Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London

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Mayor of London:
Powers and duties

10 April 2003: Ken Livingstone was first elected Mayor of London on 4 May 2000. (2004 elections) His aim is to increase London's economic growth, raise its competitiveness, while reducing inequality and celebrating diversity. London is a leading world city and the Mayor's aim is to sustain and promote this position. To make this happen, the Mayor's priorities are to rebuild London's failing transport system, to ensure that London has the number and quality of police officers it needs to reduce crime and the fear of crime throughout Greater London, and to celebrate London's diversity through all aspects of the city's culture.

3 May 2008: Ken Livingstone lost to Boris Johnson in the May 2008 mayoral election

Read Andrew Steven's latest profile on Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London

What can the Mayor do?
The Mayor has a range of specific powers and duties, and a general power to do anything that will promote economic and social development, and environmental improvement, in London. Before using many of his powers the Mayor must consult with Londoners, and in all cases, the Mayor must promote equality of opportunity.

Setting strategies for London
The Mayor sets out plans and policies for London covering transport, buildings and land use, economic development and regeneration, culture, and a range of environmental issues including biodiversity, ambient noise, waste disposal and air quality.

These individual plans will fit together to help deliver the Mayor's policies. Between them, these plans must also contribute to sustainable development and the health of Londoners.

Funding services for London
The Mayor sets the annual budget for:
* The Greater London Authority
* The Metropolitan Police, who provide policing in the capital, under the supervision of the Metropolitan Police Authority
* Transport for London, which provides buses, river services and some light rail services, maintains London's main roads and regulates London's licensed taxi service (and will also run the tube, when it is handed over by central government)
* The London Development Agency, which works with business to sustain and improve London's role as a business centre, while increasing economic opportunity for all Londoners
* London Fire Brigade, which responds to fires and emergencies and promotes fire prevention, under the control of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Appointing people for London
The Mayor has made a number of important appointments. While staff in the Greater London Authority are appointed by the London Assembly, the Mayor appoints the boards of Transport for London and the London Development Agency. Ken Livingstone also chairs Transport for London, and has led the recruitment of its senior managers, including Robert Kiley, the Commissioner for Transport.

The Police and Fire Authorities are independent bodies, but the Mayor appoints some members of the Police Authority, following nominations by the London Assembly. He also appoints the Fire Authority, following nominations by the London Assembly and London boroughs.

A Cultural Strategy Group appointed by the Mayor develops plans for social enrichment. This covers everything from sport to architectural heritage and the performing arts in London.

Ken Livingstone has also set up an Advisory Cabinet, comprising a wide range of interests and communities, which meets monthly in public to advise on the Mayor's policies.

The boards directly appointed by the Mayor are chosen on merit, but also broadly mirror London in their representation of black and Asian people, women, and people with disabilities.

Other powers and duties
The Mayor's Spatial Development Strategy will set out the policies for new building and land use in London. Major planning applications have to be referred to the Mayor by London boroughs, and he can direct the refusal of those that are not in accordance with the GLA's policies. The Mayor also has control over the management of two of London's most important public spaces, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.

Term of appointment and next election
The Mayor is elected for a fixed term of four years. The next election of Mayor and Assembly will be in May 2004.

The role of Mayor is a full-time job. The Mayor's salary was set by the Government following the recommendation of the Review Body on Senior Salaries. In 2002/03 the salary was £108,000 ($167,000).

London's new City Hall

The London Assembly
The London Assembly, which comprises 25 members, was elected on the same day as the vote for the Mayor. The London Assembly's role is to provide a check and a balance on the Mayor by scrutinising the Mayor's performance and making proposals to the Mayor. It also has powers to amend the Mayor's budget, subject to a two-thirds majority decision. The Assembly reviews the Mayor's draft strategies and gives its views on them in meetings that are open to the public. It is also empowered to investigate issues of Londonwide significance and make proposals to appropriate stakeholders. To find out more go to the About the Assembly page.

The Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is not a traditional local authority providing a range of public services but, under the direction of the Mayor, exists to provide strategic direction for the future of London.
London government