The Mayor’s long-goodbye to London begins

Today the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, set out his '2020 Vision' report for the capital. The report launch is the beginning of Boris Johnson’s long-goodbye to London as his attention increasingly turns elsewhere.

Len Duvall AM is the Leader of the Labour Group on the London Assembly

Today the Mayor of London Boris Johnson set out his ‘2020 Vision’ report for the capital. The report launch is the beginning of Boris Johnson’s long-goodbye to London as his attention increasingly turns elsewhere.

Much will be made today of the Mayor’s Vision for 2020 report, but we only have to look at his recent record to see how far the gap between reality and Boris’ rhetoric really is.

During last year’s election he made several high profile commitments. He promised 1,000 more police, to ‘bear down’ on fare rises and build 55,000 affordable homes. On all of these main promises Boris has failed to deliver.

In the past year Boris has hardly done anything to show that he can deliver for our city and for ordinary Londoners. He has raised transport fares above inflation for the fifth year running, despite promising to ‘bear down on fare rises’.

He has cut 1,351 Police Officers and lost 497 Special Constables, despite promising 1,000 more Police Officers and extra Special Constables (since 2010 over 2,700 police officers and over 1,900 PCSOs have been lost).

He failed to meet his own target of ending rough sleeping by the end of 2012. He’s delivered just 1,672 social housing starts last year, down from 11,329 in the previous year.

His attempts to cut 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 520 firefighters – none of which were presented to Londoners prior to May 2012 – have drawn widespread criticism from across London.

We have also seen a worsening of London’s air quality with us nearly being fined by the EU.

He’s been Mayor for five years and all he’s done is open projects started by his predecessor, today’s report launch looks like he’s panicking about his legacy. Many of the aims in the report are laudable, but the Mayor’s failure to deliver any of this in the last five years doesn’t fill us with confidence that he’ll do them in his last three.

This is the beginning of Boris’ long-goodbye to London as his attention turns elsewhere.

The Mayoralty is a potentially powerful tool for setting the strategic direction for London and tackling the big problems facing ordinary Londoners.

Today he has re-announced old policies, some of them started by the previous Mayor and previous government. He has said nothing about tackling the cost of living crisis that is hitting Londoners’ quality of life and driving some to desperate measures like using foodbanks to survive.

Today we’ve seen another nice photo opportunity and more empty rhetoric. He talks a good game, but he has failed to improve the quality of life for Londoners. His ‘2020 Vision’ report doesn’t change that simple fact.

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