Where You Live: Southwark

Where you live >> Southwark

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Southwark’s neighbourhoods, from Dulwich to Bermondsey, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Southwark the plan means:

  • Cutting City Hall’s share of council tax this year after freezing it for three successive years, benefitting 81,070 Southwark households and putting an average £445 back into pockets (Point 2). (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link: GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Investing in local high streets and supporting small businesses with £960,000 for Nunhead from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund and an investment of £10.6mil from the Regeneration Fund, set up to repair damage caused to high streets and town centres during last summer’s riots. (Point 6). (GLA, Mayor Investing £177 million to Regenerate Capital, 17 January 2012, link)
  • Investing in transport with the completion of London’s first orbital railway, making the Elephant & Castle roundabout a signalled junction, rolling-out Oyster cards onto national rail and investing a £16.1 million in local transport in Southwark. (Point 8) (TfL, Borough LIP Funding, link; TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low the average households in London (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011),  putting an average £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

Restoring green space

  • 222 street trees. 222 street trees have been planted in Southwark under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • 101 green spaces. 101 green spaces, which allow local residents the opportunity to grow their own food, have also been created (Capital Growth Website, link).
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • £10.6 million for Southwark from the Mayor’s £70 million Regeneration Fund. The Fund was set up to repair damage caused to high streets and town centres during last summer’s riots (GLA, Press Release, 17 January 2012, link)
  • Nunhead received £438,000 from the Outer London Fund. Nuhead will receive an investment of £438,000.00 for the village-themed bid which is based on the Peckham and Nunhead Area Action Plan (PNAAP). The activities will add to existing and planned investments in order to strengthen the centre of Nunhead based around Nunhead Green and the retail parade. The works consist of shop front improvements and enhanced lighting including festive lights. The Mayor’s funding will also facilitate businesses in carbon reduction and provide training and business support. (GLA, Outer London Fund –Round Two Grant Funding, Summary of Winners, 12 January 2012.)

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 1,366 more patrols per month in Southwark. In 2010-11 there were 1,366 more patrols per month in Southwark than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and youth violence in Southwark have reduced. Since May 2008, Southwark has seen a 9.9% decrease in total crime, a 15.8% reduction in youth violence and bus crime has fallen 18.2% (MPS Statistics, May 08 – Jan 12  compared to Sept 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded eleven sport participation programmes in Southwark so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link):
  • 11 organisations in Southwark are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).
  • Investing in Southwark sports facilities. The Mayor has helped fund three facility in Southwark to enhance sporting activities:

Investing in transport

  • £16.1 million of funding for local transport in Southwark. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £16.1 million to boost local transport in Southwark. In 2011-12 this includes investment in projects including improvement to the walking routes on Forest Hill Road, connecting communities and providing a link to local shops and schools (TfL, Borough LIP Funding, link; TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link.).


  • Improving reliability on Tube lines running through Southwark. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme secured by Boris Johnson:
    • Jubilee Line. Capacity has increased by 33%, providing more frequent trains and a 22% reduction in journey time. The line is now able to carry an additional 12,500 passengers per hour at peak time compared with before the upgrade (TfL Website, Jubilee line upgrade plan, link).
    • Northern Line. When the upgrade is completed in 2014 capacity will have been improved by one fifth, meaning the line can carry an additional 11,000 passengers per hour at peak time.  Passengers will also see an 18% reduction in journey time (TfL Website, Northern line upgrade plan, link).


  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Southwark is now the 10th highest oyster- using borough on national rail services. (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).
  • London Overground, London’s first orbital railway, has six stations in Southwark. Southwark will benefit from London’s first orbital railway, with 6 London Overground stations in the borough Rotherhithe, Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill (TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link)

Roads and congestion

  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Southwark, which have recently adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link).


  • Bus improvements. 20 bus routes in Southwark have been expanded and/or improved under Boris Johnson. (TFL, Bus service changes borough by borough, May 2008-January 2012)
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. Transport for London estimates it was save more  than £7 million a year (TFL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).
  • Southwark had four bendy bus routes removed. Former bendy bus routes 521, 453, 149, and 23 running through Southwark have had the bendy bus withdrawn (TfL, Press Release, 13 November 2009, link).


  • Cycle Superhighways. Four Superhighways run through Southwark – Cycle Superhighway 4 from Woolwich to London Bridge by 2015, Cycle Superhighway 5 from Lewisham to Victoria by 2013, Cycle Superhighway 6 from Penge to City by 2015, and Cycle Superhighway 7 from Merton to City. (TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways: About the scheme’, link; TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways’, link).


  • Boris Johnson has been a strong supporter of regenerating the Thames’ river service. Southwark has four piers – Greenland, Hilton Docklands, London Bridge, and Bankside – which have benefitted from Boris Johnson’s strong support of regenerating the Thames’ river services. (TfL River Map, link.)
  • Oysteried Thames Clippers. Boris Johnson funded £400,000 in 2009 to Oysterise Thames Clippers, helping to reduce ticket fares by 33% for London’s commuters. Thames Clipper services run from London Eye to the Royal Woolwich, Arsenal. (Thames Clipper Route Map, link.) (TfL, Mayor announces Oysterisation of Thames Clipper river services, 23 November 2009, link.)


  • 1,920 total affordable housing units completed in Southwark. 1,040 social rented and 890 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Southwark between 2008/09 and 2010/11 (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006, 1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more visits to Southwark in four years than Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Southwark 39 times since July 2008 whilst Ken Livingstone visited Sutton  21 times in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 (April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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