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LONDON MAYOR GRANTED NEW POWERS IN GLA REVIEW

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The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is expected to be granted extra powers in planning, housing and skills today....
The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is expected to be granted extra powers in planning, housing and skills today.

As part of the review of the Greater London Authority's powers, the mayor has asked to assume responsibility for skills, control the city's affordable housing investment, have additional powers to speed up planning in London, and also wants to see a single waste authority.

LGC understands that the Department for Communities & Local Government will today grant Mr Livingstone powers in at least the first three. However, a delay over deciding on the future of waste could delay the announcement.

Under new plans the mayor will have powers to oversee a single London Learning & Skills Council and decide the focus on skills. He will also be able to direct the boroughs to approve strategic planning applications and will gain control over London's housing strategy, with powers to make investment decisions.

The Association of London Government chair and leader of Kensington & Chelsea LBC Merrick Cockell (Con) said: 'The ALG is supportive of the mayor having greater responsibility but there are concerns.

'There is a principle we're applying to all the proposed areas of power, which is that if the mayor does get extra powers, he should not simply be able to nominate members of the new bodies' boards,' he said.

'The boroughs should be fully represented in any authority with about 50% representation.'

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