10 April 2012

Boris speech marks official campaign launch

This morning marked the official launch of my campaign for re-election. I delivered a speech to a packed house in Richmond and wanted to share it with you:

Good morning and thanks for coming.

This election is being fought when Britain has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy. When Londoners have been going through some of the toughest times that we can remember and when the choice is between going back to the high tax, high spending creed of a bunch of taxpayer funded, Châteauneuf-du-Pape swilling, Outer London ignoring, car hating, semi-reformed Trotsyisksts and bendy bus fetishists whose approach to Government helped to get this country into this economic mess;

Or going forward with sensible, moderate and cost-effective government that invests in our future. That creates the conditions for business to grow. And that delivers on its promises.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport, youth | Tags: 9 point plan, Apprenticeships, Boris johnson, Campaign, Crime, Housing, London, Olympics, Transport

04 April 2012

Growing the London Economy

By Boris Johnson"Growing the London Economy" - Boris Johnson's Economy Manifesto

Today I launched my economy manifesto and I wanted you to be one of the first to read it.

We are going through tough economic times, and Londoners are understandably concerned about their jobs and the cost of living. That is why my priorities over the last four years have been cutting waste and bureaucracy at City Hall and ensuring your tax money is put where Londoners want to see it spent.

Despite the impact of the economic downturn, London has remained resilient. The employment rate has grown faster in London than anywhere else in the country. The capital continues to be the economic engine room of the nation, with Londoners generating around 22% of the UK’s economy (measured by gross value added).  This has been driven not only by the large multinationals located here and our financial services, but also by London’s growing creative and digital industries, its small and medium enterprises, and its sole traders.

The millions of people who work in business here have all, in one way or another, contributed to London’s phenomenal success and will contribute to the sustained recovery of the UK economy as a whole.

My predecessor had no economic growth plan for London. Millions of pounds were wasted by his London Development Agency because the LDA lacked credible systems to create economic growth on a cost-effective basis. Instead, he spent more time on flights to Havana and Venezuela than on securing the investment London needs, and more time sniping at and undermining the industries that provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Londoners than supporting them.

I have changed that. I have relentlessly stood up for the capital, cut unnecessary waste to reinvest in economic growth and secured record funding from No 10. And will continue to do so.

Above all, I will secure a fair deal for London from the Government. It is time to review the funding arrangements for London, to ensure the capital gets back what it deserves. I will therefore set up an independent commission to examine whether it is time to introduce a Barnett style formula for London.

I will:

  • Continue to move London forward, with positive leadership and fresh ideas to bolster London’s premier position as a global city.
  • Help grow Greater London’s economy, protect existing jobs, create new ones, and boost skills and training
  • Safeguard hard-won investment in our transport network, and cut council tax.
  • Establish the London Enterprise Panel across Greater London, and stimulate growth through investment in the Enterprise Zone in the Royal Docks and relief for business rates.
  • Invest £221 million to transform high streets and support small businesses.
  • Launch a new London Growth Fund with the £70 million I persuaded the Chancellor to allocate to London in this year’s Budget, supporting businesses to expand and creating thousands of new jobs.
  • Directly create more than 200,000 jobs for those seeking work, and continue to improve skills by creating on average 1,000 new apprenticeships every week and ensure they benefit from the same travel discounts as full-time students.
  • Continue to support London’s green economy, with plans to deliver a total of 20,000 street trees, restoring 300 acres of green space, and retrofitting tens of thousands of homes to reduce household energy bills by an average of £180 a year.

Every pound possible has been removed from unnecessary bureaucracy and reinvested in economic growth. I have stood up relentlessly for the interests of the London economy, combating pointless red tape and crippling taxes, whether they come from London or Brussels. I have always energetically promoted London internationally.

I have secured record funding from No 10 for the capital’s transport network of more than £20 billion, delivering both the Tube upgrade and Crossrail to create the modern transport network our economy needs, and creating 32,000 jobs in the process. We have also secured the Thameslink upgrade.

I have also transformed opportunities for young Londoners by creating more than 54,000 apprenticeships. I intend to do more and deliver 100,000 new apprenticeships by the end of this year.  I have helped the unemployed get back into work through subsidised travel and expanded the London Living Wage.  I have reduced business crime, and started to transform great swathes of the capital through the regeneration of the Royal Docks and the Battersea, Nine Elms, Vauxhall area, creating jobs and securing new funding to drive even more growth.

Having provided a record number of affordable homes for low and middle income Londoners, I have also secured major new investment powers on housing. Despite a tough spending round I secured more than £3 billion for housing and regeneration, in addition to negotiating the transfer of 530 hectares of land to City Hall at no cost.

