By Max Clarke
Increasing police on the streets and freezing the precept for a record third year running are the key elements to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson's third budget, which has been approved unamended by the London Assembly.
Over three million London households will benefit from the budget, which will allow the Mayor to continue to deliver on his priorities and protect frontline services, whilst also including plans for almost a billion pounds of efficiency savings for the year.
Almost three quarters of the £935 million raised by the precept will go to the Metropolitan Police Service to help build on the success of the lowest murder rate since 1978, taking more than 11,000 knives off the streets, and cutting robbery on public transport by 46.5 per cent in the last three years. An additional £42 million to lift the recruitment freeze and to put an extra 413 police officers on the transport network, is also included in the budget.
The Mayor or London Boris Johnson said: ‘It is the duty of politicians to provide the best level of service, without burdening people with unreasonable levels of taxation. This is why I am delighted that by continuing to make savings across the board, we have been able to freeze the GLA precept for a record third year, whilst still delivering vital transport improvements, opportunities for young Londoners and increasing frontline policing.’
The Mayor is over halfway towards delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2012, has planted almost 10,000 new street trees and has secured £34 million to help end rough sleeping across the capital.
The budget outlines £6 million of efficiency savings for the Greater London Authority, £163 million for the Metropolitan Police, £763 million for Transport for London, £11 million for the Fire Authority and £20 million for the London Development Agency - making a total of almost £1 billion of savings to protect investment in front line services. He has also delivered on a key manifesto commitment that the element of the council tax precept that will go to support the delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will remain frozen at 38 pence a week for the average London council tax payer.