What has really changed since Boris became mayor?

The London Assembly this week said that Boris Johnson s first year in charge has failed live to up to expectations. And aside from banning alcohol on public transport - with limited success - looking around, it is difficult to see what has changed since B

The London Assembly this week said that Boris Johnson's first year in charge has failed live to up to expectations. And aside from banning alcohol on public transport - with limited success - looking around, it is difficult to see what has changed since Boris became Mayor.

Lots has been cancelled. Any transport improvements to which he wasn't legally committed have been scrapped, fares have gone up and, when it snowed, the buses didn't leave their garages for the first time in living memory. The rule that half of all new houses should be affordable for those on lower incomes or struggling to get on the housing ladder has gone, as has the next stage of a scheme to prevent the most polluting vehicles driving into London and belching out poisonous fumes into our air (which already kills up to 3,000 people every year). The promised funding for rape crisis centres has been halved and Londoners suffered massive disruption last week from the first major Tube strike in two years.

Credit where it's due, Boris hasn't put up the GLA's share of council tax this year (but has put up fares) and has established an 'outer-London commission'. And it's not all been cancellations - Boris has proposed an amnesty for illegal immigrants, plans to double the number of London's gypsy sites and has continued City Hall's support for a London Living Wage. But does this add up to a coherent vision for London? Whether they voted for him not, Londoners will expect to see a lot more from Boris when they look around next year.

Len Duvall AM


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Leader, London Assembly Labour Group

City Hall

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