EXCLUSIVE London riots: Boris Johnson says businesses will get banks’ help
15:25 17 August 2011
Mayor Boris Johnson has exclusively told London24 how he is working with banks to provide extra help to businesses struggling after the riots.
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.
Also during his interview with London24 Mr Johnson vowed to keep up the fight against police cuts.
He said: “We want to keep the numbers high and make sure the police have the support which they need and that is what they are going to get from City Hall.
“Obviously, we want to see robust and effective policing and we want to see people who broke the law arrested and given the justice which they deserve.
“I think the government understands our point of view and understands we need to keep numbers high and that’s the point I’m going to keep fighting for and which I will keep making.”
Mr Johnson spoke of his pride at how Londoners have rallied after the shocking scenes of riots and looting.
“One of the most inspiring things about the last 10 days was watching ordinary Londoners picking up brooms and coming to help get businesses back on their feet by spontaneously raising money,” he said.
Tell us what you think. Is enough being done to help the city recover from the riots? Will the regeneration money pledged make a big difference? Do you welcome the proposed help from banks to get businesses back on their feet? Add your comments below.