Boris has certainly hit the ground running in his first week as Mayor. He has made some bold appointments with Ray Lewis becoming Deputy Mayor for Young People. Ray is the inspirational head of Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy with a fantastic track record of providing real change for young people in Hackney.
Patience Wheatcroft, former Business Editor of the Times will lead a 60-day audit of City Hall. She will be helped by Stephen Greenhalgh amongst others. As leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Stephen has already been incisive in his approach to local government finances, cutting council tax in his borough by 3% each year for the past two years.
Boris has met with Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York to draw comparisons and with Council leaders from across the city further demonstrating his desire to work closely with those people that know their part of London best. If you are going to build transatlantic relations, Bloomberg is the better bet than Hugo Chavez.
His first action was to ban alcohol from the underground and buses. In his campaign, Boris concentrated heavily on making public transport safer. This is an important first step and it is good to see such quick action despite Bob Crow’s typically blinkered approach. I’m sure that if Boris had not done this and assaults on staff went up, the call for strikes would have been deafening.
Finally according to Iain Dale comes my personal favourite. Boris showed the basic common sense that has been sorely lacking for eight years. I’ll leave it to Iain to tell the story:-
“When Boris sat down at his desk on Monday morning he was presented with a huge press cuttings file, which included loads of articles from the Morning Star. ‘Why on earth are you including these?’ he asked one of his staff. ‘Well,’ said the staff member, ‘Mayor Livingstone was keen to support the Morning Star’. ‘In what way?’ asked Boris.It transpired that the GLA Building had a subscription of forty – yes, forty – copies of the Morning Star delivered every day. Boris’s first action as Mayor was to cancel all forty subscriptions to the lefty rag, thereby halving its circulation with one stroke of the mayoral pen. That’s what I call the mark of a real Conservative – annoy the leftists and save the taxpayer £10,000 a year at the same time.”