The new coalition Government has vowed to abolish the Government Office for London, a move previously called for by all parties on the London Assembly in a motion passed last December.
The Office, which claims to “speak up for London” in the development of central Government policy, was set up in 1994 when the capital had no central voice but was subsequently retained at significant cost to the taxpayer despite devolution to the capital in 2000. In 2008/9 the organisation incurred admin costs of more than £15m.
A ‘programme for government‘ published by the new Westminster government promises to “abolish the Government Office for London and consider the case for abolishing the remaining Government Offices.”
Last year’s Assembly motion called for the Office to be abolished “to avoid duplication of activity, save money and improve accountability.”
Former London Assembly Chair and Green Party AM Darren Johnson has described GoL as a “bureaucratic dinosaur”.
Responding to today’s news current London Assembly Chair Dee Doocey AM said: “We welcome the government’s decision to scrap this unnecessary bureaucracy. At a time when all public services are facing a severe financial squeeze spending £15 million on the administrative costs for an organisation that duplicates many activities carried out elsewhere in London cannot be justified.
We look forward to seeing new proposals for a streamlined and efficient conduit between London’s directly elected government and Whitehall departments, coordinating work between departments affecting London and providing oversight of public sector performance in the capital”