Select Committee on Greater London Authority Bill Memoranda


Memorandum submitted by the London Assembly (GLA 1)

THE GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY BILL

INTRODUCTION

  The London Assembly welcomes this opportunity to present written evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

  This document provides an overview of the Assembly's positions on the Bill, indicating in particular those areas both on which it would either support an amendment or is in agreement. The detailed amendments, along with background notes, have been provided to some members of the Committee separately but are available upon request to any member.

  The London Assembly welcomes the Government's stated intention to devolve more powers to the Mayor whilst strengthening the London Assembly's powers to hold the Mayor effectively to account. The London Assembly welcomes appropriate devolution of power, provided effective checks and balances accompany it. The Assembly therefore supports certain provisions of the Bill, such as a new power for the Assembly to hold confirmation hearings.

  However, the London Assembly believes the Bill may not achieve some of the Government's stated policy intentions, and some of the clauses are practically unworkable. In particular, the Assembly draws the attention of the Public Bill Committee to two key issues for the Assembly:

    —  The Bill would not allow the Assembly to set its own budget. Unless this is rectified the Assembly will not be able to protect its resources.

    —  The Bill provides for changes relating to the appointment of staff that will constitute a significant shift in power away from the Assembly when existing arrangements continue to function well.

  The London Assembly also supports the views of London Councils, that the Mayor's new powers to intervene in strategic planning applications should be limited to genuinely strategic applications, and planning decisions must be taken in a transparent and accountable way.

PART 1—GENERAL FUNCTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY

CLAUSE 1—PAYMENTS ON CEASING TO HOLD OFFICE AS MAYOR OR ASSEMBLY MEMBER

  There is currently no provision for the Greater London Authority to make payments to the Mayor or Assembly Members when they cease to hold office. This clause will enable the Authority to make such payments, bringing the GLA into line with the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.

  The Senior Salaries Review Body advises the Greater London Authority on remuneration for the Mayor and Assembly Members. The Senior Salaries Review Body has twice reported that it considers it appropriate to introduce a severance scheme for the Mayor and Assembly Members,[1] on the basis that the roles are full-time and therefore financial hardship may be suffered when Members cease to hold office.
The London Assembly supports Clause 1 of the Bill.[2]





CLAUSE 2—THE MAYOR'S STRATEGIESCONSULTATION

  The GLA Act 1999 requires the Mayor to consult the London Assembly and Functional Bodies on his draft strategies before releasing them for wider consultation. This Clause will require the Mayor to have regard to the comments submitted to him by the Functional Bodies or London Assembly. This will strengthen the Assembly's role in the development of the Mayor's strategies, by introducing a greater degree of transparency into the process by which the Mayor considers the Assembly's comments and makes decisions on the contents of his strategies.
  The London Assembly supports Clause 2 of the Bill.[3]




CLAUSE 3—THE ASSEMBLY—THE MAYOR'S PERIODIC REPORT TO THE ASSEMBLY

  The GLA Act 1999 requires the Mayor to submit a written report to the Assembly three working days in advance of each Mayor's Question Time meeting of the Assembly (the Act requires that there are 10 such meetings each year). However, the London Assembly is required by Access to Information legislation to publish formal agendas and papers five clear working days in advance of a public meeting. Clause 3 of the Bill would eliminate this anomaly.




The London Assembly supports Clause 3 of the Bill.[4]




CLAUSE 4—CONFIRMATION HEARINGS ETC FOR CERTAIN APPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYOR

  The Bill provides that Mayoral nominees for the following 10 offices will be subject to non-binding `confirmation hearings' conducted by the London Assembly (within three weeks of being notified of the Mayor's proposal to fill the position):

    —  Chair[5] and Deputy Chair[6] of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

    —  Chair[7] and Deputy Chair of Transport for London

    —  Chair and Vice Chair of the London Development Agency

    —  Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

    —  Chair and Deputy Chair of the London Pension Fund Authority

    —  Chair of the Culture Strategy Group (known as the Cultural Consortium)

  The process to be followed is set out in Schedule 1 to the Bill (a new Schedule 4A to the GLA Act 1999). When the Mayor proposes to make an appointment to any of the offices listed in the Bill, he will be required to notify the Assembly. The Assembly will have three weeks within which it could decide to hold a confirmation hearing and make a recommendation to the Mayor as to whether the candidate should be appointed. The Assembly's recommendation would not be binding—the Mayor could accept or reject it, but he must notify the Assembly of his decision.

