Boris Johnson has defended planned reforms of the Met Police and London Fire Brigade, insisting that the safety of Londoners will not be compromised.
The planned changes, which are subject to public consultations, form part of each service’s attempts to meet funding cuts from both City Hall and the UK Government.
The proposals have also been condemned by opposition parties on the London Assembly.
Questioned by the Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee on Monday, the Mayor said it was “inevitable there will be people who try to make political capital out of what is a necessary series of reforms”.
Mr Johnson told Assembly Members that both sets of proposals had been drawn up by officers who were “confident” they could continue to ensure the safety of Londoners.
Asked whether his planned reduction in City Hall’s share of the council tax had been made for idealogical reasons, Johnson said it was “important to bear down on costs to keep council tax low”, adding it was right to act “when you’ve got an estate that is need of reform”.
He also told the meeting that it would be wrong to raid Transport for London’s budget to minimise the impact on blue light services.
The Mayor insisted that if he did so, TfL would be penalised in future funding settlements by central Government which would see any such move as a sign that TfL could “rub along” with less funding.