The Liberal Democrats have called for the axing of the Government Office for London.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Second Reading of the Greater London Authority (GLA) Bill, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson, Tom Brake MP set three tests for the bill: “whether it delivers greater devolution to London, greater devolution within London, and more mayoral accountability.”
Mr Brake also said that increase in powers for the GLA “must spell the end of Whitehall’s Government Office for London” and described the body as an “extra tier of unnecessary bureaucracy” which should be scrapped.
“Greater devolution within London must mean the Mayor taking powers from central Government, not grasping powers such as planning controls from local Councils.”
However Mr Brake said his party would “oppose any planning ‘smash and grab’ by the Mayor.”
Brake also said that greater accountability of the Mayor should require him to secure “the support of the majority of Assembly members for his budget rather than the derisory third who can sign it off at present. There could then be an end to the Mayor’s careless spending spree which has seen his charge to London’s taxpayers increase by 100% in four years.”