Public Services (Supplementary) [17]

Session date: 
December 19, 2001
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


We do not want to get into the habits here that they indulge in around the Cabinet table in Downing Street, Mr Mayor - Mr Livingstone.

I was surprised that you chose to concentrate on buses in response to that question, particularly given the large budget you spend on policing in London and the fact that you use policing to justify the increase in council tax and precept. What contribution do you believe you can make to policing in London?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Public Services (Supplementary) [17]

Answer for Public Services (Supplementary) [17]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am responsible. I have direct line management responsibility for everything happens here. If the buses are not working, it is my fault that we have not set the right routes or have not provided adequate subsidy - and I accept responsibility for that. In policing, I set the budget, and that is all I legally have the power to do. I do not really appoint the Members of the MPA, because the party whips and organisations decide who we put on it. All I am able to do depends on my personal relationship with the Commissioner and the Chairman of the MPA - a working relationship of trust, which I think has been put in place. Therefore, I can make my views known about the resource allocation formula or the amount of police time and resources spent on traffic management and control schemes and so on; but I do not have direct control.

I would like to have that control: I would like to sweep away the MPA bureaucracy, which I think is a waste of time. I think that you should be the scrutiny body for that. I would like to be able to do what Mayor Giuliani does - review crime statistics each week and shift resources around to tackle hot spots. But that is not in the legislation. Therefore, I am not going to claim responsibility for things over which I do not have direct management control.