Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cuts and More Cuts from Mayor Johnson

The reality of life under a Tory Mayor of London is beginning to emerge. Firstly, he has issued budget guidance requiring an across-the-board reduction of 15% in City Hall's spending for next year - which even the GLA's chief Executive says will mean cuts.

Secondly, he has proposed only a 1.75% increase in the budget for the Met Police next year. Readers familiar with the politics of Southwark will know that the past six months has seen the Tory/LibDem executive in charge of our Council claiming that the Government has "cut" its budget, when the fact is that the Government's share of revenue into Southwark has been pegged at the level of inflation. So this must mean that Mayor Johnson's proposal to increase expenditure for the Police at a point way below inflation must mean real cuts.

How will the Tory/LibDem Council in Southwark react to this? Earlier this month we were subjected to a rant from Cllr Mitchell of East Dulwich opposing plans to close the East Dulwich Police Station. Tories in Southwark have also been aboard the "Save the Police Stations Express" in recent months. But to my mind there is no way that this or any other police station will be saved with Mayor Johnson's budget cuts for the Met Police. Contrast these cuts with Ken Livingstone's year-on-year real terms increases in the Police budget for London.

It just shows that the Tories are the same as they ever were - unable to help themselves making cuts when in power; and the LibDems as simply adrift in the big political world without influence over any real decisions.

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