I’ve spent much of the past week ringing round PR agencies, almost begging them for any slivers of positive news and I’m pleased to say some happy stories are starting to trickle in. I’ve heard about an investment readiness programme for London firms (more on this in the coming weeks) and I’m hoping to sit in on one of their upcoming workshops and speak to some of the businesses benefiting from the advice on offer.
“More local powers”. The cry goes up (yet again). A scattergun of ideal world “why oh why” pieces in national and London newspapers last week, made form (of a sort) by the Tories. But it can’t happen, says former London Assembly Member Damian Hockney. Not really, not in the way people are being encouraged to think it can: “Don’t the politicians and commentators know where the real powers have gone? Or is it just another cynical political exercise,” he says. “They should at least tell us when they are proposing a policy which would break the law.”
You won’t find it mentioned on the GLA or TfL’s websites, but Boris Johnson is apparently prepared to give up one of the few powers he has, namely the ability through TfL to determine the amount the boroughs must pay for the Freedom Pass.
The full extent of armed crime in London and the efforts of the Met’s C019 officers to tackle it are explored in a shocking new two-part ITV documentary, In the Line of Fire, which starts tomorrow night (Tuesday 10th February).
In our final article in the Mayor’s budget series, London Assembly Conservative Group Leader Roger Evans discusses why Boris Johnson’s first budget is good for London and praises a new wave of GLA engagement with outer London.
In the third of our Mayor’s budget articles Labour’s John Biggs attacks Boris Johnson’s “do nothing budget” and says recent fare increases will cancel out the Mayor’s freezing of the GLA precept.