Last week, on the very day that Boris Johnson was trying to re-brand himself as pro-green in a speech to the Environment Agency, the Mayor's Office announced cuts in the Greater London Authority's spending on the environment to the tune of £431,000.
A cut of £87,000 will be achieved by scrapping the successful and popular London Schools Environment Awards (LSEA), launched by Boris's predecessor Ken Livingstone in 2003 to raise awareness of environmental issues among young people.
In July this year when he hosted the awards ceremony at City Hall, Boris hailed the LSEA as 'a key part of the environmental agenda for London'. Yet he now claims that 'there are over half a dozen schemes in London working with schools to promote environmental awareness. In light of that we feel that GLA activity in this area is duplicative'.
Most people will regard these half a dozen schemes as an inadequate replacement for the LSEA, a London-wide scheme with brand recognition and respect from teachers that had been built year on year, with the result that in 2007-8 over 200,000 children from over 580 schools participated. The local schools who received awards this year were North Ealing Primary School and Edward Betham Church of England Primary School.
Schools in Ealing who participated in the LSEA may wish to express their objections to Boris's abolition of the awards and urge him to reinstate them.
His postal address is Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
MURAD QURESHI AM
Labour Group London Assembly