While the intent behind the rules is to stop politicians pumping out tax funded PR which might help sway voters, when applied to a strategic scrutiny body such as the Assembly, the actual impact is to impede the public challenging of top decision makers at agencies such as Transport for London and the Met Police.
I arrived at City Hall in May 2016 and one of the things that surprised me the most was the amount of plastic in use in building – plastic knives, forks and spoons if you bought food in the canteen but wanted to eat it elsewhere, plastic “glasses” which emerged every time water was offered to guests – and so on.
Having previously called for Val and Sadiq to clean out the over-represented “mayoral mates and silent vested interests” which used to sit on the TfL board, it’s good to see their efforts to do just that are paying off.
If as a result of government cuts and Sadiq’s fares freeze it now has to catch-up with the rest of the public sector and review how many layers of management it needs, and ask whether some functions really need to be carried out by separate teams with similar remits, then this is a very welcome development.
The London Plan has highlighted the need for the capital to deliver 66,000 homes a year. None of this will be fully possible without Crossrail 2, argues Dr Nelson Ogunshakin of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).