By Claire West
Mayor Boris Johnson’s £13.6 billion pound budget for 2011-12 has failed to address three key concerns for Londoners on policing, sustained investment and environmental problems, the London Assembly said today.
In a motion passed at its budget meeting the Assembly urged the Mayor to recast his spending priorities to put more money into neighbourhood policing, sustainable measures to reduce air pollution and increase energy efficiency, and take action to reduce the impact of his public transport fare rises.
John Biggs AM, who proposed the motion, told the Assembly:
"In the face of what we all recognise are strong pressures on public spending, it is more important than ever to put what cash is available into the services people value and need the most. The Mayor’s budget has missed an opportunity to make a real commitment to protecting frontline safer neighbourhood policing teams and to play fair by the travelling public by balancing the impact of the rising cost of tube and bus tickets."
The motion was seconded by Darren Johnson AM who said:
"The Mayor often talks a good game about protecting frontline services and investing in a sustainable future for London, but he has failed to put his money where his mouth is. This budget does not take a long term view of Londoners' needs, it is a short term trick with smoke and mirrors."
The full text of the motion reads as follows:
"The Assembly considers that in his draft budget for 2011/12 the Mayor has failed to respond to Londoners’ concerns to protect frontline policing, failed to deliver sustained investment to tackle London’s deep-seated environmental problems, and failed to keep London’s public transport affordable.
The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to change his budget by:
Putting more money and police numbers into borough and neighbourhood policing and reverse some of the budget reductions to territorial policing;
Providing a higher level of continuous sustained investment for measures to address London’s environmental challenges, including air pollution and energy efficiency;
Reducing the impact of his fares package