The London Assembly today voted to approve the Mayor’s annual budget for London.
Following the confirmation vote the One London Party attacked ‘the democratic deficit’ which allows the Mayor to secure his budget without “majority support from the London Assembly.”
Damian Hockney, Leader of One London, said his party “has been campaigning consistently for reform since we arrived on the London Assembly in 2004.”
Mr Hockney said Londoners should expect the Assembly, which costs Londoners over £6 million per yea, to have real power but that it has instead “been a mere talking shop. Either it should be allowed to do a useful job or it should be scrapped.”
Welcoming the approval of the budget Mayor Livingstone repeated earlier claims that the free bus travel concession has been under threat.
Mr Livingstone said “there are some members of the London Assembly who seem to want to abolish anything that is free. Free school milk, free entry to museums, the Freedom Pass, and now free bus travel for under-18s – anything that is free gets threatened.”
Possibly suggesting the Mayor’s mind is turning towards next year’s election Mr Livingstone claimed “the nasty wing of politics is alive and active on the London Assembly and we should not take today’s safeguarding of free bus travel for children as the end of the attacks on this scheme.”
The budget was passed with 9 votes for (Labour and Green Groups) and 16 against (Conservative, Liberal Democrats and One London Groups).