London Assembly Members will tomorrow (Tuesday 11th January) question Mayor of London Boris Johnson over his proposed 2011/12 budget which will see funding to key London services cut after the Government’s spending review.
Last week AMs on the Budget and Performance Committee questioned senior figures from the capital’s fire, police and transport services and heard how spending cuts would impact on some services.
AMs heard that the focus across all services is on reducing ‘back office’ costs in order to maintain frontline services. Met Police Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin and Metropolitan Police Authority Chair Kit Malthouse were questioned over projections and a recruitment freeze could see 1181 fewer officers on the streets by March 2011.
The pair said the figure was “a hypothetical number” and Mr Malthouse appeared to suggest that the recruitment freeze could be re-examined.
Fire Authority Chairman Brian Coleman ruled out cuts to frontline services and insisted the Authority was committed to providing the level of services recommended by Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson and his officers.
Committee Chair John Biggs said: “It is always a delicate balancing act between making budget savings and preserving front-line services and there are difficult decisions to be made.”
Mr Biggs said at tomorrow’s meeting AMs would “press” the Mayor “on his priorities for policing and how budget cuts across the GLA group could affect key services for Londoners.”
The Budget and Performance Committee will meet from 11am on Tuesday, 11th January in Committee Room 5 at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public and will also be webcast on london.gov.uk