Our supremely practical Mayor has got straight to the crux of the problem. He is working with the big banks to get help for small businesses in riot zone areas. London 24 reported that Boris is in discussions with RBS, Barclays and HSBC.
London 24 said: “Mr Johnson said: “I have been talking to banks and we are setting up a special cash fund to help businesses with cash flow problems. “This is in addition to pledges we’ve had from banks to give zero per cent interest loans from RBS, Barclays and HSBC.” Mr Johnson said restoring business confidence and providing the help needed are priorities after the riots.
He added: “We are working to get cash out there as soon as possible. On economic regeneration, we are focusing on areas which we think need help as soon as possible and that will be in place within the next couple of days.”
No firm details on the banking initiatives are available yet but they will be in addition to money already pledged to help riot-hit areas. A £50m regeneration fund is to be ploughed into large-scale projects across London, while another £20m funding has been pledged to transform Tottenham and Croydon, two of the worst affected areas in the violence.
Another piece of good news is that the government has found another £20M in addition to the £50M earmarked by Boris to rebuild Tottenham and Clapham. The Standard report is here.
Also during his interview with London24 Mr Johnson vowed to keep up the fight against police cuts. Great work, Boris. He has the business nous to know what to do and the integrity and initiative to fix it with the big banks. Who else could do this for London but Boris? For me, the most inspiring thing about the riots is how it has brought out the best of the city. People are pulling together, fighting for their communities. The strength and supreme optimism of our Mayor has turned it for London.