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NEW MAYOR'S POWERS: A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

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The Association of London Government has broadly welcomed government plans* to give more strategic powers to the Ma...
The Association of London Government has broadly welcomed government plans* to give more strategic powers to the Mayor of London as a step in the right direction.

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.

ALG chairman Merrick Cockell has said: 'We support the move to devolve powers from Whitehall to the regional tier of government in London and the locally elected mayor. However we would have liked to have seen even more powers devolved to London's boroughs and local communities.

'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.'

* * DCLG DEVOLUTION AGENDA PUSHED FORWARD WITH NEW POWERS FOR LONDON

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