Devolution to London – not if – but why?

21 January 2015

How would Londoners benefit from the further devolution of more powers and responsibilities? What would be the benefits if we could control our own taxes to fund housing, schools, health and skills? The Mayor has previously endorsed the recommendations of the London Finance Commission for the devolution of property taxes to help ensure London can meet its investment and growth needs.

During a Centre for London event on January the 20th 2015, various experts asked the question ‘Does the London Assembly need reform?’ and if so, how would new powers be distributed and what would they involve?

Professor Nirmala Rao OBE, author of Reshaping City Governance and Governing London said; “The Mayor and Assembly have a pivotal role to play in ensuring London’s continued success and it is crucial to have in place the right governance arrangements to meet the Capital’s strategic challenges over the longer term. Additional powers and responsibilities for the GLA in key strategic services would help meet those challenges and underpin the Mayor’s strategic leadership of London.”

Darren Johnson AM, member of the Assembly Devolution Working Group said; “Barely 7% of all the tax paid by London residents and businesses is retained by the Mayor and the boroughs. The equivalent figure in New York is over 50%. Any change needs to lead to better outcomes for Londoners, our economy and the UK taxpayer and that is what the Assembly wants to ensure happens.”

To address the overall question of devolved powers from Westminster to London and to get a better deal for the Capital, the London Assembly has formed a Devolution Working Group. The group will meet in February to examine the options and question guests including Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the Core Cities Group and Leader of Manchester City Council.

Notes for Editors:

Darren Johnson AM is available for interview – see contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.