Boris Johnson on the Mayor's Fund in April 2008:
"The Mayor's Fund for London will be a streamlined vehicle for getting money from the wealth-creating sector to communities across London that are facing hardship and deprivation, and are the victims of crime."
Boris Johnson on the Mayor's Fund in April 2009:
"The Fund has already attracted considerable support from donors. It will spend £1.5m in 2009..."
Now that's what I call streamlining.
The Mayor's Fund for Shoreditch?
The Mayor's Fund for London aims to spend £9.5 million on alleviating child poverty by the end of 2010 and to turnover £20 million a year by 2013.
However, with it's original banker head now in exile, Boris has been forced to concede that there is still "not an awful lot" in the pot
In fact after ten months of pressing the flesh, Boris now admits that he has raised less than five million pounds, from those London bankers he urged to "palliate their guilt."
The lack of donations has been reflected by the initial £1.5 million programme which will centre on Shoreditch rather than the capital at large.
The survival of the planned future programmes to help '600,000 children' will be dependent on a huge upturn in donations, an unlikely goal in a growing recession.
And with existing charities already scrabbling for their share of the pot, it is hardly a great start for this new charity on the block.
-UPDATE- Following on from Chris's question in the comments, Lib Dem Assembly Member Mike Tuffrey said today:
“I hope that this new charity is successful over the next few years.
“However we should not pretend this is just an ordinary charity. The Mayor must take steps to avoid the inevitable accusation that some donors are seeking to influence or win favour with him.
“I urge the Mayor to ensure that all donations of £1,000 or more are formally declared and open to public inspection. Large donations that are not publicly declared will generate controversy and in the long term harm the reputation of the charity.
"Secret millionaires may make great TV but have no place in London government.
“If the Mayor is keen to ensure the charity flourishes he should ensure it operates to the highest standards of transparency.”
Bank note image by Beau Bo D'or