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Mayor of London Boris Johnson's spending plans under threat

London mayor Borish Johnson's spending plans for London’s infrastructure and capital spending to support the 2012 Olympic Games are facing significant risks, the London Assembly warned today.

Its Assembly Budget and Performance Committee highlighted four risks to London’s preparations for 2012 in its response to the mayor’s Draft Capital Spending Plan for 2009/10:

  1. The lack of private sector funding in the current recession has led the Olympic Delivery Agency to scale back on the original building and site specifications, which could impact on legacy plans.

  2. The downturn in the capital’s property market raises questions about the LDA’s plans to use money raised by selling off the Olympic site to pay back the money it has borrowed to help fund the Games.

  3. A final, costed, Olympic security plan is almost a year late.

  4. The fire brigade’s new control centre has already been delayed to February 2011 and the Committee was told any further delay would jeopardise the project’s readiness in time for the Olympics.

The committee also said Transport for London’s (TfL) future spending plans also face some uncertainty. In future years TfL will become increasingly reliant on income from fares to fund new transport infrastructure, making likely falls in ridership because of the recession a significant risk to TfL’s capital programme, it claimed.

The Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee chair John Biggs AM said: "The recession coupled with uncertainty over government funding has placed enormous pressure on the functional bodies. As our response highlights, many of their plans are facing delays and risks.

"The uncertainty surrounding preparations for the Olympics is of particular concern as the Games are only three years away.

"The Committee has asked that the Mayor and functional bodies report back on progress on the issues highlighted in its consultation response."

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