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Well done for standing up to Boris’s unfair Crossrail levy!

PUBLISHED: 20:33 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:08 05 October 2010

Crossrail's proposed Whitechapel station

Crossrail's proposed Whitechapel station

Dear Ed, WELL done the London Assembly for standing up to Tory Mayor Boris Johnson’s outrageous plans to impose the lion’s share of Crossrail’s costs on the East End of London. No-one denies that Tower Hamlets will benefit massively from Crossrail, with stations at Whitechapel (pictured) and Canary Wharf. But Inner London isn’t the only area that will benefit

Dear Ed,

WELL done the London Assembly for standing up to Tory Mayor Boris Johnson’s outrageous plans to impose the lion’s share of Crossrail’s costs on the East End of London (Crossrail Levy should be applied more fairly, Advertiser Website, February 24).

No-one denies that Tower Hamlets will benefit massively from Crossrail, with stations at Whitechapel (pictured) and Canary Wharf, easing congestion for commuters struggling to get on packed Central Line trains at Mile End and Bethnal Green.

But Inner London isn’t the only area that will benefit from Crossrail. Boris himself claimed last week that those living in Tory-controlled suburban areas like Barnet and Croydon will be millions of pounds better off, too.

Why, then, is it only new developments in Tower Hamlets and other Inner London boroughs that will be subject to Boris’s Crossrail levy?

Placing such an onerous tax on development undermines the viability of new businesses and significantly reduces our ability to get much-needed planning gain’ money to invest in affordable housing, training, employment brokerage schemes and public leisure facilities.

The East End will be much worse off if Boris blunders ahead with his levy’.

Tower Hamlets Tories like Peter Golds and Tim Archer are never shy of criticising the Labour council and the Government.

But every time their own Tory Mayor gets it wrong, they clam up or go AWOL!

Exactly the same thing happened when Boris messed around with the S2 bus in East London that pensioners and mums relied on to get to Tesco’s at Bromley-by-Bow. It happened last month, too, when Boris scrapped 5,000 new social rented homes his predecessor Ken Livingstone had planned across London.

This unfair Conservative Crossrail tax is our punishment for not backing Boris as Mayor in last May’s City Hall elections.

Peter Golds and Tim Archer can hide away to protect their dreams of climbing the greasy pole at Conservative Central Office.

But I and my fellow Labour councillors fully support the GLA’s alternative suggestion of a sliding-scale Crossrail levy on new developments across all London.

That’s the only way to make sure Crossrail’s costs are shared as well as its benefits.

Cllr Lutfur Rahman, Council Leader

Tower Hamlets Council

Town Hall, Blackwall

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See also:

Crossrail—nice little earner’ at a billion quid

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