Michael Bloomberg with a gift from Boris: "Ken was maybe a bit more serious."
The Mayor of New York has urged Boris Johnson to have the 'courage' not to wind back progress on climate change and pollution.
Asked about Boris' plans to reduce the size of the congestion charge zone, Michael Bloomberg told the BBC:
"I don't know the details, but what you need to do is to dissuade people from using gasoline and from choking our roads.
Speaking after the New York assembly rejected his plans for a similar charge, Bloomberg said:
"I shouldn't be disappointed it's the public that should be disappointed it's our kids that should be disappointed. Our kids will look back at us and say we didn't have the courage to do what was right. We are damaging the environment, we are polluting the air we breathe, we are strangling our economy."
Boris and Crime
During his election campaign, Boris Johnson also made much of the comparison between crime levels in London and crime in New York. One of his much repeated lines was that Ken Livingstone should have taken more control over an area 'for which he is directly responsible.'
However, Micheal Bloomberg reminded the BBC that the Mayor of London does not have those kinds of powers:
"Boris Johnson doesn't have control over the police department here the way I have control... He doesn't have that luxury."
However, he said that one thing Boris could and should do is to reduce Londoners' fears about public spaces:
"Boris has got to be seen out there with the average person. Be in the parks that some people think are dangerous so he can show that they are not... if you can get more people in the parks you will have less crime. Crime goes to places where there aren't people."
This is sensible advice. The more safe people feel about a space (say the back of a bus) then the more they are likely to use it and the more safe it becomes. Similarly the more unsafe people feel about an area, then the less likely they will be to use it and the more dangerous it will then become.
It's just a shame that Boris didn't hear this advice before handing out leaflets like these ones.