Boris Johnson today said preventing youth crime, delivering value for money and improving the quality of life of all Londoners will be at the centre of his first budget.
The Mayor also confirmed that all new policies must contribute to his commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.
The comments came as City Hall published Greater London Authority Group Budget Guidance for 2009-10 which outlines the Mayor’s spending priorities. A formal draft budget will be published in December and will be open to consultation.
Speaking earlier today the Mayor said: “Crime is the number one issue for Londoners. I will build on the early measures I have introduced such as the alcohol ban on the tube and extra 440 safer transport police officers. Tackling the long-term root causes of crime and violence and ensuring a visible police presence on the streets must become the priority for the entire GLA group.”
Mr Johnson said he was “proposing a 15 per cent saving in the GLA budget to ensure we are providing maximum value for London taxpayers.”
The Mayor’s spending plans have come under fire from the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly.
Commenting after questioning Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing at today’s meeting of the London Assembly’s Budget Committee, LibDem Group Leader Mike Tuffrey said: “The Met Police have budgeted for an increase of 2.5% in police spending next year, just to cope with inflation. At a time of rising fuel costs and wage increases, this was always going to be a tough sum to achieve.
Now the Mayor has told the Met Police that they should only budget to spend an extra 1.75% in the next financial year. This means real cuts in spending on London’s police service next year.”
Tuffrey has called on the Mayor to “guarantee now that there will be no real cuts next year in the policing service Londoners receive.”
GLA Budget timetable:
July 2008 – Budget Guidance document issued.
December 2008 – budget for consultation
January 2009 – The Mayor will present the draft budget to the Assembly