More powers for the Mayor and Greater London Assembly

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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 !

1 Comments

If anyone doubts that this is the end of Ken's ambitions to expand his powers, they should abandon that illusion. He has openly claimed in MQTs he wants to take over as the water authority for London and potentially more disastrously is carefully laying the groundwork for taking over schooling in the capital. To see what this would mean in practice, read his recent report on Black teachers in London (http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/education/docs/black-teachers-london.pdf). In particular, look at recomendations 1,6, 11 and 13.

Number 6 says it all: "Strict targets should be set and closely monitored for each LEA to recruit teachers that are representative of local communities."

Note that nothing is said about the competencies of teachers! Following even a fraction of Ken's ideas on education would lead to the education of all London's children sacrificed on some PC altar.
The case for having more restrictions on the Mayor's carte blanche powers couldn't be clearer.

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