Good morning all!
It will not have escaped your notice that there has been a general election and that I am now also a serving MP. I have seen one or two vaguely pessimistic remarks about this from commentators so I wanted to issue some immediate reassurance.
This will in no way diminish my appetite to get things done for London and for Londoners.
I believe the GLA has contributed to some enormous improvements in our city over the last few years – both under Ken and in my time. But the challenges are still huge.
We have a fast growing population, and pressure on all our services – above all housing. We need to get on with delivering the record numbers of affordable homes. We need crime to keep falling. We need to give young people better skills, more apprenticeships, better prospects of employment. We need FAR more companies to be paying the London Living Wage – though I am very pleased, obviously, with what has been done so far.
We must make irreversible all kinds of wonderful projects that are now underway:
- Crossrail 2
- New river crossings (ornamental or not)
- Tube extensions
- Cycle Superhighways
- New road tunnels
- And many, many more.
We should drive on all our programmes for environmental improvement: planting trees, cleaning up the air, leading the UK with our ULEZ. We must continue to support our young people with Team London, the Music Fund, the educational and cultural initiatives and so much more.
I want by next year to have made decisive progress with Olympicopolis, with the Old Oak MDC and all the other opportunity areas. [Doubtlessly, not the corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, though.]
I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved in the last seven years. I am hugely grateful to everyone in City Hall.
But we have a massive amount still to do – and just the right amount of time to do it in. A year is a hell of a long time in politics, folks.
Let's put the pedal to the metal.
See you later on.