London has one Mayor and 25 Assembly Members – who are elected by you. With the support of staff at the Greater London Authority, the Mayor and London Assembly work to make London the best big city in the world.
This unique form of government was set up in 2000 and, working with London’s councils, central government and many others, it has an important role in many aspects of London life.
The Mayor of London
The Mayor is responsible for making London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city. The job ranges from developing policies to setting budgets, from overseeing major programmes to championing London around the world – all in line with his or her vision and in the interests of London.
The London Assembly
The London Assembly acts as the eyes and ears of Londoners at City Hall. It holds the Mayor to account by examining his or her strategies, decisions and actions to make sure they are in the public interest. Assembly Members also champion Londoners’ concerns by investigating important issues and pressing for changes to national, Mayoral or local policy.
What they are responsible for
There are many areas of London life that are affected by the work of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly, such as policing, transport, housing, planning and the environment. The Mayor plays a key role by putting together plans and policies and running and funding projects to improve the city and benefit Londoners. Before finalising his or her major strategies the Mayor must consult with Londoners and their elected representatives on the London Assembly. The responsibilities of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly are detailed below.
The Mayor of London is responsible for a budget of £17bn which is used, among other things, to run transport, police and fire services, build affordable homes and promote London’s economy. Part of the Council Tax levied by London’s councils is set by the Mayor to help fund these services
The London Assembly can amend the Mayor’s budget when two-thirds of the 25 Members agree
- The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is the strategic oversight body which sets the direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of the Mayor
- It ensures the Metropolitan Police Service is run efficiently and effectively and holds it, and other criminal justice services, to account
- The work of MOPAC is examined by the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, which also reviews the police and crime plan for London
- The Committee can also investigate anything which it considers to be of importance to policing and crime reduction in London and make recommendations for improvements
- Operational policing decisions are not made by the Mayor or the London Assembly
- Transport in London is managed by Transport for London (TfL)
- The Mayor sets the budget and appoints the board of TfL
- The Mayor develops the strategy for transport across London and looks at the ways Londoners get about in the capital
- The London Assembly holds TfL to account, reviewing its budget and performance
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s transport strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
- The Assembly also oversees the operation and budget of London TravelWatch, the capital’s transport users’ committee
Fire and emergency planning
- The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) runs the London Fire Brigade
- Eight Assembly Members sit on the Authority and are appointed by the Mayor so as to reflect the balance of the political parties within the London Assembly
- The Mayor also appoints seven borough representatives (to reflect the balance of parties in London local authorities), two Mayoral representatives and the Chair
- The London Assembly scrutinises the budget and performance of LFEPA
- The Mayor is responsible for developing a housing strategy and investing in London’s housing – including for new affordable homes – to meet the needs of London’s growing population
- The housing strategy also addresses issues such as homelessness, social housing, landlords and renting
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s housing strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
- The Mayor develops strategies to address environmental issues in London such as air quality, water, noise, climate change and public spaces
- The Mayor appoints members of the board of the Royal Parks Agency and is directly responsible for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s environmental strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
Planning and development
- The Mayor develops a planning strategy for London which sets out a vision for the development of the capital for decades to come
- In certain cases, the Mayor may act as the planning authority for London with the power to approve or reject planning applications for large developments
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s planning strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
Arts and culture
- The Mayor works to support and promote arts and cultural events – everything from film and theatre, to celebrations and music
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor's culture strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
- The Mayor works to reduce the level of health inequalities in London and promotes improvements in Londoners’ health and well-being
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s health inequalities strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
- The Assembly also publishes a variety of research reports on how health changes impact London, such as obesity, epidemics and drug use
- The Mayor of London and the London Assembly are not responsible for any aspect of the National Health Service (NHS)
Economic development and regeneration
- The Mayor develops an economic development strategy and champions the city at home and abroad.
- The Mayor works to promote a strong economy in London, support local economies and help Londoners to create wealth
- The Mayor works closely with businesses and London’s councils, including through the London Enterprise Panel
- The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s economic development strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery
What is the Mayor not responsible for?
London’s councils, rather than the Mayor, are responsible for many of the services Londoners experience day-to-day like council housing, schools, social services, rubbish collection, street cleaning, parking permits, council tax collection and birth, death and marriage certificates. Central government leads on the NHS, welfare and most forms of taxation.