State of London Debate - 9th May 2009

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Thursday 7 May 2009 7.18am
Is anyone else going to the State of London event this Saturday?

If it's like last year, it's a reasonable opportunity to hold the Mayor and his executive accountable for local issues (eg E&C roundabouts, trams, buses, policing...).

More details at

PM me if you're going. Perhaps we could meet up to compare notes.
Sunday 10 May 2009 8.32am
Shoot, didn't even know about this. Report anyone?
Sunday 10 May 2009 1.18pm
Here's a summary of my notes, concentrating on SE1/South Bank related stuff.

The day started with a plenary session at which Boris Johnson spoke and the a Q&A session chaired by Darren Johnson. After that, there were two sessions at each of which five policy fora took place. These sessions were:
1) A visibly safer London (crime and policing)
2) A route to success (transport)
3) London - there's something for everyone (culture)
4) Leading to a greener London (green spaces and environment)
5) London means business (economic strategy)

Between the two policy fora, there was an opportunity to engage with people from organisations such as TfL, the Olympic Organising committee and an organisation dealing with the 2012 legacy.

My notes from the Mayor's speech record that he resiled from his commitment to get 50,000 affordable homes built, committed to campaign against the third runway at Heathrow and promised Oyster on the overground by the end of the year.

There was much talk of "Cycle Super-highways", but no explanation of what they were (nb nobody on the TfL stand could explain at lunchtime, either - does anyone here know?).

The Mayor also talked about the proposed remodelling of Exhibition Road and Oxford Circus to create better public spaces. There was no mention of E&C in this context.

In passing, the Mayor floated the idea of a lido in the Thames at Waterloo as they, apparently, have in Paris. He couldn't resist the "in Seine" gag, either.

During the Q&A, someone from the floor pointed out that housing wasn't on the agenda. Someone else asked what the Mayor's transport priorities were, if he had no monetary constraints. I didn't hear him talk about the Cross-River Tram.

During the Transport forum, later, Kulveer Ranger (the Director of Transport Policy) asserted that he had and that the scheme would be top of the list to resuscitate if the money ever appeared.

Caroline Pidgeon talked strongly about the possibility and need for the Peckham to Euston route as the first step in the Cross-River Tram.

Mr Ranger also talked a lot about improving the public space with reference to Oxford Circus and Exhibition Road. Again, E&C was not mentioned.

There were commitments to rephase traffic lights and to remove the barriers that line so many roads.

Many people pointed out the inadequacies of the public transport system South of the River and the Dial-A-Ride system.

The environment forum spent a lot of time on recycling (which is a borough responsibility, but the GLA is planning some things to support them), wrung its hands about fly-tipping and talked about the need to plant more trees in public space.

At the end of every session, we were told that highlights would be posted on the LBC web-site, but I couldn't find them just now. I guess they're being edited.
Sunday 10 May 2009 1.58pm
Thanks for the update - glad to hear the CRT was up for discussion - although quite sure kulver ranger knows that there wont be any money available for quite some time (not in his time in the job at least)
Sunday 10 May 2009 4.17pm
Thanks for the notes, but "he resiled from his commitment"? What does "resiled" mean?
Sunday 10 May 2009 5.30pm
"resile" - to abjure, recant, foreswear or retract.
Monday 11 May 2009 4.41am
Ooh, new word! Thanks.
Monday 11 May 2009 3.41pm
Audio highlights now here:

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Thursday 14 May 2009 7.36am
Thanks for that, James.

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