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Carol Service at Southwark Cathedral to highlight volunteering

On 19 December, a Carol Service was organised for the fourth year at Southwark Cathedral to celebrate the festive season. I attended the Service and performed a reading with Jennette Arnold AM.

This year the Carol Service was focused around Team London, about volunteers and their positive contribution to the community in which they live. We had young readers from City Year London Corps members, who are full time volunteers in schools and communities.

In keeping with the Team London theme, two volunteer Choirs performed at the Service, The Choir of St Luke's, Chelsea and The London Ambulance Singers, known as the LA singers. Both Choirs are voluntary and perform around London to different communities. A small reception was held later at the Cathedral for a small number of guests.

Mayor's Fund for Young Musicians Announces New Scholarships

On 10 December, The Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians, which launched in May 2011, announced 100 scholarships to talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The new scholars will start in January and attend a special celebration event at City Hall.

The Fund also announced £100,000 support for six new partnerships between borough music services and professional arts organisations, including the London Symphony Orchestra. These partnerships will benefit thousands of budding young musicians. On 14 December, the Fund held a Gala concert at Kings Place, where fundraising continued for the next round of awards in June 2012.

Interactive bus-tops

At the start of January, the Cultural Olympiad project Bus-Tops was launched with a brand new series of works from artist Mark Titchner. A network of 20 sculptural screens have been installed on the roofs of bus shelters across London, forming a city-wide digital canvas for artists to show their work.

From mid-January 2012, the public will be invited submit their own work to be showcased on the screens. The installation, by artists Paula le Dieu and Alfie Dennen, is part of Artists Taking the Lead, a project at the heart of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, funded by Arts Council England.

2012 Culture Diary

My Culture Diary continues to be updated with over 3,700 events for 2012 now registered across all 33 boroughs, including over 1500 free events. As well as helping city-wide planning, the Culture Diary will support cultural organisations in promoting their events to London residents and visitors. This will happen through a wide number of channels, including my Mayor of London Presents marketing campaign, the London 2012 Media Centre and other official London 2012 sites.

GLA Organisation

Rewarded for four years of financial prudence

On 22 December, I announced that hard- pressed Londoners will benefit from almost a £30 million windfall, as I outlined plans to freeze my share of the council tax (GLA precept) for the fourth consecutive year.

This takes to £120.5m the total sum awarded by Government in recognition of the continued financial prudence achieved over this Mayoral term, which has seen me secure the delivery of savings of nearly £2 billion. The £27.7 million is in addition to the estimated £92.8 million that I was awarded for freezing the GLA precept last year. After eight years of continued increases in the GLA precept under the previous Mayor, totalling 152 per cent, I have overseen an unprecedented four year freeze, saving Londoners 12 per cent in real terms reduction in their council tax since May 2008.

I have now published my draft 2012 budget for consultation, which will protect Londoners from tax increases, whilst maintaining public services and investing in the future.

The budget will allow for significant investment to be made to help regenerate London, in particular those affected by the disturbances in August, and will also protect the capital’s police numbers - at the end of this Mayoral term there will be around 1,000 more officers than at the beginning. It  will also ensure that Crossrail and the Tube upgrades will be delivered and fares will be held down as  much as is possible, whilst maintaining neo-Victorian levels of investment in transport infrastructure - helping the city  to emerge from the current economic difficulties more competitive than ever.

Transfer of the Capital Projects and Design Team from LDA to GLA

I have directed the LDA, in order to resource the management, administration and delivery of the programme from the date of transfer to:

    • pursuant to sections 120(2) and 121(2) of the GLA Act 1999 and in the terms set out, to transfer to the GLA, for the Capital Projects and Design Programme, £6,296,398 (£5,046,398 capital and £1,250,000 revenue) of LDA funds, less any sums properly incurred by the LDA against each budget prior to transfer;

    • to transfer Capital Projects and Design Project Programme, including all contractual rights and liabilities (subject where required to novations), intellectual property rights (where relevant), data and other resources held by the LDA, which form part of, arise out of and/or are reasonably necessary for the operation of the transferred projects;

    • subject to each individual’s consent and to compliance with all legal requirements, to assist with the transfer of the employment of the 12 staff to the GLA;

    • to provide the GLA with all such information and assistance as it may reasonably require in connection with the transfer and for the continued operation of the projects (including the execution of any necessary documents)

I have responded to the Head of Paid Service consultation and hereby confirm that I am satisfied with the creation of the corresponding 12 posts at the GLA.

Consultation on new Parliament Square Garden & Trafalgar Square Byelaws and enforcement arrangements

I have approved, in accordance with the GLA Act 1999, to commence a consultation process, in relation to proposed new byelaws for Parliament Square Garden and Trafalgar Square.

I have delegated authority to the Executive Director of Resources to:

    • update the current list of GLA Authorised Officers, so as to identify those persons who will be authorised for the purposes of enforcing:

    • the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (from the point at which that Act comes into force);

    • the Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Garden Byelaws 2000 (as amended), until such time as those byelaws are revoked; and

    • new byelaws to be made in respect of Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Garden, from the point at which such byelaws come into operation

    • update/amend the list of GLA Authorised Officers from time to time as may be required, in order to facilitate effective enforcement.

EU iCity Programme

I have noted the GLA’s involvement in the EU iCity Programme and, delegated authority to the Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence, to take future budgetary and operational decisions relating to the GLA’s involvement in the EU iCity Programme.

Revised Statutory Officers Staffing Protocol

I have agreed to approve and adopt (as a joint decision with the Assembly) the revised Statutory Officers Staffing Protocol.

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