Consultation: "The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly" - your views sought by 22nd February 2006


David Miliband, the NuLabour Minister of Communities and Local Government cuckoo lurking inside John Prescott's Office of the Deputy Prime Minister empire, has issued a consultation paper which proposes some changes in the the powers of the Mayor of London and of the Greater London Assembly.

Apart from giving a glimpse into the incredibly complicated bureaucracy and multiple overlapping and conflicting layers of Government and supposedly independent or "politically accountable" oversight of various London wide services, there are some questions which the consultation paper asks, which are important enough for the General Public to make their views known, not just the so called "stakeholder" organisations / vested interests. e.g. What exactly has the Government Office for London ? Who can actually name the Minister for London ?

The Consultation paper (88 page .pdf) can be downloaded from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website::

The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly

Audience: Londoners, London borough councils, English county councils, national organisations and those with an interest in London issues

Consultation period: 30 November 2005 to 22 February 2006

The proposal to give the Greater London Assembly the ability scrutinise and to delay if necessary, the Mayor's stategic plans is welcome, but the proposal for a two thirds majority, rather than a simple majority, smacks of politiical manipulation.

Similarly the proposal to make the Mayor "take into account" the results of public consultations, something which Ken Livingstone has so blatantly ignored over say the Congestion Charge, may be welcome, but the exact weasel words need to be studied with care.

No doubt the media will latch on to the proposal to make the Mayor become the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, which is supposed to scrutinise the polices and budgets of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Will this really make policing in London better or will it just further politicise the Metropolitan Police Service, and allow the Mayor to meddle in an inappropriate way ?

We will post some more thoughts on this Consultation document, when we have deciphered the jargon.

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