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




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London Fashion Week




As London Fashion Week got underway, I reaffirmed my commitment to support emerging design talent and to champion the city’s fashion industry.


Together with the British Fashion Council, I am working to secure a mixture of public and private funding to support the growth and development of London Fashion Week. The fashion industry alone already employs around 80,000 people in the city and is worth around £21 billion to the UK economy. Future funding will help to promote the industry and London as global creative fashion capital. 


Through the London Development Agency’s funding for the British Fashion Council, I have backed a number of projects including Fashion Forward and the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, which provide support to promising British designers to develop their businesses and become self- supporting in London. Much of this pioneering work has been replicated in New York by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Pharmaceutical giant’s new global HQ



On 24 February, I opened the new global headquarters of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in Paddington, confirming that the capital is a great location for international businesses.


In a sign of the company’s continued commitment to London, AstraZeneca has moved its current global headquarters across town from Mayfair to brand new and larger offices in the landmark Two Kingdom Street development, Paddington Central. This major boost to London’s business credentials follows the recent announcement by global investment bank JP Morgan, to establish its European headquarters in Canary Wharf.


With close links to many leading London universities, Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council, AstraZeneca will employ around 350 people over three floors in its new HQ. This includes 90 staff from its global marketing and sales divisions, some of whom are relocating from its US and Brussels operations.

Launch of Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool



On 17 February, my Statutory Deputy Mayor, Richard Barnes, attended and spoke at the launch of the Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool in Central London.


The online programme for small to medium business enterprises was developed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) in close partnership with leading businesses and the Home Office. It assists smaller businesses to identify their vulnerability to a terrorist attack in their local community.


At the launch Richard spoke on the importance of business continuity and preparation and also took part in a question and answer session with the other speakers who attended.


London First Dinner


On 28 February, my Statutory Deputy Mayor, Richard Barnes, attended a London First Dinner held in the City of London.

Visit to the Port of London Authority



On 4 March, my Statutory Deputy Mayor, Richard Barnes, spent the day with the Port of London Authority to enhance the relationship between the Mayoralty and the Authority. Richard visited the Operations Room and staff at the Thames Barrier as well as receiving briefings throughout the visit by Authority management outlining the role and responsibilities of the Authority.


Environment




Charge points to be installed for Source London



The installation of 1,300 new charging points to encourage more drivers to use electric vehicles in the capital has begun. The Source London network of charging points is a key part of my drive to make London the electric vehicle capital of Europe. Transport for London have also finalised a contract that will see Siemens manage the operation of the network and registration of drivers.


Londoners will begin to see new and branded Source London points strategically located across the city as TfL and its partners begin to install points for the new network of charging points in preparation for its launch this spring. Charging points will be installed by over 40 Source London partners from a range of sectors including Sainsburys, Asda, NCP, Capital Shopping Centres, Scottish and Southern Energy and London boroughs.


The deal between TfL and Siemens will see Siemens run the Source London back office to March 2014 at no cost to taxpayers. Siemens will operate the management of the network and registration for drivers to use Source London. For the first year annual membership of the scheme will cost £100 per year and charging will then be free at the point of use.


The installation of Source London charging points coincides with the start of what should be a landmark year for electric vehicles as more models arrive in car showrooms. Coupled with the Government’s newly available £5,000 consumer incentive grant for electric vehicles the number of these vehicles on London’s roads and beyond should significantly increase. 


Air Quality


My Environment Adviser Isabel Dedring and officials have met representatives of boroughs, the Environment Agency and Defra to discuss measures to improve air quality at waste sites in London, which is regulated jointly by boroughs and the Environment Agency. TfL is now working with the London Borough of Ealing on practical assistance it can provide at the Horn Lane waste site. The GLA has also established an Air Quality Action Group, which will bring together the GLA Group, boroughs, Defra and the Environment Agency. The aim of this group is to enable joint action to be taken at air quality hotspots more quickly in future.


Improving food standards


On 22 February, my Food Advisor Rosie Boycott attended a prestigious event hosted by top chef Cyrus Todiwala, owner and executive chef of Café Spice Namaste, to show London public sector chefs, including from across the GLA Group, councils, universities and hospitals, that it is easy for chefs to prepare dishes using meat reared to high welfare standards to make exciting dishes for their customers, and that it need not cost more. The event was attended by nearly 50 chefs and is part of the Good Food on the Public Plate project funded by the GLA and delivered by Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming. Cyrus cooked up some of his award-winning recipes, such as shredded chicken with vegetables in black bean/oyster sauce; chicken jhalfraezi; chicken kofta curry; diced beef with ginger onion cabbage and chilli and the day was a massive success.


New waste technologies


In February, I officially launched the commencement of site works for London's first advanced conversion technology for waste. Biossence will receive a commercial loan from the London Waste and Recycling Board that will enable it to build and operate London's first full scale gasification plant. The plant will be located at the Ford plant in Dagenham and will turn London's waste into a gas which will be put through a gas engine in order to supply electricity to Ford and export excess electricity to the local grid.


Chewing Gum Action


On 24 February, Councillor Catherine West, Chair of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, and I wrote to Lord Henley to notify him of our intention to submit a joint bid to the Chewing Gum Action Group for all of the 2011/12 communications budget for anti chewing gum litter communications. London is plagued by chewing gum litter and in the run up to the 2012 Games we need to channel all our efforts into cleaning up London. The Chewing Gum Action Group makes available a sum of money for local authorities to access for communications around not dropping chewing gum. Given London's leading role in delivering the 2012 Games I believe all of this money should be spent in London.


London Climate Change Partnership


My officers have been working with the London Climate Change Partnership to increase the resilience of London’s health and social care sector to extreme weather and climate change. This led to a conference on 28 February, which brought key representatives of London’s health and social care providers together to examine the risks and opportunities posed by climate change to the way Londoners’ health needs are currently supported and how they will be served in the future.

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