  The Assembly supports the principle of confirmation hearings, and welcomes the Government's proposals. These new powers will help to mitigate the risk of a Mayor making appointments on some basis other than merit (for example, political loyalty). The Mayor will be required publicly to justify his decisions on appointments, which will make the process transparent and provide opportunities for London's elected representatives to consider and challenge the appointments process on behalf of Londoners. This will provide an important degree of public debate and accountability.

  However, if the principle of confirmation hearings is accepted, then it should apply to all Mayoral appointments. The Bill excludes a number of Mayoral appointments (ie those to boards or authorities other than chairmen and deputy chairmen), which ought to be equally open to scrutiny.

  Given that board and / or authority members have voting rights over the direction and governance of their authorities, there must be protection against a Mayor who may otherwise appoint unqualified or otherwise inappropriate individuals to a board or authority without giving due regard to their expertise, experience, or their ability to fulfil their functions effectively.




  The London Assembly welcomes the new power to hold confirmation hearings in respect of Mayoral appointments to strategic London-wide bodies.[8]


  However, the Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to enable the Assembly to hold confirmation hearings in relation to all Mayoral appointments to the boards of the functional bodies and other relevant bodies.[9]

  The Assembly would also support an amendment to the Bill to require the Secretary of State to consult the Mayor and Assembly before making an Order to vary the list of appointments that are subject to the Assembly's power to hold confirmation hearings.[10]



  The GLA Act1999 includes a requirement that the Deputy Mayor serve as a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority. This requirement has been retained within the provisions for the Police and Justice Act 2006. This provision was introduced into the 1999 Act with the expectation that the Deputy Mayor would be elected as Chair of the Authority. In practice, this has not been the case, and the Assembly therefore recommends that the GLA Act be amended to remove this requirement.
  The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to remove the requirement that the Deputy Mayor serve as a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.[11]



CLAUSE 5—POWER TO REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT ASSEMBLY MEETINGS: TIME LIMITS

  This GLA Act 1999 provides the Assembly with powers to summons people who have had a relevant interest or position relating to the GLA Group. The current time limit on this power is three years; this Clause would extend the time limit to eight years. Given the long-term nature of many of the activities of the GLA Group, this new time limit will increase the Assembly's ability to hold the executive to account for its policies, administration and expenditure over an appropriate period of time.
The London Assembly supports Clause 5 of the Bill.[12]



CLAUSE 6—ANNUAL REPORT BY THE ASSEMBLY

  The Assembly is not currently required to produce an annual report. In practice, the Mayor's annual report has included a section outlining the role and achievements of the Assembly. This Clause would require the Assembly to produce its own annual report. The Assembly welcomes this requirement, as it will enable the Assembly to prepare its own account of its activities and achievements.
The London Assembly supports Clause 6 of the Bill.[13]




CLAUSES 7 TO 11—STAFF APPOINTED UNDER SECTION 67(2) OF THE GLA ACT 1999

  The Greater London Authority Act 1999 provides that the London Assembly is responsible for appointing staff to the Authority. This includes setting the staff establishment, agreeing staffing-related policies and procedures, and appointing staff.

  In practice, Assembly Members are not involved directly in the appointment of staff other than to senior posts within the Secretariat, the statutory officers, and director-level appointments across the rest of the Authority.

  This highlights an important distinction—namely that which exists in respect of the staffing establishment (the creation and deletion of positions) and then the appointment of staff (the filling of the posts that have already been created on the staff establishment).

  The Bill would transfer responsibility both for creating and deleting posts, and appointing staff to those posts, from the London Assembly to the Greater London Authority's Head of Paid Service.

