The coalition government is to “immediately” axe most of the London Development Agency’s annual £480 million budget according to the Evening Standard.
The Agency was already facing the axe after Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced plans to bring its functions into the main Greater London Authority, but the loss of the LDA’s cash will be a serious blow to the Mayor who earlier this week was forced to deny a the government’s reduced funding settlement was “the bare minimum” any administration would have secured.
The Mayor had previously vowed to mount a “Stalingrad-like defence” of the capital’s funding.
According to reports, only the funding for projects the LDA is legally committed to is likely to survive the Treasury’s axe.
Unless the Mayor can secure additional funds from Ministers or the private sector he risks being unable to guarantee the future of landmark schemes such as London’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks as well as the future bodies such as Visit London and Film London which generate income for the capital.
Responding to the news, Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “The Mayor’s plans to create 14,000 jobs, cut our energy bills, improve recycling facilities and revitalise our parks could all be under threat. London can do without some of the LDA’s work on international promotion, but we cannot afford to lose these pivotal environment and job creation projects. The Mayor must make the Treasury back down.”
Mr Johnson warned the custs “would make the Mayor impotent in the face of the looming climate threat, and will seriously undermine his efforts to make London a nicer city to live in.”