18 April 2012

I will cut Mayor's share of council tax by 10%

You’ve heard me say it before, but it bears repeating – this election comes at a critical time.

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

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Categories: Campaign Updates, London, quality of life | Tags: Council tax cut, Transparency, Value for money

10 April 2012

Watch: My Party Election Broadcast

By Boris Johnson

It is an honour to be Mayor of London and in every conversation I have with Londoners I feel a huge sense of responsibility.

Especially now, when times are tough, it is vital that we have a Mayor that works to get the best possible deal for Londoners and this city.

Over the last four years I’ve been getting on with my plan to turn things around because this is the most important job I’ll ever do.

It’s a job that is nobody’s by right. And I’d like to tell you why I am seeking the job again.

As I told those gathered this morning for the official launch of my campaign for re-election, the stakes in this election are high – Britain has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy, and Londoners have been going through some of the toughest times that we can remember.

And the choice on 3rd May is very clear – between lurching back to the high-taxing, discredited and divisive approach of my predecessor, or going forward with four more years of sensible, responsible and cost-effective government in London.

Please take a few minutes and be one of the first to watch my Party Election Broadcast, setting out why I'm seeking the job of Mayor again: http://youtu.be/LmONVlMkCbU

At this critical election vote for me, Boris Johnson, and the Conservatives on Thursday the 3rd of May.

Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, London, quality of life, transport | Tags: 9 point plan, Back boris, Boris johnson, Crime, Investment, London, Peb, Transport

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

05 April 2012

Supporting older Londoners

By Boris Johnson"Supporting older Londoners" manifesto

Today I launched my plans for supporting older Londoners.

I’m proud that London is a fantastically diverse city, boasting not just a great cultural and ethnic mix but also a great mix of ages.

London is neither a ‘young’ city nor a retirement town. It defies such descriptions, with a significant older population living alongside a younger one, contributing a huge amount from the capital’s culture and economy.

There are over 1.2 million people in London who are aged 60 and over, and this proportion is expected to grow fast over the next 20 years. The number of people over 65 is projected to increase by 34% (nearly 300,000) to reach 1.17 million by 2031.

The biggest concern for older Londoners is to ensuring their home and neighbourhood is safe and their environment a pleasant place to live. That is why I have worked hard to cut waste and make sure public funding is spent on Londoners priorities, including putting a 1,000 extra police officers on London’s streets since 2008 leading to a 10% cut in overall crime and 30% on the bus network; scrapping my predecessor’s propaganda newspaper ‘The Londoner’ and investing the savings on planting 10,000 street trees; and protecting and extending the Freedom Pass to 24 hours.

But there is more to do. I feel like a man who has built half a bridge. I can see the other side and what needs to be done.

I will:

  • Reverse the decision by the previous Labour government to raise the age for which people were eligible for the Freedom Pass and ensure every Londoner aged 60 has one, from 1st September 2012.
  • Lobby the suburban rail companies to allow its use before 9.30am.
  • Protect the roll out of step free stations as part of the Tube upgrade from Ken Livingstone’s plans to take £1.14 billion out of the transport budget.
  • Give older Londoners a greater voice in neighbourhood policing through new Safer Neighbourhood Boards with substantial increases to Safer Neighbourhood Teams in every ward in Greater London.

But above all, I will continue to keep the Mayor’s share of council tax low, which has put an average of £445 back in Londoner’s pockets since I was elected.

This shows 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 fresh-thinking and optimism for London’s future.

Categories: Campaign Updates, London, quality of life | Tags: Council tax, Freedom pass, Neighbourhood policing, Snt, Suburban rail

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

02 April 2012

My Crime Manifesto

"Fighting Crime in London" - Boris Johnson's Crime Manifesto

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

The first duty of the Mayor is to protect Londoners. 

When I was elected, I inherited a police force in need of strong leadership, where officers were tied to their desks by unnecessary paperwork. 27 teenagers had been murdered in 2007, but the response from City Hall was weak. Violent crime had increased, drug crime had more than doubled and public disorder offences on the tube had increased by 521%. 

I promised to work to turn things around. By bringing fresh leadership to the Metropolitan Police Service, working with all London’s boroughs, and Londoners whatever their background and politics, we have made a good start.

Comparing my term against that of my predecessor: There are 1,000 extra warranted officers on the London’s streets now than there were in May 2008. Total crime has been cut by 10.8%. Murders have decreased by 25.9%, with the lowest rate since 1978. Youth violence has decreased by 13.8%, with the number of youth murders almost halving. Over 11,000 knives have been taken off the streets. Robberies are down by 16.3%. And bus crime has fallen by 30% since I put 697 extra police on our tube and buses and introduced with a ban on alcohol on the Transport for London network.   

For all this hard work, last year’s riots show the full scale of the challenges we still face.

I will:

  • Work with the Commissioner to deliver a massive boost to Safer Neighbourhood Teams, with an additional 2,000 police, including adding up to three police officers, to every team. Each team will also get three Special Constables to further boost police presence in our neighbourhoods.
  • Maintain the extra 1,000 police officers I have put on the street.
  • Double the number of Special Constables to 10,000 and offer, for the first time in Greater London, a 50% rebate on the Mayor’s share of council tax to Special Constables.
  • Establish a Safer Neighbourhood Board in every borough giving local Londoners and victims a greater voice in setting policing priorities, with a £1million fund across London.
  • Lobby for legislation to allow me to introduce a direct entry scheme to the Met.
  • Give local people a direct say in Community Payback.
  • Establish a new Sentencing Unit for London with a focus on violence, especially knife crime.
  • Maintain funding for the extra police on the transport network which is at risk under Ken Livingstone’s plans to take £1.14bn out of the transport budget.
  • Double the size of the Met’s Status Dogs Unit and seek tougher sentences for those using dogs as weapons in Greater London.

And of course all of this is to be set against the backdrop of the biggest policing operation in living memory with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, alongside the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I will work closely with the Commissioner and his team to ensure we achieve the twin tasks of keeping the city safe and securing the 2012 Games.

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 have the resources to maintain the extra 1,000 police numbers I have put on the street, so that London is not just safer, but also feels safer. 

I hope I can count on your support on 3rd May.

Boris Johnson

PS: If you haven't already, please sign our Backers Map to show your support for what we've already achieved and what we plan to do in the next four years: www.backboris2012.com/#backing

Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, London, quality of life | Tags: Crime, Knives, Met, Police, Safer neighbourhood board, Special constables

21 March 2012

This Budget backs London

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget to the House of Commons.

This is a Budget for jobs, growth and investment. It will make London more competitive and more attractive to business.

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget to the House of Commons.

This is a Budget for jobs, growth and investment. It will make London more competitive and more attractive to business.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, economy, jobs and skills, London, quality of life, transport, youth | Tags: 9 point plan, Budget, Infrastructure, Investment, Jobs, Rail, Skills, Suburban rail

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

09 February 2012

Boris's budget passed - council tax cut

Mayor Boris Johnson’s budget for 2012/2013 was passed at its final vote earlier this afternoon. It was passed, including the unprecedented council tax cut, with nine votes in favour, despite all Labour Assembly Members refusing to support it.

This budget secures more for Londoners than ever before and shows the Mayor’s commitment to delivering value for money.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, jobs and skills, London, quality of life, transport | Tags: Budget, Council tax cut, London assembly, Mopc

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