Some Yanks that is. Not my Wife!
Today the Evening Standard carries a story that an environmental advocacy group called ClientEarth has challenged the Mayor in respect of his attempts to remove the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge. You can see their letter here.
Anyone with a memory will know that our previous mayor pushed the Western Extension through in a thoroughly anti-democratic way in the face of a very negative consultation, see here. ClientEarth on the other hand is essentially an American lawyer called James Thornton with no memory, certainly with no sense of irony. I guess he wasn’t in London when Ken Livingstone was railroading the Western Extension through.
ClientEarth is funded by a couple of American silver spoon chomping, trust funders called Winsome and Michael McIntosh. You can read about the exploits of them and the rest of their extended trust fund family at their hilarious family foundation website:
The Hartford Family Foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory of the late George Huntington Hartford, and the company he founded in 1859, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company.
Any objective analysis of the Western Extension will show that it is exceedingly marginal (and not even necessarily positive) from an environmental point of view. To have American lawyers and trust fund drones trying to overturn the expressed will of Londoners stinks to high heaven I have to say.
The London Mayor made the following pledge in his published transport manifesto on which he was elected:
I will do what Ken Livingstone did not, and listen to Londoners on the Western extension. The Western extension was introduced despite the overwhelming opposition of local residents and I think that was wrong. I will consult the residents in the zone and on the border on whether we should keep the Western extension, and whatever the result I will abide by it.
I don’t think these people are challenging the Mayor’s consultation which showed that 69% of people were in favour of ending the Western Extension, see here.
It does seem to be anti-democratic to be trying to get the Mayor on a technicality. Maybe their time would be better spent challenging the previous mayor’s consultations? Of course ClientEarth don’t publish financial information or records of meeting. They are an unaccountable bunch of busybodies who should be sent packing by the Mayor.