NLGN, a not-for-profit, independent think tank which seeks to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities, argues that scrutinising the work of the Mayor does not require 25 full-time elected politicians and that much of their work is spent investigating and compiling reports that have little impact. The think tank instead argues that the London Mayor should be scrutinised by a London Leaders’ Council (LLC), consisting of the 32 elected council leaders in Greater London.
They say that allowing council leaders a scrutiny role would allow them to make the Mayor more accountable to ordinary Londoners, and that ensuring the budget could only be passed by a clear majority of council leaders in both inner and outer London would mean that the Mayor would have to take into account the needs of all parts of the Capital.
To replace the policy making aspect of Assembly Members’, the pamphlet argues that the House of Commons should set up a London Regional Select Committee of London MPs to investigate the work and policies of the London Mayor. London is currently the only area in England without a Regional Select Committee.
Author of the report, James Hulme says: “Members of the London Assembly are, by and large, hard-working and committed. The crux of the problem is that, put simply, members simply don’t have enough to do to justify full time engagement and as a result they may be spending time compiling superfluous investigations and reports that generally have little impact on the work of the London Mayor or help to inform its wider politics. Through day-to-day interaction with their local communities, Borough Leaders would be best placed to offer first-hand guidance on the views and aspirations of ordinary Londoners”.