diamond geezer

 Tuesday, March 06, 2012

In two months time, Boris Johnson hopes to be back at his desk in City Hall with a big grin on his face. But what would he do over the forthcoming four years? His newly-published Nine Point Plan supposedly tells all. But is this a set of pledges for the future, or a tick-list of successes past (or a confusing mix of both)?

  • Cutting waste at City Hall – freeing up £3.5 billion for services
    But the man in charge of City Hall these last four years has been Boris himself, so he appears to be campaigning against himself.
  • Putting £445 back in your pocket by freezing the Mayoral share of council tax
    But freezing council tax puts no money in your pocket, unless compared to some imaginary tax hike under a mayor who never was.
  • Creating 200,000 new jobs over the next four years
    A noble aspiration, although it's not clear that London's mayor has much direct control over capital-wide job creation.
  • Making our streets and homes safer with 1,000 more police on the beat
    Boris claims he's already done this since 2008. Is he going to do it again?
  • Restoring 300 acres of green space and planting 20,000 street trees
    For comparison, 10,000 additional street trees have been planted over the last four years.
  • Investing £221 million to transform local high streets, supporting small businesses
    That money won't go far, but it will be welcomed.
  • Ensuring a true Olympic legacy – 11,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs
    The 11,000 new homes will be built whoever gets in. The 10,000 new jobs, however, depend on key legacy investment which the Mayor can help deliver.
  • Reducing Tube delays 30% by 2015. Building Crossrail and orbital rail to link our suburbs. Extending the Bike Hire scheme.
    Tube delays are down 40% since 2008, so another 30% cut would be very impressive. But building Crossrail is going to happen whatever, and orbital rail will be complete by December, regardless of who the Mayor is. The Bike Hire scheme extends this Thursday... unless Boris intends to extend it again.
  • Securing a better deal for London from No 10
    No 10 are probably very keen that Boris stays where he is and doesn't re-enter national politics, so expect a few sweeteners to help keep him in place.

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