  The majority of the Assembly believes that the proposal to transfer the power to create and delete posts from the Assembly to the Head of Paid Service represents a fundamental shift in the balance of powers between the Mayor and the Assembly. It would remove a key element of the Assembly's ability to act as a check on the Mayor as put in place by the Greater London Authority Act 1999.  Furthermore, the evidence shows that the current arrangements have worked well and the majority of the Assembly sees no reason to change them.[14]

  The Assembly therefore recommends that the Bill be amended so that responsibility for appointing staff and creating and / or deleting posts remains with the Assembly. This would preserve the balance of power between the Mayor (who has overall control of the Authority's budgets) and the Assembly (which has responsibility for the Authority's staff), and would enable the Assembly to act as an effective check on the Mayor.[15]

  If staffing powers are transferred to the Head of Paid Service, the Assembly would recommend that the following safeguards be put in place through amendments to the Bill:

    —  The Head of Paid Service must be placed under a statutory duty to consult the London Assembly and the Mayor in advance of any decision in relation to the creation and deletion of posts within the Authority's staffing establishment. This would ensure that the Head of Paid Service has regard to the views of the Mayor and Assembly and is accountable to them for his decisions. It would also (as a result of the Assembly's duties to conduct its business in public) ensure that the current degree of transparency in decision-making about staffing policies and procedures, and the size and functions of the establishment, is retained.

    —  The Head of Paid Service should not be allowed to delegate his powers relating to the creation and deletion of posts in the Authority. The power to delegate these powers could result in a diffusion of responsibility and accountability, as well as potentially making the decision-making process less transparent.
The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill so that the Assembly remains responsible for staffing matters within the Authority.[16]


  If responsibility for staffing issues is transferred to the Head of Paid Service, the Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to ensure that safeguards be put in place in order to secure an appropriate level transparency and accountability in the exercise of those functions.[17]

  The Assembly would also support an amendment to the Bill to ensure that the Head of Paid Service be not empowered to delegate the power to create and delete posts.[18]


  The London Assembly supports the proposal that the Mayor and Assembly jointly appoint the Authority's Head of Paid Service, Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer.

CLAUSES 12 TO 15—SEPARATE COMPONENT BUDGETS FOR THE ASSEMBLY AND MAYOR

  The Assembly's budget is currently part of the Mayor's budget for the GLA. The Assembly can amend the total GLA budget by a two-thirds majority, but does not have powers to amend the Mayor's proposals line-by-line; consequently it cannot specifically amend the Assembly element of the Greater London Authority budget. The Assembly is therefore vulnerable to a Mayor making excessive cuts to its resources, which could limit its ability to fulfil its statutory functions of holding the Mayor to account and investigating issues of importance to Londoners.

  The purpose of Clause 12 is to provide the Assembly with the ability to set its own budget. This would in principle bring the Assembly into line with Westminster, the Welsh Assembly, and the Scottish Parliament.

  There are four problems which, added together, mean that the provisions of the Bill would not in practice give effect to the Government's stated policy intention:

    1.  The proposed process conflates the Assembly's role in scrutinising the Mayor's budget for the whole GLA Group (some £10 billion) with the Assembly's role in determining its own resource requirements.

    2.  The power to amend the Mayor's proposed budget for the Assembly by a two-thirds majority would in effect enable nine out of 25 Members to decide whether or not the Mayor's proposed budget for the Assembly should be amended (17 out of the 25 Members would need to vote for an amendment in order for it to be agreed). As a result, the Mayor and a minority of Assembly Members could together set the Assembly's budget. This clearly does not serve the Government's policy intention of enabling the Assembly to set, or even to protect, its own budget. The Mayor of London told the Assembly on 13 December 2006 that he did not consider he should `have anything to do with' the Assembly's budget.

    3.  The Bill includes complex formulas that would be used to determine an upper limit (a `ceiling') to the Assembly's ability to amend the Mayor's proposed budget for the Assembly. But it sets no floor, or lower limit, to the Mayor's ability to propose cuts to the Assembly's budget. As a result, the Assembly will have no meaningful protection should the Mayor propose unreasonable cuts to its budget, either in one single year or cumulatively over a period of time.

