Boris Johnson wants the LDA ad the HCA London region to be absorbed within City Hall.
The Mayors proposals, which would be subject to government approval and changes in legislation, would see the London region of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) devolved to the GLA and the functions of the London Development Agency (LDA) folded into the GLA. A resulting London housing and regeneration body would be an executive arm of the GLA and the LDA would cease to exist as a separate body, although its functions would continue.
The Mayor also proposes that responsibility for the Royal Parks Agency (RPA) and the Port of London Authority (PLA) should be devolved from Whitehall to the Mayor. Other proposals include giving the Mayoralty greater powers over traffic control and the awarding of rail franchises on routes into London.
In what would be a significant set of extra powers, the Mayor also set out his plans for greater powers for the London Assembly, proposing that consideration should be given to granting the Assembly an enhanced role on strategy development and, as the powers of the Mayor increase, so should the scrutiny function of the Assembly.
Other proposals presented by the Mayor today include granting the London Skills and Employment Board (LSEB), which the Mayor chairs, the power to approve the allocation of the adult skills budget in London, and that City Hall should have a greater say in health provision in the capital. Building on the coalition Governments pledge for greater devolution, the Mayor would like to see an enhanced roll for the boroughs in terms of skills and housing, among other areas, in line with the principles of double devolution.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: London is one of the few genuine world cities. Home to more people than many EU member states we have an economy to match. The capital is a global powerhouse with a population as large as Wales and Scotland combined, yet despite providing this world city with clear leadership, the Mayoralty has few formal powers, despite substantial informal powers. This will no longer do”.
It is time to act, and with a new coalition government strongly supportive of devolving powers we must seize the day for London. This is why I am proposing a reshaped GLA group and a new chapter in the devolution of Whitehall functions to City Hall, including greater powers to the boroughs and enhanced scrutiny functions to the Assembly.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said: I welcome this contribution from the Mayor of London. The new Government is committed to genuine decentralisation of power. In London, this means transferring power and responsibility down from Whitehall and its quangos progressively downwards to City Hall, to London boroughs and to local neighbourhoods”.
This should include giving London boroughs freedoms that councils outside London will enjoy, and examining the scope for devolving power from City Hall to London boroughs and local communities, in line with the principle of giving power to the boroughs and beyond.