It was probably because of the rain that very few people bothered to make the trip to City Hall this morning to see the London Assembly question ‘deputy mayors’ Tim Parker and Kit Malthouse on their respective roles which is a pity as I think the star of the Johnson administration has finally been revealed.
After questioning Parker for more than an hour the Assembly opted to spend less than half that questioning Malthouse on his position as ‘Deputy Mayor for Policing and First Duty Chair of the MPA’.
The allocation of time seemed odd and priced to be a bit of an error because as Members questioned him it quickly became apparent that Malthouse knows his stuff and a longer period and more questions would have proved pretty illuminating.
On proposals to reduce the police estates Malthouse accepted Lib Dem complaints that the consultation process wasn’t ideal but defended the general principle of the scheme (and I think he’s right to, it makes no sense that we deploy police in largely the same was we did before cars were commonplace).
Put to him that crime mapping would just fuel concerns about crime rates and alarm the public Malthouse said people should be concerned if crime in their area was high and that the point of mapping was to ensure public were properly informed so they could better hold the police and politicians to account.
Noticeably absent throughout the session were the hedging and fumbling which critics say has become the hallmark of the new administration. Instead the sparse audience were treated to a stream of indepth, knowledgeable and coherent answers, here at last were signs of a City government with a vision and purpose.
Based on today’s performance policing could very well turn out to be one of this administration’s strengths.