The strange thing about Mr Livingstone’s time in office is how little attention has been given to his track record. The press tends to be full of stories on how the Mayor will do this or do that. Perhaps this is not surprising, given the 173 press officers who work for him in one form or another. Yet put under close scrutiny his track record looks extremely patchy indeed. There have been some undoubted improvements: more police and more buses are some. Yet compared with the resources having been made available these achievements look paltry in comparison. And other areas have in fact got worse. The tube is more delayed; buses move slower and the congestion charge has failed. Adding these together as whole Livingstone has failed to deliver.
And this failure is costing Londoner’s dear. Not only has the precept gone up so quickly to a staggering £303 a year, but the Mayor has also squandered the huge increase in government grants over the same time. Grants that cost the average London household over £2,000 in tax. London will never be perfection. It is a huge and growing city. And in any city there will always be problems. But London does deserve better. Better than a story of waste, spin, and mismanagement. For the office of London’s Mayor – it is time for change.
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