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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
London: Mayoral powers
Zia Trench
Zia Trench
Politics Show London

London mayor Ken Livingstone
London mayor Ken Livingstone has powers over transport in the city

On Thursday 13 July the role of London mayor, Ken Livingstone, was enhanced by a range of new responsibilities.

The government gave him new powers over housing, adult skills and planning decisions and additional strategic authority in areas such as waste, culture and climate change.

The London Assembly was also given greater powers of scrutiny.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Minister for London, said "I believe this is good news for London.

"The GLA has been a great success providing clear strong leadership for the capital."

Ken Livingstone said "The announcement is welcome recognition of the successes already achieved through the mayoral system."

Limitations lifted

His responsibilities were limited to largely strategic powers under the 1999 Act which created the Greater London Assembly (GLA).

He is responsible for the GLA's executive functions, while the London Assembly scrutinises his decisions.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly said both the assembly and the mayor would gain from Thursday's announcement.

The assembly will be able to set its own budget, publish an annual report and hold hearings with candidates for key mayoral appointments.

But Conservative leader in the London Assembly, Angie Bray, said it did not strengthen their powers enough.

She added: "This is... little more than a smash and grab raid on borough power.

"This is confounded by the failure to grant the London Assembly the necessary extra powers to do their scrutiny job to the best of their ability. "

On Sunday Tim Donovan talks to two former mayoral candidates Conservative Steve Norris and Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes MP, together with the Minister for London.

We examine the state of housing in London and ask whether the Mayor's new powers will provide new impetus to deal with the growing housing crisis in the capital.

She will also look at the record of the police during 2006, from the outcry over their shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell in July 2005 and the heavy handed raid in Forest Gate in June 2006 ... to the introduction of new community policing and extra funding for the bobbies on the beat.

And she will talk to a wide variety of Londoners about what they think of their mayor.

The Politics Show London

The Politics Show returns on Sunday 17 September 2006 at 12.00pm on BBC One.

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