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MP AGREES TO UNPAID LONDON OVERSEER ROLE

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London mayor Ken Livingstone is set to embark on a major consultation process to turn his manifesto pledges into a ...
London mayor Ken Livingstone is set to embark on a major consultation process to turn his manifesto pledges into a 10-year policy programme.

The process is to be overseen by Hayes and Harlington MP and former Association of London Government secretary John McDonnell, appointed to the mayor's cabinet last week as local government adviser (LGC, 26 May).

London boroughs, industry, community groups and the public will be invited to join policy committees to identify key issues and contribute to a London prospectus setting out the mayor's programme. It will contain detailed plans for the next five years and a 'vision' for the next 10.

Mr Livingstone will also ask London MPs to join the committees and invite ministers to send departmental nominees. Key groups will be asked to sign up to the prospectus on its completion, expected in November.

Mr McDonnell said: 'We've got to sign up to a London future. ThatÕs the whole point of this.'

He moved to calm ALG fears that he would act as an intermediary between the boroughs and the mayor: 'My advice was that the mayor needed to establish direct relationships with councils . . . If the new structures are to succeed, part of the policy implementation will have to be through the boroughs.'

He has also advised the mayor to develop direct relationships between Greater London Authority officers and their council counterparts.

The ALG said: 'We respond very positively to the statements John McDonnell's been making and we're glad he recognises the important role the boroughs have to play.'

Mr McDonnell took the job on the condition it was not a paid post and it did not detract from constituency work.

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