Boris Johnson – 2012 Speech at City Hall


Below is the text of the speech made by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at City Hall in London on 10th May 2012.

Good morning everyone and thanks for coming.

I want to clear up some myths about the recent elections. They were not decided on the basis of who said what  to whom in the lift. It wasn’t a question of tax returns or Cornish pasties or bus advertisements.The reality is that the people of London would not have given me a second term if they had not looked at the record of the GLA over the last four years and decided that it was respectable.

In fact it was more than respectable.

It was excellent.

And so I want to thank the people in this chamber for everything you did:

– crime is down

– homes built

– tube delays improved

– air quality improved

– green spaces created

– bicycles across the city

People were willing to give my administration a second term because they had seen that we kept our promises to London on everything from Oyster cards, to getting rid of the bendies and inventing a beautiful new bus for London.

We had a mandate and we delivered!

Now we have a new mandate and so we must deliver again, therefore I want to repeat my priorities. In fact there is only one:

To do everything we can to create jobs and growth to help Londoners into work in tough times.

Everything else flows from that. We will continue to keep police numbers high because a safe city is not just an end in itself; It is a vital prerequisite for economic confidence and investment.

We will continue to fight for the funding London needs for transport, housing and regeneration because those projects will not only create the platform for future growth and prosperity, they will generate 200,000 jobs now when Londoners need them.

I want us to look at all the steps we can take to make sure Londoners get those jobs.That’s why we have set up the education inquiry and we will be pushing for more of a role in education and that’s why we are rapidly expanding the apprenticeship scheme. We will continue to improve the environment and the quality of life because a city that is clean and green and full of bikes is more likely to attract investment.

In making the case to government for London I will point out that a strong London economy is the key to growth in the country as a whole and it is essential that we frame and focus the vision for the city.

So I am now asking you all to help me produce a 2020 vision for the city, encompassing everything from spatial and transport developments, opportunity areas and river crossings to air quality, cycling and health outcomes. Of course this should include projects that will not only be complete by 2020 but which must be underway.

The need is urgent because the population is growing and we can so easily slip behind, we must not repeat the mistakes of the 50s 60s and 70s. One thing that the Crossrail argument has taught me is that if we can build a consensus around the future, then we are much more likely to make it happen and to help us all see what is happening and what we are doing right and wrong.

We are going to be much more pro-active about statistics. I want this building (City Hall) somewhere to contain a physical resource where we can see – and members of the public can see what is happening on gun crime or affordable home starts or educational outcomes or air quality and we can use that clarity to drive performance.

One thing the last four years has taught me is that four years is a very short time. The elections have slowed us all down so now is the time to put the pedal to the metal. We have 78 days to produce the greatest Olympic and Paralympic Games that have ever been held, but I see no reason why the GLA’s 2020 vision for London should not be ready well before Christmas.

We know what it is – it’s there in the London plan and It’s there in the manifesto, but we need to articulate it and sell it to the treasury and to the rest of the country.

Thanks very much everyone and back to work.