New Powers for the Mayor and the GLA have been announced.
There was a "Public Consultation", but, of course, the Government went ahead with its plans anyway, regardless.
The extra powers for the Greater London Assembly do not seem to amount to much.
- The Assembly will be able to set its own budget and will publish an annual report setting out its work and achievements over the previous twelve months.
Achievements ? That will be a new concept for them.
- The Assembly will be able to hold confirmation hearings for key appointments the Mayor proposes to make.
Does that mean that they actually have a veto on the appointment of someone ? What about the exorbitant salary and expesnese of some of the Mayor's appointments , like Bob Kiley etc ?
- The Mayor will be required to have specific regard to the views of the Assembly and the functional bodies in preparing or revising his strategies. He will need to provide reasoned justifications where he is not acting on their advice.
Presumably he can just go ahead regardless, so long as some "reasoned justifications" are presented ?
- The Mayor and Assembly will jointly appoint the Authority's statutory posts. Most other Greater London Authority staff will be appointed by the Head of Paid Service.
The new powers for the Mayor:
- The Mayor will have the discretion to appoint political representatives to the TfL Board.
- The Mayor will either appoint the Chair of the MPA or assume the role of Chair himself.
- The Mayor will appoint two members of the LFEPA Board, and will be able to direct and issue guidance to the Authority.
LFEPA = London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
The new powers for the Mayor also include
The Mayor will have the discretion to determine planning applications of strategic importance.
This seems to allow the Mayor to meddle even more in planning decisions, something which will, no doubt, lead him to be lobbied, wined and dined even more, by property speculators.
Most controversially, "The Mayor will either appoint the Chair of the MPA or assume the role of Chair himself" i.e. the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority
That is not independent scrutiny of the Police, it is political meddling !