    4.  The Bill contains no provision for the Assembly to determine the allocation of resources within its overall budget—instead the Mayor could make this decision (for example by deciding the level of resource to be granted to each of the Assembly's party Groups and/or to determine the level of the Assembly's budget to support its programme of scrutiny work).




The London Assembly supports the Government's intention to enable the Assembly to set its own budget. However, the majority of the Assembly believes that the Bill would not effectively fulfil this intention.


  The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to enable the Assembly to set its own budget by a simple majority vote. Without such amendment, the Assembly will have almost no more power than it currently holds to set and allocate its own resources, and will have scant protection against a future Mayor who may wish to cut its resources and prevent it from being able to hold the Mayor to account.[19]

  In order for the Assembly's access to appropriate resources to be properly protected, a `floor' should be applied to the Mayor's budget proposals for the Assembly, so that the Mayor cannot propose to reduce the Assembly's budget beyond a lower limit.[20]

  The Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to make specific provision for it to allocate resources within its budget.[21]


  The London Assembly is the statutory sponsor of the London Transport Users' Committee, the passenger watchdog for London. The London Transport Users' Committee is a separate entity with separate statutory functions, but its budget is included within the Assembly budget. If there was an increased or decreased resource requirement for the London Transport Users' Committee, this could affect the Assembly's overall budget requirement. The Assembly's access to resources should not be adversely affected by an increased budget for the London Transport Users' Committee resulting from a change to its statutory functions, because such changes are beyond the control of the Assembly.
The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to require the chief finance officer to treat the London Transport Users' Committee's budget requirements as separate from the London Assembly's budget requirements for the purposes of making the Assembly's budget requirement calculations.[22]



CLAUSE 16—EXERCISE OF THE MAYOR'S FUNCTIONS WHEN TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO ACT

  The GLA Act 1999 provides that in the event of the Mayor being temporarily unable to act, the Assembly would set the budget for the GLA Group. The Bill will amend the GLA Act 1999 in order to provide for the Deputy Mayor to set the budget for the GLA Group if the Mayor is temporarily unable to act. This will remove an anomaly in the GLA Act 1999, and has the unanimous support of the Assembly.




The London Assembly supports Clause 16 of the Bill insofar as it provides for the Deputy Mayor to set the budget for the GLA Group if the Mayor is temporarily unable to act.[23]



CLAUSES 17 TO 20—TRANSPORT FOR LONDON AND THE LONDON DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

  Clause 17 of the Bill makes a minor amendment to the GLA Act 1999 to require any order made by Statutory Instrument to be given in writing. The Assembly has no objection to this clause.

  Clause 18 will allow political representatives to be appointed to Transport for London. The Assembly can see no reason why political representatives should not be eligible to serve on the Board of Transport for London, and therefore the Assembly supports this clause.

  Clause 19 of the Bill will enable any Assembly Member who is appointed as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Board of Transport for London to be paid remuneration and allowances. Clause 20 would enable the London Development Agency to pay remuneration and allowances to any Assembly Member who is appointed as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Agency. This is in accordance with the recommendation from the Senior Salaries Review Body in relation to the Chairs of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the Metropolitan Police Authority, that an Assembly Member who is Chair of either of those authorities should be paid an additional allowance of £17,500 per year, subject to legislation being amended to allow it.[24]




The London Assembly supports Clauses 17 and 18 of the Bill.[25]


  The Assembly supports Clauses 19 and 20 of the Bill.[26]


CLAUSES 21 TO 24—HEALTH

  Clause 21 provides for new statutory posts of Health Adviser and Deputy Health Adviser to the Authority, and Clause 22 places a new duty on the Mayor to produce a health inequalities strategy. Clause 23 places a new duty upon the Mayor to have regard to health inequalities in London and promote the reduction of health inequalities in London, in addition to the Authority's other general powers and duties (relating to health and sustainable development). The Assembly supports these provisions, and welcomes the fact that the new health inequalities strategy will be subject to the GLA 1999 relating to the requirements to consult the Assembly and other relevant bodies on the draft strategy.
The London Assembly supports Clauses 21 to 24 of the Bill.[27]



