I can confirm that this information is not held by the GLA.
City Hall, 26th September 2016
The information, which has taken three costly Freedom of Information requests to obtain has been lurking in Transport for London for 8 months – did it really never get as far as City Hall? Sadiq certainly seems clear he received no advice:
My fares policy – to freeze all TfL fares for four years – is well established and was set out clearly in my manifesto.
This means that, unlike with previous mayors, I have not needed policy advice on fares, except on how TfL is getting on with delivering my policy.
So, in what appears to be a first, MayorWatch readers can read some formal, big-value advice long before the Mayor himself:
Had Sadiq got the advice – he’d have seen he could freeze Travelcards if he was willing to spend “an additional £660m over ﬁve years.”
However, as you can see, borrowing may need to rise to help absorb the cost of Sadiq’s four year freeze which will already take £1.1bn out of TfL’s budget.
London Assembly Members have previously warned that the agency has no idea how it’ll actually fund the pledge and managers are reluctant to set out precise savings plans in case awkward types monitor their progress. Despite this, TfL’s accounts are going to be interesting to watch over the next few years.
Meanwhile the agency might want to check its server logs and ensure that if officials did send the briefing to the boss, he’s not forwarding their missives to junk mail which, given I made my FOI request on 16 September 2016, seems to be where they’re storing mine…
Update: Conservatives on the London Assembly say the document’s release proves their claims that the Mayor could have frozen Travelcards as promised during the Mayoral contest last year.
Transport spokesperson Keith Prince said: “From the minute it emerged the Mayor’s fares freeze would fall well short of what he’d promised, he has consistently claimed he could do no more.
“He has repeatedly insisted he cannot freeze all fares and was adamant that he received no fares advice from Transport for London.
“The uncovering of this document proves what many of us have suspected for a long time – that he was simply not telling the truth.
“Londoners who elected Sadiq Khan on the back of his keystone fares freeze pledge deserve an apology for this shameless approach, as well as answers to the worrying questions the emergence of this document raises.”