15 November 2011

Boris stands up for Tower Hamlets

By Cllr Peter Golds, Leader of the Conservative Group, Tower Hamlets

Boris Johnson brings hope and unity to London.

I have an abiding memory of Boris cycling along Whitechapel Road to a meeting. People came out of shops and buses stopped as Londoners cheered on their Mayor. In contrast Ken Livingstone came to Tower Hamlets to play politics - campaigning for an Independent candidate opposing his own Labour Party in a divisive local election.

Boris has not once raised his share of council tax. Ken Livingstone raised council tax every one of his 8 years as Mayor - costing the average household in London £963.58. Livingstone also cynically promised fare reductions before elections, before hiking them afterwards.

In June this year Tower Hamlets saw the last of the infamous bendy buses as route 25 (known as the fare dodgers special) was converted back to double deck operation. This autumn we have seen the new London bus which will soon be on our streets, making the return of the Routemaster a reality, rather than a heritage journey that goes from Tower Hill to Trafalgar Square, to show to tourists what once was.

Mayor Johnson has stood behind Crossrail to ensure that this borough, now home to the world’s fourth largest financial centre, will continue to have the transport that matches its importance.

Mayor Johnson is delivering a greater police presence and cutting crime. By contrast, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets prefers “enforcement” officers, who cost over £30,000 each and have less real power than a traffic warden. The day following the riots they were given a “rest day”. In contrast Boris Johnson launched his £50million recovery package, to ensure that London can and will be ready for the Olympics.

Residents of Tower Hamlets, when traveling elsewhere in London, have reason to thank Boris for his London Permit Scheme for roads and streetworks, which cracks down on utility companies that pointlessly dig up the roads. Almost every London borough has joined and disruption substantially reduced. Sadly, Tower Hamlets Council is still dithering.

Boris has also shown his commitment to the East End by supporting the grassroots campaign against the building of a super sewer station on one of our few parks.

We have difficult times ahead. London needs a Mayor that will take this city in the right direction, not one that seeks to take London back to a divisive past.

And that Mayor is Boris Johnson.

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