Just back from a barnstorming meeting with the Mayor of London, who as always turned up 5 mins late and with his shirt hanging out. Hairstyle / suit was borrowed from the "dragged thru a hedge backwards" school of tailoring. I am confident he will win the Mayoral election in May: he described his style of leadership as "sensible, moderate, One Nation, cost cutting Conservatism."
Howwever, the serious points were that he gave us 40 minutes on the massive difference a Mayor and a Police Commissioner can make:
The stats on his Mayoralty make very interesting reading:
- council tax down by 12%
- transport services reinvigorated with Boris Bikes, the safest tube in Europe, massively improved tube efficiency, designated bike lanes, and selling of the hated Bendy Buses to Scandanavian Airports and the poor people of Malta
- housing massively improved on a number of levels, particularly the number of affordable homes
- 50,000 trees planted and a series of improvements to Londons parks
- Great opportunities for the young with the National Citizens Service
- Crossrail and Tube upgrades
and 204 countries sending representatives to the Olympic Games.
He spoke well on the idea of "Putting the Village back in to London"
On Crime, and the need for Police Commissioners, his role as the Police Commissioner has shown crime reduction on a significant scale:
- knife crime deaths cut by a half
- murder rate down 25%
- bus crime down 13%
- and a massively safer tube
He was adamant that expanding Heathrow would never happen, but pretty confident that Boris Island - paid for by private investment - would. The choice is clear - Boris or Ken Livingstone, who one person made the point visited Cuba more times in his term of office than he went to Hammersmith and Fulham...
I will definitely be supporting Boris in the coming months