14 November 2011

Boris delivers for Newham

By John Moss, Conservative candidate for Newham in the London Assembly elections next year

As I go round Newham I can see exactly where Boris Johnson has made a big difference since he became Mayor just three and a half years ago.

Boris has delivered on his promises to tackle crime and keep taxes low. In Newham, crime is down. We now see more police patrolling the streets, and we feel safer as a result. Overall crime is down by more than 6% and robbery by almost 15%. Most importantly - considering the tragic spate of youth murders in 2007/08 -  youth violence is down by almost 17%.

Despite the recession and the need to make hard choices, Boris has never once raised his share of council tax. To put that in context, Ken Livingstone raised council tax every one of his 8 years as Mayor - costing the average household in London £963.58.

One of the most impressive things is the way that 37 sites for allotments have been created or improved through the Capital Growth scheme. These make it possible for local people, many living in social housing, to grow their own food, helping them to live more cheaply. I’ve seen some of these sites and the Mayor's support has helped local people to create real community-led projects which see families working together, young and old. Disabled people are also able to garden in raised beds - it's just fantastic.

The bendy buses have gone and he has secured the investment needed in Crossrail, which will serve five stations in the borough. Capacity had increased by 50% on the DLR and new investment in the District line and Hammersmith & City Line services is on the way. All this will help local people get to work across London, but it will also attract investment to Newham to create jobs here after the Olympics and especially in the new Enterprise Zone in the Royal Docks.

And speaking of the Olympics, Newham is the Olympic Borough with seven of the major venues hosting 19 Olympic events. All the 'fixed venues' have been delivered on time, as well as under budget, a year in advance of London 2012. Through prudent fiscal management by the Mayor £10million was saved on the building the Olympic Stadium.

When I see the investment in Stratford Town Centre, the expansion of the University of East London and the growth of Excel, I am convinced that this is the fruit borne of the investment in infrastructure made in the '80s and '90s – the roads, DLR and Jubilee Line.

Having worked for the LDDC in the Royal Docks in the '90s, it is great to see the results coming through - and I’m convinced Boris’s success in delivering further investment, despite the hard times we live in, will see another wave of growth in the years to come.

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