Tuesday, 1 May 2012

50 Reasons to Back Boris

This is taken from Boris Backer's blog. 

 In no particular order, and in what is by no means a comprehensive list, I give you 50 reasons to back Boris.  

1. London’s murder rate is now at its lowest since 1969, down 26% since Boris took office.

2. Tube delays are down 40% since Boris took office. He pledges to cut delays by another 30% if he wins a second term. 

3. London Underground is now the safest metro system in Europe, with tube crime down by 20% since Boris took office. 

4. Boris has fully-funded, fully-costed plans to create almost 200,000 new jobs across London over the next four years. 

5. Boris has launched the biggest upgrade of the Tube in its history – increasing capacity by 30%, new signalling, new trains, station upgrades, air-conditioned trains, vastly improved disabled access and more. 

6. Boris froze the mayor’s share of council tax for his first three years, and cut it this year. He pledges to cut it by a further 10% over the next four years. 

7. Boris has met 91% of his 2008 manifesto pledges – as outlined in his ‘Progress Report to Londoners‘. 

8. Crime overall is down 12% since Boris became mayor. 

9. Boris delivered the New Bus for London - complete with cutting edge, environmentally friendly, hybrid technology. He pledges to put 600 on London’s streets by 2016, if he wins a second term. 

10. Boris has quadrupled the number of Rape Crisis Centres in London. 

11. Boris has cut £2billion of waste from across the GLA group, with plans to save a further £1.5billion next year. 

12. Boris has created 54,000 apprenticeships, with figures showing that 84% remain in continued employment. He pledges to generate a further 250,000 apprenticeships by 2016. 

13. Boris has delivered 52,000 new affordable homes since he took office. He’s on course to reach 100,000 by 2015. 

14. Boris is investing £221million to transform local high streets and support small businesses. 

15. Boris, more than any other candidate, is able to unite London – uninterested in playing different communities off against each other. 

16. Boris pledges to boost Safer Neighbourhood Teams, with an extra 2,000 police, including adding up to three police officers and three specials to every team. 

17. As part of a cycling revolution, Boris has introduced Boris Bikes and delivered Cycle Superhighways. He pledges to expand the hire scheme across London and treble the number of superhighways if he wins a second term. 

18. Boris has a +20 approval rating, the kind of popularity that Cameron (-27), Miliband (-41) and Clegg (-53) would probably kill for. 

19. Boris is a moderate, centrist, tolerant representative of London. According to opinion polls, Boris has a huge lead amongst Londoners when it comes to who they want to represent them both abroad and at the Olympic Games. 

20. Bus crime is down 32.9% since Boris become mayor. 

21. Boris scrapped the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge Zone, resulting in a negligible impact on congestion or traffic speeds, but providing a boost to local businesses. 

22. Boris scrapped the bendy buses (otherwise known as ‘Ken’s Chariots of Fire’).

23. Boris has delivered 10,000 street trees and pledges to increase the number to 20,000 if he wins a second term. 

24. Boris supports a green economy, pledging to retrofit tens of thousands of homes to reduce households’ energy bills, rolling out electric car charging points across London and investing £6million to improve 300 acres of parkland. 

25. Boris rolled out the use of Oyster cards on National Rail and Thames Clipper services. 

26. Boris secured £22billion of investment – thought to be at risk, due to the government’s cuts – for Crossrail and the tube upgrades. 

27. There are now 1,000 more police on London’s streets than there were when Boris took office. 

28. Boris has made knife crime a priority – taking over 11,000 knives off the streets and tackling reoffending with initiatives such as the Heron Unit at Feltham. 

29. Boris launched the Outer London Fund, aimed at addressing the historic neglect of the outer boroughs. 

30. Boris has visited every London borough more times in four years that Ken Livingstone did in eight years. 31. Boris has helped deliver the Olympics on time and on budget, and with the enthusiasm of a genuine sports fan. 

32. There are now one million more police patrols each year than there were when Boris took office. 

33. Boris introduced the highly successful ‘Earn Your Travel back’ scheme, whereby young people have their free travel removed for bad behaviour, and can only earn it back by volunteering in community activities. 

34. Boris pledges to introduce the first driverless (though not unmanned) trains on the London Underground, ending union barons’ ability to hold Londoners to ransom. 

35. Boris launched Team London, liaising with hundreds of organisations to mobilise thousands of volunteers across London. 

36. Robberies are down 16.3% since Boris took office. 

37. Youth violence is down 13.8% since Boris took office. 

38. Boris launched the Mayor’s Fund for London, a charity aimed at helping children and young people get out of poverty. 

39. Boris has doubled the number of Special Constables in London, from 2,500 to 5,000, since he became mayor. He aims to double the number again if he wins a second term. 

40. To aid transparency and accountability, Boris ensured that all spending decisions over £500 are published online. He now pledges to go even further – by publishing all spending over £250 across the GLA group, as well as the expenses of all senior staff and mayoral advisors. 

41. Boris introduced a permit scheme for road works, reducing road works by 17% and saving London 150,000 days of street works in just 12 months. 

42. By a significant margin, opinion polls show Boris’ policies are thought to be the best to boost businesses, create jobs and help London get out of recession. 

43. Boris has a good working relationship with the government, and has been able to secure significant funding and concessions as a result. 

44. Boris scrapped Ken’s highly unpopular Thames Gateway Bridge plans, which had prompted nearly 5,000 objections during the public consultation. 

45. Boris maintained the Freedom Pass, extending it to 24 hours and for disabled people. He pledges to reverse the last Labour government’s decision to stop Londoners getting their Freedom Pass at 60. 

46. Boris has fully-funded plans for a true Olympic legacy – including 10,000 jobs, 11,000 new homes, and a £30million sporting programme which will benefit 250,000 Londoners. 

47. Boris pays all his taxes. (Yes, Ken, we’re still waiting…) 

48. Boris will create Safer Neighbourhood Boards in every borough, giving local Londoners and victims a greater voice, giving them a say in offenders’ ‘Community Payback’ and investing in their local and hyperlocal crime prevention projects. 

49. Boris pledges to launch a new £70million London Growth Fund, investing in job and skill creation programmes, and providing low-cost loans to small and medium-sized businesses. 

50. And finally… Boris is a one-man gangbuster - rescuing a woman from an armed group of “oiks”. 

And then there are 50 reasons NOT to vote for Ken Livingstone.