It is now four years since the Greater London Authority was introduced and the first mayoral elections took place. Created by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, these bodies created controversy from the start. The London Assembly however is now an established institution while the Mayor has brought several key changes to the functioning of the city, most notably the introduction of congestion charging. Even so, such major changes in the city’s governance raise the question of whether the whole experience has been a positive one on which to build.
London Calling: Reflections on four years of the GLA and solutions for the future is an NLGN collection of essays on the work of the Assembly and the Mayor that reflect on the first four years of London’s new governance and offer proposals about its future evolution. The range of opinions reflect the authors’ different links to the GLA – viewed as they are from the perspective of local authorities, business, the voluntary and community sector, academia and the media. The essayists also include both an Assembly member and an adviser to Mayor Ken Livingstone.
This NLGN collection offers a broad view of a new and developing institution at work – and of a body whose powers do not always appear clearly to everyone. As the 2004 mayoral elections approach, the criticisms, approvals and indeed new ideas contained in this report can help shape the long-term future of London governance.