Local government secretary Ruth Kelly has announced moves to enhance the role of the mayor in housing, learning and adult skills along with a greater say in planning, waste, health and environmental issues.
'It is right and proper that the mayor has a strategic role but the accountability of London's 33 councils must not be devalued as a city-wide strategy is only part of improving services for Londoners. Any shift of powers is important and a welcome step in allowing local communities have a greater say and control over their own affairs.
'We will be looking closely at the fine detail of these proposals to make sure they strike the right balance between the mayor's greater strategic role, local decision making and the delivery of local services. In particular, we are concerned about the principle of the mayor approving planning permissions over the heads of local communities and borough planning committees.
'The changes will give the mayor new responsibilities and it will be important now for him to work closely with the boroughs in making sure that together we deliver the good quality services that Londoners need.'