CLAUSES 25 TO 27—LONDON FIRE AND EMERGENCY PLANNING AUTHORITY

  Clause 25 of the Bill will allow the Mayor to appoint two members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

  Clause 26 enables the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to remunerate any Assembly Member who is appointed chairman or vice-chairman of the Authority. This is line with the recommendation of the Senior Salaries Review Body in relation to the Chairs of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the Metropolitan Police Authority, that an Assembly Member who is Chair of either of those authorities should be paid an additional allowance of £17,500 per year, subject to legislation being amended to allow it.[28]

  Clause 27 will enable the Mayor to issue directions and guidance to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. The London Assembly would support an amendment to clause 27 of the Bill be amended in order to ensure that, if the Mayor is granted a power of Direction over LFEPA, the Assembly be given a corresponding power to 'call in` a decision by the Mayor to issue any such Direction.




  The London Assembly supports clauses 25 and 26 of the Bill.[29]

  The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to ensure that, if the Mayor is granted a power of Direction over LFEPA, the Assembly be given a corresponding power to 'call in` a decision by the Mayor to issue any such Direction.[30]

  The London Assembly is also of the view that it should be given a power to 'call in` any decision by the Mayor to issue a Direction (to any body).

  The Mayor currently has powers to direct Transport for London and the London Development Agency to take actions in support of his policies.

  The purpose of the Mayor being provided with a power to direct a functional body is to require the body to take a particular course of action. The use of this power in any given instance could seem to indicate that there was a lack of majority support on that authority for that course of action (otherwise the body could take the decision itself without the need for a formal direction from the Mayor). The use of directions is therefore an exception to the norm.

  It is noted that, as in the case of recent Mayoral direction given to TfL and the LDA in respect of the Olympics, that there may be times that Mayoral direction is given in order to ensure overall co-ordination within the GLA. In such circumstances, it is not envisaged that any (time-limited) Assembly review of the proposed direction would lead to significant delay.

  Effective accountability relies upon two strands of work: (a) scrutinising the systems that are in place for the normal course of business, and (b) scrutinising actions taken outside the normal course of business. If the Mayor is given the power to issue direction to LFEPA, then in order for the Assembly to fulfil both of these roles, it should have the right to `call in' directions given by the Mayor to the Functional Bodies. This requires the Mayor to inform the Assembly when he gives a direction to a Functional Body, before the direction takes effect. The Assembly would then have the opportunity to question the Mayor about the direction and comment on it within a defined period of time. The advantages of this process are that it ensures that Mayoral directions are reported publicly, so that the electorate has access to information about the actions taken by the Mayor on its behalf. It would also enable the Assembly effectively to hold the Mayor to account for his actions, by questioning him publicly about the circumstances giving rise to the direction.



The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to ensure that any existing power of Mayoral direction be accompanied by a power for the Assembly to `call-in' for review any decision by the Mayor to issue a Direction to a relevant body.[31]



CLAUSE 28—HOUSING

  Clause 28 will require the Mayor to produce a London Housing strategy, and give the Mayor the power to make recommendations as to the amount and allocation of the London housing grant. The Assembly supports this Clause of the Bill, and welcomes the fact that the strategy will be subject to the requirements set out in the GLA Act 1999, that the Mayor consult the Assembly and other stakeholders on the draft strategy.




The London Assembly supports Clause 28 of the Bill.[32]



CLAUSES 29 TO 35—PLANNING

  Clauses 29 to 35 will give the Mayor increased powers in relation to strategic planning policy and decisions in London.

  The London Assembly supports the position of London Councils (as set out in its evidence to this Committee) in relation to these clauses, as articulated in London Councils' response to the Government's consultation on changes to the Mayor of London Order 2000.[33] Along with London Councils, the Assembly does not support any expansion of the Mayor's planning powers.[34] However, if the Mayor's powers are to be expanded, then two key issues must be addressed:

    1.  Any expansion of powers for the Mayor must apply strictly and only to planning schemes and applications that are genuinely strategic rather than representing an extraction of powers from London Boroughs. (The definition of strategic will be set out in Regulations rather than on the face of the GLA Bill.)

