July 2006 Archives

New Powers for the Mayor and the GLA have been announced.

There was a "Public Consultation", but, of course, the Government went ahead with its plans anyway, regardless.

The extra powers for the Greater London Assembly do not seem to amount to much.

  • The Assembly will be able to set its own budget and will publish an annual report setting out its work and achievements over the previous twelve months.

Achievements ? That will be a new concept for them.

  • The Assembly will be able to hold confirmation hearings for key appointments the Mayor proposes to make.

Does that mean that they actually have a veto on the appointment of someone ? What about the exorbitant salary and expesnese of some of the Mayor's appointments , like Bob Kiley etc ?

  • The Mayor will be required to have specific regard to the views of the Assembly and the functional bodies in preparing or revising his strategies. He will need to provide reasoned justifications where he is not acting on their advice.

Presumably he can just go ahead regardless, so long as some "reasoned justifications" are presented ?

  • The Mayor and Assembly will jointly appoint the Authority's statutory posts. Most other Greater London Authority staff will be appointed by the Head of Paid Service.

The new powers for the Mayor:

  • The Mayor will have the discretion to appoint political representatives to the TfL Board.

  • The Mayor will either appoint the Chair of the MPA or assume the role of Chair himself.

  • The Mayor will appoint two members of the LFEPA Board, and will be able to direct and issue guidance to the Authority.

LFEPA = London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

The new powers for the Mayor also include

The Mayor will have the discretion to determine planning applications of strategic importance.

This seems to allow the Mayor to meddle even more in planning decisions, something which will, no doubt, lead him to be lobbied, wined and dined even more, by property speculators.

Most controversially, "The Mayor will either appoint the Chair of the MPA or assume the role of Chair himself" i.e. the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority

That is not independent scrutiny of the Police, it is political meddling !

Today marks a year since the evil terrorist attacks on the Tube and Bus system in London. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the atrocity, and to their families.

We also have sympathy with everyone else who has been stressed or terrorised by those futile attacks which can never achieve what the misguided terrorists hoped for.

However there are still a large number of unanswered questions, yet the Government is still resisting calls for an Independent Public Inquiry.

No doubt we will hear Sir Ian Blair and Ken Livingstone and the Labour Government spin doctors claiming that three or is it four major terrorist attacks have somehow magically been foiled since last July, but without any producing any actual details to back up these claims.

We would like to know just how many such attacks have been foiled by the abuse of the Terrorism Act section 44 stop and search reasonable cause powers by the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police etc.. We suspect that the answer is zero.

We wonder how may innocent people will be hassled today by the extra armed Police on the streets and the public transport system, who will be on duty simply as a gesture which will not make us any safer.

We can do without any more incidents like what happened to David Mery last year, or even the incident involving a metal detector at Highgate and Islington Tube station last Friday.

We can certainly do without another Police shooting and killing of an innocent man like Jean Charles Menezes.

We are no safer from terrorists as a reult of the Designated Area around Parliament Square, which restricts our freedom of assembly and of free speech, and in which it now seems that even simply reading the wrong newspaper can put you under suspicion.

What has our useless Mayor of London Ken Livingstone done for us in the last year ?

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Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

asboconcern logo
ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

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