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Ex-Mayor Livingstone

Expensive New Year

Don't begrudge me another £5 million to get me re-electedTrue to form the Mayor has gone big on celebrating New Year after ignoring Christmas. Apparently he spent more than ever on his pre-election firework display, some £1.3 million. According to the Mayor’s own count some 700,000 came out to play last night.

The fireworks were not the only cost of the evening. Add in the free travel, a bus journey costs 87p on average and a Tube journey costs £2.06 on average (see numbers here), allow for extra overtime/unsocial hours payments, and we are talking another couple of million. I’m not sure what the policing costs, again with substantial overtime/unsocial hours payments, might be but £1.5 million would not be a wild guess I suspect. You pretty quickly get to a total bill of £5 million. I can feel a couple of letters coming on.

I have been to one of these displays in the past and did enjoy it on the whole although I was a bit freaked out by the (lack of) crowd control on Westminster Bridge. I can’t help feeling that a more entrepreneurial mayor could get this thing sponsored and put on a good show without just forking out lots of cash on yet another of his bread and circuses style extravaganzas.

3 replies on “Expensive New Year”

Is this the same Ken Livingstone who claims to be passionately against air pollution, and who wants to charge drivers based on their relatively harmless CO2 emissions? There are some pretty nasty chemical pollutants in fireworks, not to mention the distress they cause animals.

Is this the same Ken who wants to work with central government for universal carbon pricing/carbon rationing? See the Mayor’s grandiosely named Climate Change Action Plan.

A final thought – why have GLA Greens like Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson apparently turned a blind eye to ‘Green Ken’s expensive pyrotechnics that do nothing for the environment?

The free NYE travel is sponsored, you know – maybe you’ve spotted all the massive posters boasting about NatWest this year? And what do you expect Ken to do for Christmas? Most people (I certainly include myself in this) like to spend Christmas in their homes with their families, so unless you reckon Ken should be coming round to lend a hand with the roast potatoes I’m not sure what you’re suggesting. On the other hand, it is nice to see some fireworks etc when you’re out on the town at New Year’s.

RP,

I had missed the NatWest sponsorship thing.

I would be interested to see all the numbers so I will be writing to find out.

I was complaining about the Mayor not even bringing himself to wish people Happy Christmas whilst at the same time being able to be effusive about Eid and Diwali. I am very happy that he greets other faiths on their festivals it is a shame he can’t extend the same courtesy to the majority faith, certainly the majority culture.

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