    2.  There must be greater transparency as a result of the Mayor's increased involvement in planning applications.
Along with London Councils, the London Assembly does not support any extension of the Mayor's planning powers.[35] However, if the Mayor's planning powers were extended, then the Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to ensure that the Mayor is only able to intervene in genuinely strategic planning matters, and to require him to make decisions in a transparent and accountable way.[36]






CLAUSES 36 AND 37—WASTE

  These Clauses introduce a requirement for local waste authorities to act in general conformity with the Mayor's waste strategy for London, and a requirement that waste collection authorities give notice of any intention to award a waste contract.
The London Assembly supports Clauses 36 and 37 of the Bill.[37]


Single Waste Authority for London

  The London Assembly is mindful of diverse views amongst stakeholders as to the best solution for London's waste management and waste planning and, more particularly, of the general views expressed by London boroughs through London Councils (and previously the Association of London Government). The Assembly does not support the extraction of powers from local authorities upwards, either to London-wide or central government, as service delivery should remain the responsibility of the boroughs. However, it is acknowledged that exceptions could arise in cases where there is a strategic need. It is thought that such a strategic need exists in respect of waste management and waste planning in London.

  As the GLA is London's strategic government, and in order to avoid the confusion that may arise from the establishment of a second, separate London-wide strategic authority, if a single waste authority were created the Assembly sees merit in it being part of the GLA Group (as a new functional body), but only on the basis that its governance arrangements and decision-making powers fully reflect and respect the boroughs' primary role as service delivery agents.

  Any organisational changes in this area must be accompanied by an appropriate extension of the current checks and balances to ensure the accountability of the Mayor to the Assembly.[38]

CLAUSES 38 TO 40—CLIMATE CHANGE

  These clauses place a duty on the Mayor to produce a climate change mitigation and energy strategy for London and an adaptation to climate change strategy for London. They also place a duty on the Mayor and Assembly to address climate change, so far as relating to Greater London. The London Assembly supports these clauses.

  However, when the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consulted on the review of the powers of the Mayor and London Assembly, it was proposed that the Mayor should also be required to produce a water strategy for London, addressing water supply and usage. There is a strong case for the Mayor to have strategic powers in relation to water supply and usage in London, given the significance of the issues facing the city, and given the Mayor's duties in relation to the environment, sustainable development, and climate change. The Assembly supports this proposal and wishes to see it reflected in the GLA Bill. This would enable the Mayor to address climate change and other sustainability issues more comprehensively; without any strategic powers in relation to water, the Mayor's powers to address climate change and sustainable development will be limited.

  Any new requirement for the Mayor to produce a water strategy for London should be subject to the provisions of the GLA 1999 relating to the consultation requirements and the Assembly's powers of scrutiny.
The London Assembly supports clauses 38 to 40 of the Bill.[39]


  The London Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to include a requirement that the Mayor produce a statutory water strategy for London which would require other relevant authorities to act in general conformity with its provisions and which would be subject to the Assembly's scrutiny powers.[40]


CLAUSES 41 TO 47—CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

  Clauses 41 to 45 and Clause 47 of the Bill transfer responsibility for appointing the board of governors to the Museum of London from the Prime Minister to the Mayor, and transfers responsibility for financing the Museum of London jointly to the Greater London Authority and the Corporation of London. The Assembly supports these provisions, provided that the Mayor's appointments are subject to the Assembly's new powers to hold confirmation hearings and provided that the Museum of London is subject to the Assembly's scrutiny powers.

  Clause 46 puts in place revised consultation requirements in relation to the Mayor's culture strategy.
The Assembly supports Clauses 41 to 47 of the Bill, subject to the Assembly having appropriate powers to hold the Mayor to account for his decisions and actions in relation to the Museum of London.[41]



CLAUSE 48—COMMON PROVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE, PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL SERVICES

  Clause 49 will enable constituent bodies of the GLA Group to share or jointly commission administrative, professional and technical services (such as human resources, information technology, facilities management services etc.). The London Assembly supports the principle behind these provisions—that there may be efficiencies to be gained by sharing services within the GLA Group. The Assembly welcomes the requirement that the Mayor consult the Assembly before making a decision under these provisions, as this will ensure that decisions are made in a transparent way and provide appropriate opportunities for pre-decision scrutiny and challenge. This in turn will help to ensure that any decisions made under these provisions are robust and likely to result in efficiency gains without loss of effectiveness.

