North East Assembly (Supplementary) [5]

Session date: 
November 17, 2004
Question By: 
Damian Hockney
Organisation: 
One London Party
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I am just going to make this very, very brief point, and the Mayor was absolutely correct - when we arrived, within weeks we were faced with a Tory move which would have led us to, for four years, rowing about the cost of paper clips and arguing about all sorts of absurd things, and we took a decision to ring-fence the budget. What was so extraordinary then - and I must tell everybody here and remind everybody - is they then, having done that, went and took over £100,000 of that budget for themselves. In other words, they have the same number of Assembly Members, but they now have £100,000 more they took from the budget.

We wanted what we were entitled to. You took £100,000 more. Anyway, that is an interesting point to make, but the real point that I wanted to ask you, Mayor, is do you think, if we had a vote now on an Assembly in its present form, do you think the people of London would vote for it?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for North East Assembly (Supplementary) [5]

Answer for North East Assembly (Supplementary) [5]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I suspect not. I do think the Assembly has failed to achieve its potential, and I think Assembly Members share a large part of the responsibility for that, because they wasted much of their first term picking away at small points of difference with me, rather than looking out. Almost all of the Assembly reports that attracted any attention were the ones where Assembly Members focused on an outside problem, whether it was borough council parks, the Ambulance Service, or something like that, and actually came up with a broad consensus.

Can I just say as well, because we are having this rating by the Audit Commission at the moment, if we could separate the Assembly from the Mayoral function, the Mayoral function would come in as excellent. We are all coming in only as good, because they are saying the Assembly scrutiny role is not performing terribly well.