The GLA’s proposed budget for 2007/08 has prompted a series of strongly worded accusations between the Mayor and Assembly Members.
The One London Party branded the Mayor Livingstone’s council tax precept “unnecessary” and accused him of entering into “a shoddy £47 million deal” with Green Party AMs in order to secure the votes needed to pass the budget.
The deal, which was announced last week, includes funding for a series of measures to tackle climate change including £8 million to increase the energy performance of London’s buildings and a public information campaign to encourage Londoners to reduce CO2 emissions.
Damian Hockney, leader of One London, said Mr Livingstone “could just as easily” have secured a deal with his party which would have ensured “London would today have a zero increase, which would enjoy majority support on this Assembly and would have delighted Londoners.”
There were also angry remarks from the Mayor after Conservative AM Angie Bray proposed a ‘pilot’ school bus scheme in 6 boroughs in place of the current free fares concession recently introduced by the Mayor and Transport for London.
Mr Livingstone branded the proposal “impractical” and accused Assembly Members of pursuing a “scorched earth agenda towards London’s services”.
The Mayor said the proposed scheme would mean the end of “a benefit that saves families with school-age children £350 a year for each child” and highlighed “the reality of the alternative to my administration”.
However Ms Bray denied the Mayor’s accusations saying the scheme was “fully costed at £24 million” and is intended to be “a replacement of free travel, not a ‘scrapping'” which “if successful, and cost effective…would be rolled out London wide.”