  However, the Assembly is concerned to ensure that it is not denied access to resources currently shared by the Mayor and Assembly (such services are not covered by the Bill's provisions to enable the Assembly to set its own budget). In order to mitigate this risk, the Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to include a specific requirement that the Mayor ensure that the Assembly and its Secretariat continue to be provided with adequate access to and support from any shared services within the Greater London Authority Group.




The London Assembly supports Clause 48 of the Bill. However, the Assembly would support an amendment to the Bill to include an explicit requirement that the Mayor protect and preserve the Assembly's access to and support from any shared services within the GLA Group.[42]


SUMMARY OF LONDON ASSEMBLY VIEWS ON THE GLA BILL
Clause Assembly view
  1The London Assembly supports Clause 1 of the Bill.[43]
  2The London Assembly supports Clause 2 of the Bill.[44]
  3The London Assembly supports Clause 3 of the Bill.[45]
  4The London Assembly welcomes the new power to hold confirmation hearings in respect of Mayoral appointments to strategic London-wide bodies.[46]
However, the Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to enable the Assembly to hold confirmation hearings in relation to any Mayoral appointment (apart from appointments of staff of the Authority made under S. 67(1) of the GLA Act 1999).[47]
The Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to require the Secretary of State to consult the Mayor and Assembly before making an Order to vary the list of appointments that are subject to the Assembly's power to hold confirmation hearings.[48]
The London Assembly recommends that the GLA Bill be amended to remove the requirement that the Deputy Mayor serve as a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.[49]
  5The London Assembly supports Clause 5 of the Bill.[50]
  6The London Assembly supports Clause 6 of the Bill.[51]
  7 to 11The London Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended so that the Assembly remains responsible for staffing matters within the Authority.[52]
If responsibility for staffing issues is transferred to the Head of Paid Service, the Assembly would recommend that safeguards be put in place in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the exercise of those functions.[53]
The Head of Paid Service should not be empowered to delegate the power to create and delete posts.[54]
12 to 15The London Assembly supports the Government's intention to enable the Assembly to set its own budget. However, the majority of the Assembly believes that the Bill would not effectively fulfil this intention.

The London Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to enable the Assembly to set its own budget by a simple majority vote. Without such amendment, the Assembly will have almost no more power than it currently holds to set and allocate its own resources, and will have scant protection against a future Mayor who may wish to cut its resources and prevent it from being able to hold the Mayor to account.[55]
In order for the Assembly's access to appropriate resources to be properly protected, a `floor' should be applied to the Mayor's budget proposals for the Assembly, so that the Mayor cannot propose to reduce the Assembly's budget beyond a lower limit.[56]
The Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to make specific provision for it to allocate resources within its budget.[57]
The Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to require the chief finance officer to treat the London Transport Users' Committee's budget requirements as separate from the London Assembly's budget requirements for the purposes of giving directions on the Assembly's budget requirement calculations.[58]
16The London Assembly supports Clause 16 of the Bill insofar as it provides for the Deputy Mayor to set the budget for the GLA Group if the Mayor is temporarily unable to act.[59]
The Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to remove the restriction on the Assembly's ability to fulfil functions relating to the budget in the event that both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are unable to act, or the Deputy Mayor indicates that he does not wish to fulfil those functions.[60]
17 and 18The London Assembly supports Clauses 17 and 18 of the Bill.[61]
19 and 20The Assembly supports Clauses 19 and 20 of the Bill.[62]
21 to 24The London Assembly supports Clauses 21 to 24 of the Bill.[63]
25 to 27The London Assembly supports clauses 25 to 27 of the Bill.[64]
28The London Assembly supports Clause 28 of the Bill.[65]
29 to 35Along with London Councils, the London Assembly does not support any extension of the Mayor's planning powers.[66] However, if the Mayor's planning powers are to be extended, then the Bill should be amended to ensure that he is only able to intervene in genuinely strategic planning matters, and to require him to make decisions in a transparent and accountable way.[67]
36 and 37The London Assembly supports Clauses 36 and 37 of the Bill.[68]
38 to 40The London Assembly supports clauses 38 to 40 of the Bill.[69]
However, the Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to include a requirement that the Mayor produce a water strategy for London which would require other relevant authorities to act in general conformity with its provisions and which would be subject to the Assembly's scrutiny powers.[70]
41 to 47The Assembly supports Clauses 41 to 47 of the Bill, subject to the Assembly having appropriate powers to hold the Mayor to account for his decisions and actions in relation to the Museum of London.[71]
48The London Assembly supports Clause 48 of the Bill. However, the Assembly recommends that the Bill be amended to include an explicit requirement that the Head of Paid Service protect and preserve the Assembly's access to and support from any shared services within the GLA Group.[72]
January 2007



































