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Free ride on a Routemaster as part of Jubilee Celebration

This weekend you can ride a Routemaster for free as more than 100 Iconic Routemaster Buses gather in Central London for the Routemaster Diamond Jubilee Celebration. More than 130 are booked to appear at the event this weekend.

The event at Finsbury Park will also feature different buses from the past century from the 1020s to the modern day Routemaster.

Thames Estuary airport scheme questioned

More doubt has been cast on the prospect of the so-called "Boris Island" Thames Estuary airport plan going ahead.

Proposed Thames Estuary. Credit: Foster & Partners

Favoured by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the estuary scheme, involving a new four-runway airport, is being studied by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission.

One of three reports prepared for the commission published today has said of the estuary plan: "Overall, the challenges to transition are considerable and amount to a significant cost and risk to the taxpayer in terms of commercial negotiations, infrastructure development and potential failure."

Read: Another setback for Boris over estuary airport ambitions

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'No public appetite' for barrage of new stealth taxes

Local Government minister Brandon Lewis appeared to dismiss the idea.

There is no public appetite for a barrage of new stealth taxes on hard-working people and local firms, which would force up the cost of living and destroy jobs.

A Treasury spokesman said stamp duty land tax and business rates were important sources of Government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to pay for the essential services.

London 'would feel benefits' of greater tax control

Boris Johnson said: "There is a now growing and welcome cross-party consensus that recognises the economic benefits of giving greater control of taxes raised in English cities back to those cities, which is very difficult for the Treasury to ignore.

Credit: PA

London's mayor added: "The modest reforms that I and others have been campaigning for and that are endorsed in this report, would provide England's cities with the means, incentives and crucially the stability of funding to deliver much needed jobs, growth and infrastructure."

Londoners 'should be trusted' with tax-raising powers

If the citizens of New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo can be trusted with tax-raising powers, why not the people of London, Greater Manchester or the North East?

Local areas know best how to stimulate their economies. With a wider range of revenue streams at their disposal, they would be able to invest in infrastructure and projects that mattered locally - without having to rely on or wait for handouts from central government.

– Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee

Boris wins backing for more London tax-raising powers

London mayor Boris Johnson has won the backing of an influential group of MPs in his bid for more tax-raising powers.

Credit: PA

The Communities and Local Government Committee is believes cities like London and Manchester should have similar powers to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. The committee wants ministers to hand over property taxes like stamp duty.

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