Monday, 23 August 2010

Boris Johnson's State of London gives less for more

Boris Johnson's attempts to get "more for less" out of the State of London debate actually resulted in him getting "less for more"

The annual debate held between the Mayor and Londoners regularly attracts thousands of attendees but changes to the format and promotion this year lead to just 231 turning up .

Up to 18% of these were employees or guests of the GLA.

In order to save costs the Mayor moved the event into City Hall, and shortened debating time.

However, the cost of the event actually increased this year to £58,000, whilst the cost per attendee increased many times over to £250.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Dee Doocey who opened the event, said today:

"It is absolutely shocking that it cost a staggering £250 for everyone who attended this year's State of London debate.

"To spend a third more than last year on organising this event, but to only get one seventh the number of people attending, is incompetence of the highest order."

More than 800 tickets were issued but only around a quarter actually bothered to attend.

However a report on the debate drawn up by City Hall points out that many more people watched the debate online and claims that:

"12,380 individual people sent out two or more tweets on Twitter in response to the debate."

Which seems a hugely suspect statistic to anyone who actually followed the Twitter streams as I did.

Especially as two of the search terms used to draw up the report ("Stld" and "State of London") both return reams of irrelevant tweets:


The 12,380 claim comes from the Tweetreach website. I don't know how they drew it up.

The report also fails to mention the decision to move the event to a weekday as a contributing factor to the poor attendance.

However it does blame it on:

"other influences ie sunny weather, world cup and Wimbledon"

Sunny weather and Wimbledon during summer! Who could have guessed?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Boris Johnson gave double digit pay increase

Our bang-for-your-buck Mayor on Bob Crow's recent £10,000 pay rise:

"A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “Anyone delivering public services in the current climate who thinks they deserve a double digit pay rise is not living in the real world.”

Still at least Bob Crow's pay rise comes from optional union fees rather than compulsory taxes:

Unlike say, the salary of the Chief Executive of City Hall:

Chief Executive of the GLA in 2007-8

£183,000

Chief Executive of the GLA in 2009

£205,000

So that would be an increase of £22,000 or around 12%.

What non-real-world-living-public-service-delivering spendthrift could have signed off that one?

Oh yes that would be Boris Johnson himself:



When I asked Boris about this double-digit increase at the time he told me that:

"I won't talk about individual salaries"

Unless they're the salaries of political enemies of course.


Bank note image by
Beau Bo D'or
Sorry for the lateness of posting. I've been away on honeymoon.