Mayor Boris Johnson has repeated calls for UK ministers to maintain their investment in London’s infrastructure, insisting money spent in the capital can help deliver economic growth for the whole nation.
Speaking at City Hall today, the Mayor said the lesson from the Olympics is that London could succeed in delivering major projects if it just believed in its own abilities and called on its leaders to build a city ready for the future.
Mr Johnson was speaking at the launch of a new document, 2020 Vision – The Greatest City on Earth, which sets out a number of challenges he says London must confront if it’s to prosper.
These include addressing the shortage of housing and continued investment to meet capacity demands on the transport network caused by a growing population.
The report also highlights the need to ensure people have the right skills for the jobs of the future, allowing to find jobs and support both themselves and the wider economy.
Addressing an audience of business leaders, employers, national and local Government representatives and members of the London Assembly, Mr Johnson said: “In the summer of 2012 this city put on a triumphant performance, showing us exactly what we can do if we focus and plan, and agree on the challenges facing our city, and today is my personal view of how we can work together to meet those challenges. “
The Mayor said the pressures caused by population growth “shows us why the government must invest in London’s future for the good of the whole of the UK.”
City Hall is currently awaiting the results of the Government’s spending review which will determine how much it receives in grants from central government.
It hopes the Government will support major transport projects such as Crossrail 2, however in recent days it’s been reported that Transport for London’s budget could face significant cuts.
The Mayor’s document has been welcomed by local authorities and business leaders.
Mayor Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils which represents local boroughs in the capital, said: “I welcome this timely piece of work from the Mayor, particularly his highlighting the value of partnership to address shared issues around housing, transport and regeneration.”
Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said: “The Mayor has certainly listened to the business community in committing to delivery of projects like Crossrail 2 and new river crossings in east London, however, these projects will be at risk if the Chancellor cuts TfL’s funding in the upcoming spending review.
Mr Stanbridge said businesses “expect the Mayor to vigorously lobby ministers to secure the best long term funding deal for London.”
However opposition members on the London Assembly say the document fails to deliver.
Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Assembly Liberal Democrat Group, said: “This document has come too late and may cost London dearly in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.
“This was a real opportunity for the Mayor to get his hands dirty and start building affordable homes on the vacant land he already owns. Sadly, this document is distracted by his pet project for a Boris Island hub airport outside London”.
Len Duvall, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “He’s been Mayor for five years and all he’s done is open projects started by his predecessor, today’s report launch looks like he’s panicking about his legacy.
“Many of the aims in the report are laudable, but the Mayor’s failure to deliver any of this in the last five years doesn’t fill us with confidence that he’ll do them in his last three. This is the beginning of Boris’ long-goodbye to London as his attention turns elsewhere.”