Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Mayor plans to cut cost by 950m

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson
The mayor said he will build on the city's strengths

London's mayor has said he hopes to save 950m over the next three years to fund a package to help the capital cope during the economic downturn.

The cost-cutting affects the Greater London Authority Group, which includes City Hall, Transport for London (TfL) and the London Fire Brigade.

Boris Johnson has also announced a 3bn Economic Recovery Action Plan to help London cope in the financial slowdown.

It includes a 23m scheme to support struggling small businesses.

In July, the mayor proposed cutting the GLA's budget by 15% and last month he scrapped a number of major transport schemes and jobs as he looks to save 2.4bn from TfL's budget over the next 10 years.

Other organisations hit by the cost-cutting are the London Development Agency and the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The mayor said today he was, 'happy with the title of scrooge'. For once I am in total agreement with his analysis
Len Duvall, Labour's leader on the London Assembly

A spokeswoman for the mayor said some savings have already been made such as 20% cut in the cost of media and marketing and the scrapping of The Londoner newspaper.

Earlier this month, Mr Johnson said he will freeze the GLA precept for 2009, the GLA's share of the council tax.

Announcing his Economic Recovery Action Plan, Mr Johnson said: "This plan is about using all the resources we have at our disposal to help London through the downturn, obtaining extra funding from wherever we can, and most importantly directing our efforts to build on our great city's strengths - its people and the enterprises which underpin the success of our economy."

He announced nearly 60 initiatives, one of which includes a rapid response service to help organisations and individuals facing redundancy.

He also wants to rapidly step up apprenticeships in London, supported by over 25m of new funding from the Learning and Skills Council.

Len Duvall, Labour's leader on the London Assembly, said: "For the sake of a few pennies off their council tax, working Londoners will be worse off under Boris Johnson.

"The mayor said today he was, 'happy with the title of scrooge' - for once I am in total agreement with his analysis."

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