1   Senior Salaries Review Body, Report No. 61, `Greater London Authority: Review of pay, expenses and severance arrangements for the Mayor of London and London Assembly Members 2005', page 10, recommendation 8. Back

2   This is the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. Back

3   The Assembly agreed this view without objection. Back

4   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

5   This would not apply if the Mayor appointed him/herself to this office. Back

6   It should be noted that the Police and Justice Act 2006, given assent in November 2006, now allows the Secretary of State to make the arrangements, by Order, for the appointment of these offices. The Order is very likely, when published, to permit the Mayor of London to make these appointments. Back

7   This would not apply if the Mayor appointed him/herself to this office. Back

8   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

9   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

10   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

11   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

12   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

13   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

14   This reflects the majority position of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

15   This reflects the majority position of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

16   This reflects the majority position of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

17   This is the unanimous position of the Assembly. Back

18   This is the majority position of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

19   This reflects the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

20   This reflects the unanimous view of the London Assembly. Back

21   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

22   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

23   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

24   Senior Salaries Review Body, Report No. 61, `Greater London Authority: Review of pay, expenses, pensions and severance arrangements for the Mayor of London and London Assembly Members 2005, page 5 Recommendation 2. Back

25   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

26   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

27   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

28   Senior Salaries Review Body, Report No. 61, `Greater London Authority: Review of pay, expenses, pensions and severance arrangements for the Mayor of London and London Assembly Members 2005, page 5 Recommendation 2. Back

29   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

30   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

31   This reflects the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat Groups (as agreed at the Assembly meeting on 24 February 2006 in consideration of the Assembly's response to the original ODPM consultation paper on the Review of Powers of the Mayor of London and London Assembly). Back

32   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

33   The London Councils Response to the Consultation on changes to the Mayor of London Order 2000 can be found at http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/doc.asp?doc=18669&cat=980 Back

34   This is the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

35   This is the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

36   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

37   The Assembly agreed this position without objection. Back

38   This reflects the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat Groups (as agreed at the Assembly meeting on 24 February 2006 in consideration of the Assembly's response to the original ODPM consultation paper on the Review of Powers of the Mayor of London and London Assembly). Back

39   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups. Back

40   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups. Back

41   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups. Back

42   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

43   This is the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. Back

44   This view was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

45   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

46   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

47   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

48   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

49   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

50   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

51   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

52   This reflects the majority position of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

53   This is the unanimous position of the Assembly. Back

54   This reflects the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and London Groups. Back

55   This reflects the majority view of the London Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

56   This reflects the unanimous view of the London Assembly. Back

57   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

58   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

59   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

60   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

61   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

62   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

63   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back

64   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

65   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

66   This is the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat and One London Groups. Back

67   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

68   This position was agreed without objection by the Assembly. Back

69   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. Back

70   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, as supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. Back

71   This reflects the majority view of the Assembly, supported by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. Back

72   This reflects the unanimous view of the Assembly. Back


 
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© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 11 January 2007