Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Greenhalgh: London needs city education agency, says mayoral candidate

  • Comment

The London mayor’s office should establish a city-wide agency for young people, according to Stephen Greenhalgh (Con), one of the capital’s deputy mayors.

Mr Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing and crime who hopes to be shortlisted as the Conservative candidate for mayor on Saturday, called for the creation of the agency in an interview with LGC this week.

Under his tenure, the new organisation would  manage school placements, apprenticeships and the relationship between higher education and culture, he added.

The agency  “would not recreate” the  Inner London Education Authority, which was abolished in the 1990s.

The former leader of Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, also unveiled his views of how he would manage housing policy if elected mayor- including some criticism of his party’s right to buy policy.

Mr Greenhalgh said affordable housing in the capital should be primarily offered to “essential workers” such as teachers, young doctors, paramedics, fire fighters, nurses and police officers.

He disagreed with his party’s policy that councils in London should fully reimburse housing associations for properties sold under right to buy by being forced to sell off their valuable homes.

“The current use value of properties on their [housing associations’] books will be a fraction of the market value so it is not like their balance sheets are hurt by it [the right to buy], he added.

“If the current use value is £300,000, the market value is £1.2m and you knock £100,000 off it [for the tenant’s right to buy discount] and someone pays you £1.1m rather than £1.2m you are doing rather well out of that. Why does a council need to pay for it?”

As deputy mayor for crime and policing, he is already working on London’s bid for devolution in relation to criminal justice.

He said London could save £500m by using justice property more efficiently, making greater use of both technology and improving the commissioning of back office services.

Saving could be made while cutting the number of first time offenders, reoffending, and court delays, he added.

Declaring his support for devolution of government in London, he said councils needed more tax raising powers in order to reduce their dependency on Whitehall.

He said: “We need to look at ways we can devolve business rates and other property taxes. We have to build a culture where good government enables greater financial independence.”

Other candidates hoping to be shortlisted include Westminster City Council leader Philippa Roe, London Assembly member Andrew Boff, MP Zac Goldsmith, the former England footballer Sol Campbell, London MEP Syed Kamall and the entrepreneur and gay rights campaigner Ivan Massow.

The candidates will be interviewed and shortlisted by Conservative activists on Saturday.

The mayoral election are due to take place in May 2016.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.