We’ll be reflecting on those early days of London government throughout May, starting on the 12th with a feature looking back at the inaugural London Assembly meeting which took place on that day 10 years ago.
Among the newly elected ranks of Assembly Members were the still serving Brian Coleman, John Biggs, Richard Barnes, Nicky Gavron, Len Duvall, Roger Evans, Val Shawcross, Darren Johnson, Jenny Jones and Tony Arbour.
I was present to witness that first Assembly gathering and still recall discussing with others in the audience our excited expectations of what London Government would deliver.
With Crossrail taking shape around us, the London Overground a reality, the successful rollout of Oyster and the support for a fairer wage for Londoners, there can be few left who doubt the need for a strong, elected voice to speak up for the capital and the impact that voice can have.
As well as the obvious major transport and infrastructure benefits, devolution has also brought an unprecedented level of discussion about the issues affecting our city.
Whereas in 2000 reporting and discussion of London governance was largely the territory of a single newspaper and regional news slots on the BBC and ITV, today there’s a host of independent blogs, plus those published by the Guardian and Telegraph, which discuss, report and debate key issues affecting our city.
Sure there have missteps during the past 10 years and, inevitably, each of us will have a list of policies and initiatives we’ve opposed with as much passion as we’ve supported others but I genuinely believe that the legacy of two Mayors and 36 current and former Assembly Members is a London more vibrant, more modern and more confident than would taken shape with unaccountable technocrats and remote Ministers leading the agenda.