We have made progress despite difficult times. At the Mayoral election on 3rd May this progress is at risk. The choice at this election is between taking London backwards, and my plan to ensure we continue to grow our economy, working constructively with the private sector to create jobs, drive investment and make London the best city to live in.

Categories: Campaign Updates, economy, housing, jobs and skills, London, quality of life | Tags: Economy, Growth, Investment, Jobs, Manifesto

30 March 2012

My Olympic legacy manifesto

By Boris Johnson"Value from the Olympics" - Boris Johnson's Olympics Manifesto

Today I'm launching my Olympics manifesto and I wanted you to be one of the first to read it.

This year the capital will experience a summer like no other.

London will become the first city in history to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games three times. It is also the first host city in history to finish building the Olympic stadium a year early – not just ahead of time, but under budget.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are about far more than just six weeks of amazing sport. I have worked to ensure they will lead to lasting economic, social and sporting benefits for London. I have ensured that these are the first Games where a host city has been building in the legacy from the beginning.

However, seven years ago we may have won the Games, but there was a real risk the opportunity they present would be squandered. Costs had quadrupled. There was no legacy plan. Taxpayers’ money was being wasted on unnecessary venues which would have become white elephants, while great venues across the capital were being under-utilised or ignored.

I have worked with the Olympic authorities to turn this around. I have co-chaired the Olympic Board, overseeing the entire project. I promised to keep costs low, and the Games will not cost London council taxpayers a penny more than pledged. I scrapped unnecessary new venues and used existing venues across the capital, saving tens of millions of pounds and ensuring all parts of London feel part of the Games. I put in place a credible legacy plan, creating thousands of jobs, ensuring a major economic boost to the capital.

I will go further:

  • I will guarantee that the Olympic Legacy does not cost Londoners a penny more on their council tax.
  • I will also ensure absolute transparency as the legacy plans transfer to the Mayor, requiring all expenditure to be published so Londoners know how money is being spent.
  • I will make sure that after the closing ceremony all Londoners continue to benefit from the hard work and investment of the last four years. That is why, using new powers secured from the Government, I have set up a new Mayoral Development Corporation to take responsibility for the Olympic Park. This will reduce the number of bodies involved, bringing focus and safeguarding the economic legacy of the Games by implementing our detailed plans to build 11,000 new homes and create 10,000 new jobs.
  • I will use my good strong relations with the businesses community to make use the Games venues with strong interest in taking on some of the venues, including the Olympic Stadium.
  • And I will explore creating a new science institute in the Olympic Park, to boost London’s hi-tech economy, including lobbying for the proposed Cell Therapy Technology and Innovation Centre to be located there.

We have made progress despite difficult times. At the Mayoral election on 3rd May this progress is at risk. The choice at this election is between a plan to ensure a true Olympic legacy that keeps costs low and putting the legacy at risk by cutting investment and damaging the city's international reputation.

Categories: Campaign Updates, economy, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, sport | Tags: Legacy, London 2012, Olympics, Paralympics

14 March 2012

Reporting back to Londoners

In the coming weeks I will be setting out my manifesto commitments for taking this great city forward over the next four years.

And I want my promises to be judged by the determination and success with which I fulfilled the promises I made to Londoners in 2008.

The last four years have been a long road, but despite the toughest financial times in a generation, we have a strong record of delivering for London.

I am proud of what we have achieved, which is why I am publishing a Progress Report on my 2008 manifesto commitments.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, environment, Fighting London's corner, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport, youth | Tags: 2008, Manifesto, Progress report, Promises delivered

05 March 2012

9 point plan poster launch

Boris Johnson this weekend set out his nine point plan to secure a Greater London, in a speech on Saturday and then at the launch of the poster campaign on Sunday.

1,000 posters will go up across London - from Croydon to Enfield and Hillingdon to Havering. They detail Boris’s determination to end the waste and mismanagement of the previous Mayor to free up money to pay for a strong plan for London’s future.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, environment, Fighting London's corner, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport, youth | Tags: 9 point plan, Council tax, Cutting waste, Jobs, London, Olympic legacy, Police on the streets, Poster campaign, Transport

19 January 2012

Boris announces Greenwich Peninsula regeneration

Mayor Johnson this week announced a deal to kick-start a major regeneration on the Greenwich Peninsula, creating over 4,000 jobs in the construction of 1,350 new homes by the end of 2015.

Around 10,000 new homes, 600 student beds and 3.5 million square feet of commercial floor space are ultimately planned for the site, transforming an unused old gas works into a prominent new residential, business and leisure community.

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Categories: jobs and skills, London, housing | Tags: Greenwich peninsula, Land release, Regeneration