Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Leaflet wars outside Shepherd's Bush Tube

...and they're OFF! Both Labour and Tory leafletteers were hard at it this morning, although their main challenge seeemed to be to remain standing up against the driving winds. Hardy souls, these politicos. And they'll need to be as the Mayoral election grinds its way towards May and a date with destiny for either Boris Johnson or Ken Livingstone.

It's been clear from polling for a while now that Boris is ahead of Ken in the popularity stakes, but the one area that Team Ken seem able to score points on is the question of fares. No surprise there and particularly not at this time of year when we see what ridiculous heights the Mayor of the day has put them up to. This year Boris returns from his skiing holiday in Italy to face questions about why fares have been hiked again, in the depths not only of winter but recession.

Under Boris Johnson a single bus fare using Oyster in London has risen from 90p in 2008 to £1.30 in 2011. On January 2nd 2012 a single bus fare will increase again to £1.35 – a 50% increase over four years.And on the tubes a weekly zone 1-2 travelcard is up £1.60 to £29.20 - which is above inflation, Team Ken point out.

So expect this to carry on and be a major theme between now and May, while here in Hammersmith the runners and riders to take over from Stephen Greenhalgh as Leader of H&F start jostling. I'm told by someone with an insight into these things that the likely contenders are Nick Botterill, current Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Cllr Greg Smith, Cabinet Member for, among other things, Law n Ordah.

Of the three Cllr Botterill is the clear favourite, but there is a part of me that would love to see Greg Smith ascend to the throne. This is not a policy question but more an issue of his fruity language!

Meanwhile, and this is just a suggestion, our local reporters may wish to change their profile pictures that they advertise themselves with on Twitter, both of which feature Boris Johnson in action. Somebody may get the wrong idea...

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