Mayor answers to London
Question by Jennette Arnold
Chairs invites the Mayor to make an opening statement
Answer by Boris Johnson (1st Term)
I want to begin, obviously, Chair by saying that I am sure all Members here will agree very much with you in wanting to send our deepest sympathies to David and Samantha Cameron following the loss of their son.
Chair, since we last met - I am going to keep it very, very brief - there is plenty to report. We have planted the first 1,500 street trees. They are going to be planted in ten London boroughs. The East London Line Phase II has finally been approved amid general jubilation. I see some nods around the room and some wreathed in smiles - Caroline [Pidgeon] is - and quite right too. We have reached provisional agreement on 37,000 new affordable homes in the sense that 14 London boroughs are going to deliver 16,750 and the remaining 19 boroughs have identified another 20,500. We are on course to deliver 3,000 apprenticeships with at least 1,000 a year in the GLA group until 2012. Thanks to the foresight, good sense and general benevolence of this Assembly we have passed my first budget unamended and thereby cemented the thing that I think Londoners wanted us to do above all which was to freeze the council tax precept for this year. I thank you, Chair, and I thank the rest of the Assembly for your work on that.
Jennette Arnold (Chair): Before I ask Members to come in can we acknowledge the work of the East London Line group in keeping this alive?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I think that is very appropriate.
Jennette Arnold (Chair): I know that Caroline [Pidgeon] is wearing a halo but this is a cause that many have been fighting for many years so I think it is commendations for everybody who has ever held a candle for that one.