Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mayor's Questions


Another monthly question time today, in front of a packed gallery. There were queues to get in this time, although there was no sign of ex mayor Livingstone, for the first time. It felt a bit strange - MQT without Ken was like Hamlet without the skull...

Several residents from Rainham and Hornchurch (pictured above) attended to protest about plans to extend the 372 bus route down their residential roads, and I presented their petition, comprising over 700 signatures. Boris made some supportive noises and I hope the plan - also rejected by Havering Council - is now a dead duck.

There was considerable attention paid to the transport plan and the announcement that a number of high profile 'wish list' projects were to go on the back burner. I'm disappointed to lose the Thames Gateway Bridge, and Labour's John Biggs was incandescent with rage, but south of the river the bridge had few friends and will not be mourned. There was less complaining about the loss of the Cross River Tram, a highly unlikely prospect costing £1.3 billion.

Prodding from Victoria Borwick failed to get a final response on the future of the CC Western Extension. Personally, I hope that the latest consultation has provided a clear rejection of the scheme and that the Mayor has the courage of his convictions, and abolishes the zone extension.

There was unanimous support for a 'dangerous dog action plan', arising from recent attacks. The sad fact is that there are a lot of irresponsible people breeding dogs for fighting or even keeping vicious breeds as fashion accessories. During my walks around London I often encounter dog walkers and in recent years the worst you could expect was an enthusiastic licking from a spaniel or Labrador, but over the last year I have noticed a large number of unpleasant looking mastiffs. The police can take 24 hours to register and process a dog, and the horror hounds remain in kennels for months whilst their fate is decided. We agreed a cross party motion demanding that something be done.

We also agreed cross party on a motion opposing the third runway at Heathrow, even attracting Labour support.

However we could not agree to promote fair trade in all London councils. To my mind, Fairtrade is a great thing, but it should be up to local politicians and their voters to adopt it. The motion was passed by 11 to 10, but only after yet more tiresome moralising from the Greens who seem to be pulling the strings in the so called 'progressive alliance'.

4 comments:

morris hickey said...

"MQT without Ken was like Hamlet without the skull..."

Or like beauty without the beast?

Roger Evans said...

'Beauty' might be an overstatement...

Barbara Mathews said...

Well done Roger bringing the thorny issue of TfL's plans to extend the 372 bus route down residential roads. Residents and local Councillors like myself have been delighted with the support we have had from both you and James Brokenshire our MP. Many many thanks.

Roger Evans said...

Thank you Barbara - let's hope that TfL see sense and abandon their unpopular plan.