Consultation – expensive business

£1.4 million to make me look green - bargain!Today the Mayor is is telling us what we already know. People are in favour of other people’s taxes. This press release says that 66% of Londoners are in favour of the Mayor’s proposal of a £25 level of Congestion Charge for larger vehicles.

The Mayor spent over a million on this consultation. Today he publishes a poll rather than the consultation results. Back in September the bill was £1.136 million, see previous posting. Apparently it has now gone up to £1.4 million, see this list of £4.2 million worth of TfL consultations last year. Of this total £3.3 million was for two consultations. The Emissions related charging and the LEZ. Almost all of the money has been spent on adverts the only point of which is to promote the Mayor’s green credentials. As ever the Mayor’s main priority is his own re-election chances.

I suspect that the results of the consultation exercise are extremely disappointing in terms of number of responses. Maybe too many of the responses were negative. It looks like the Mayor then forced TfL to spend an extra £300K to do a poll which asked a question along the lines of “Would you like something really lovely at no cost to you?” Naturally most people said yes. The Mayor has not yet published the consultation report in spite of repeated questions from Tory AM Angie Bray. She asked for the results in November and December but she was stonewalled each time. Sounds like a repeat of the West London Tram consultation which came out against the Tram so the Mayor commissioned market research which “proved” the opposite. Talk about unprincipled.

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9 Responses to Consultation – expensive business

  1. What about the Freedom of Information Act, Phil/Angie?

  2. Phil says:


    Such requests to the Mayor are usually replied to after the maximum 20 working days allowed so we might as well wait until the end of December and see if the Mayor delivers on his repeated promise to publish in December even if it has been a long wait.

  3. Derek says:

    Mayor Livingstone has previously declared that ‘consultaion’ is a waste of his time, delaying that action which he has already decided upon – all part of being seen to be ‘Politically Correct’. Not hard to get the answers you want, with loaded questions. FOI? DFD – Delay, Fudge, Delay.

  4. Phil says:


    You are right about the Mayor’s attitude to consultations as he proved with the West London Tram.

    He insults us twice over. He spends £3.3 million on the LEZ and emissions related charging consultations – mainly on advertising to make himself look green – and then he doesn’t take any notice of the results anyway.

    He won’t stop doing the consultations because he would lose the opportunity to brag how right on he is.

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