovative and forward thinking designs from around the world.


£800m to improve thousands of council homes across the capital


On 17 February, I announced that thousands of council homes in the capital will be transformed, following my success in securing over half of the Government’s £1.6 billion Decent Homes budget for London.


Budget


My Final Budget for 2011-12 and Council Tax Communication to Taxpayers and Non Domestic Ratepayers


I presented my final draft consolidated budget for 2011-12 to the London Assembly on 23 February 2011. The budget was agreed unamended and now represents my final approved budget for 2011-12.


My budget continues to deliver on my priority to provide taxpayer value and protect front line services. For three years running I have frozen the GLA’s element of the Council Tax for residents of the 32 London boroughs, as well as fulfilling my manifesto commitment that Band D households would continue to pay only 38p a week for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


This means that by the end of this Mayoral term City Hall’s precept will have fallen by 10 percent in real terms.


In the current economic climate the public sector must do more with less, delivering improved public services for no extra cost. I will continue to invest in my priorities by increasing front-line policing levels, improving public transport, investing in new local green spaces to make our city cleaner and greener, working to increase young people’s opportunities and ensuring the 2012 Games leave a lasting legacy to lengthen London’s lead as the World’s Best Big City.


The GLA precept for 2011-12 for residents of the 32 London boroughs will be £309.82 for a Band D property (the same level as in 2010-11). Residents of the City of London - which has its own police force - will pay £81.87 (Band D).


The GLA Council Tax and precept was approved on 23 February 2011 via MD 782. The MD also approved the two alternative versions of the Council Tax leaflet which will be circulated by the 33 London billing authorities (the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation of London) for circulation to the estimated 3.2million households liable to council tax in London and to the 280,000 non domestic (business) ratepayers alongside their 2011-12 bills (i.e. before the end of March 2011). The two versions consist of a longhand version for placing on billing authority websites (which represents the GLA’s preferred text for circulation with tax bills) and a shorthand version which billing authorities may, at their discretion, circulate instead with tax bills in order to reduce the cost/printing of their council tax billing and leaflet printing process. These final versions were circulated to all billing authorities on 24 February.


Policing and Community Safety


Launch of The Right Direction


I visited Finsbury Park transport inter-change on 21 February to launch "The Right Direction" my strategy for improving safety and security on public transport until 2013. It sets out the priorities and focuses on vulnerable groups such as young people, women and older people. The strategy contains a number of priorities to tackle crime and fear of crime on the transport system, including reducing theft and anti-social behaviour and increasing the confidence of older people when travelling in London.


The chance of being a victim of crime on the capital’s bus network is at its lowest since records began, with an average just 11 crimes per million passenger journeys. In the last three years overall crime has fallen by 30 per cent on the buses and by 20 per cent on the London Underground. There are now just 13 crimes per million passenger journeys on the Tube network. During the same period violent crime on the buses fell by 19 per cent and by 15 per cent on the Tube and the Croydon Tramlink.

Plans to lift police recruitment freeze and boost officers on London’s streets




On 10 February, I announced proposals to lift the recruitment freeze with an additional £42m funding.


Due to budget cuts, forces throughout England have frozen recruitment, but the funding boost would allow the Met to start hiring again, resulting in London having approximately 32,510 uniformed police officers by May 2012.


The Met currently has long waiting lists, which include hundreds of people currently serving as PCSOs and special constables who are set to be prioritised for full-time police jobs.


My plans will also protect safer neighbourhood teams in every borough and put an additional fully warranted 413 police officers onto the transport network.


Buy one get one free’ scheme launched to fund more police officers


On 26 February, I announced a unique ‘buy one get one free’ scheme to recruit more police officers in collaboration with local councils.


For every new police officer a borough pays for, I will ‘match fund’ the post and recruit another officer. This means boroughs will effectively be given two police officers for the price of one – a huge boost to the numbers of uniformed officers patrolling local streets.

The boroughs will be able to use the new posts to address councils specific local crime concerns – from more cops tackling night time anti-social behaviour, to extra officers targeting burglary or serious youth violence.


The scheme is part of a total extra funding package for the Met of £42 million saved from reserves and prioritised for additional police funding in the capital.

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