avatar GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY Public Administration
  • Location: LONDON 
  • Founded:
  • Website:


  • Page 1

    ELECTED BY YOU – WORKING FOR LONDONERS The London Assembly Annual Report 2016-17

  • Page 2

    Holding the Mayor to account and investigating issues that matter to Londoners

  • Page 3

    Contents Foreword ........................................................................................................................ 5 About us.......................................................................................................................... 8 Our committees ............................................................................................................ 10 The work of our committees ........................................................................................ 17 1. Money, money, money ..................................................................................... 18 2. Watching the wheels in London ........................................................................ 21 3. Law and order .................................................................................................... 25 4. In residence ....................................................................................................... 31 5. The big picture ................................................................................................... 35 6. Getting down to business .................................................................................. 38 7. Talking about regeneration ............................................................................... 42 8. In good health.................................................................................................... 46 9. Our environment ............................................................................................... 50 10. London’s learning and the votes are in ............................................................ 53 11. A voice for the capital during Brexit ................................................................. 55 How much the London Assembly costs and how we allocate your money ................. 57 The year ahead ............................................................................................................. 58 Your representatives at City Hall 2016—17 ................................................................ 60 Meet your Assembly for 2017—18 ............................................................................. 61 Orders and translations ................................................................................................ 67 London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 3

  • Page 4

    Mayor’s Question Time in the Chamber at City Hall, 25 May 2016 London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 4

  • Page 5

    Foreword Tony Arbour AM Chairman of the London Assembly 2016—17 The transition from one Mayor to another could have been difficult; however the Assembly has been fortunate that the transformation from Johnson to Khan has been as seamless as the transmogrifications of Dr Who. The influx of new members has given a new energy to our task of holding the Mayor to account whilst he seeks to ensure that London has a fair deal. This has been a year of highs and lows for the capital when unspeakable atrocities have been matched by astonishing heroism. Truly the spirit of London is as inspirational and unquenchable now as it has ever been. On a more quotidian level, the Assembly has been more formal and sober than before, which has, I think, led to our reports and proceedings being taken more seriously. For the first time a Minister of State has been questioned by Members and I look forward to “Truly the such an event becoming routine. spirit of It is a commonplace for us to be criticised as London is as pointless. However, as Brexit is being inspirational negotiated London does need to make its and views known and I find it astonishing that, although our contribution to the nation’s unquenchable economy dwarfs that of the devolved now as it has administrations, there is no proper platform ever been.” for us. It is my hope that we can build on the foundations laid this year, for the greatest city in the world to have its words not only listened to, but acted upon. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 5

  • Page 6

    London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 6

  • Page 7

    London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 7

  • Page 8

    About us The London Assembly is your voice at City Hall—holding the Mayor to account. Who we are The London Assembly is part of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and is based at City Hall. The Assembly is made up of 25 Members who are elected by Londoners at the same time as the Mayor of London. Eleven Assembly Members represent the whole of the capital and 14 represent constituencies which comprise of two or three London boroughs. A full list of your representatives for 2016—17 is available on page 60. During 2016—17 the Assembly consisted of twelve Labour Members; eight Conservatives; two from the Green Party; two from the UK Independence Party; and one Liberal Democrat Member. Assembly Members are supported by a Secretariat, which includes a Scrutiny Team to assist with policy research development and to ensure the public is made aware of the activities of the Assembly and its committees. In addition, a Committee Services team manages the administration and governance of this work. The Secretariat also includes staff who support each Assembly Member with their wider representative activities on behalf of constituents and Londoners. Our role The Mayor has to answer to Londoners at the ballot box every four years, but the job of the London Assembly is to ensure the Mayor is held accountable every day. We hold the Mayor and Deputy Mayors to account by publicly examining the policies, activities and decisions that affect Londoners. We question the Mayor’s plans and actions directly at Mayor’s Question Time and our committees examine issues that matter to Londoners through public meetings and investigations. The Mayor is also required to consult Assembly Members ahead of producing statutory strategies and the £16 billion a year budget, which includes the GLA portion of your Council Tax. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 8

  • Page 9

    In addition to City Hall duties, some Assembly Members also represent Londoners on the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). Mayor’s Question Time Mayor’s Question Time—held ten times a year—is when the Mayor answers questions directly from Assembly Members. This is the most visible example of our scrutiny. Questions are asked on the full range of matters within the Mayor’s remit, including housing, policing, transport and the environment. Londoners can get involved in Mayor’s Question Time by watching at City Hall, tuning in via webcast or YouTube, or by submitting questions for Members to ask the Mayor. In the last year 4,630 questions were asked of the Mayor. Like all Assembly meetings, these sessions are held in public and broadcast online to ensure the maximum level of transparency and accountability. All questions and answers are published on our website. Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall, May 2016 Motions and petitions Assembly Members propose and vote on motions about issues of importance to the capital at Plenary meetings. Members can also agree to petition the Mayor or organisations within the GLA Group on behalf of Londoners. Examples of Assembly motions this year include: urging the Mayor to fight homophobia and promote community cohesion following the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; offering to assist with investigations into the Croydon derailment; supporting a campaign for a national HIV memorial; and calling on the Mayor to write to the Chancellor to protect London from severe business rate rises. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 9

  • Page 10

    Our committees Our committees and how to get involved Assembly Members are champions for London. They investigate issues that affect those who live, work and visit the capital and find ways to improve our city. The Assembly publishes reports recommending action by the Mayor, the GLA Group—including Transport for London (TfL), the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and London & Partners (L&P)—central Government, local authorities and others. The majority of London Assembly meetings are held in public and broadcast on the London Assembly website and YouTube, so Londoners can see and hear what is being done on their behalf. The BBC Parliament channel also broadcasts our meetings. The GLA has an active programme of engagement with schools, colleges and universities, encouraging students, as well as interested community groups, to come to City Hall to learn about London government and watch it in action at sessions like Mayor’s Question Time. Members of the public who wish to attend Assembly meetings can find times and locations on our public meetings calendar. Other ways to get involved include: • Contact Assembly Members directly to raise issues of concern. • Tweet us @LondonAssembly or e-mail us at: LondonAssemblyNews@London.gov.uk • Follow specific committee activity or join in the conversation on Twitter using: #AssemblyBudget, #AssemblyEconomy, #AssemblyEdu, #AssemblyEnv, #AssemblyOversight, #AssemblyHealth, #AssemblyHousing, #AssemblyPlanning, #AssemblyPolice, #AssemblyRegeneration #AssemblyTransport and #EUExit • Share your views on current London Assembly investigation topics. • Suggest a question for Mayor’s Question Time. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 10

  • Page 11

    • Attend People’s Question Time—the bi-annual public event held at different locations across the capital, where Londoners can put their questions directly to the London Assembly and the Mayor. • Watch our public meetings online via the London Assembly website or YouTube. In addition to the committees scrutinising the Mayor’s work—see a full list on page 17—we also explore the internal work of the GLA: The Audit Panel focuses on the security and monitoring of financial systems. It helps promote good practice and ensures an anti-fraud culture within the GLA. It liaises with external auditors and the Mayor, as appropriate, to approve the annual internal audit programme. It considers reports on expenses incurred by elected Members and senior officers and gifts and hospitality received by elected Members and senior officers. The Confirmation Hearings Committee examines Mayoral appointments. The Mayor must notify the Assembly when making important staff appointments and the Assembly has three weeks to respond with a recommendation as to whether the appointment should be confirmed. The Assembly may request that a candidate attends a Confirmation Hearing to answer questions about the appointment before making a recommendation. During 2016—17, the committee met to approve Chairs for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA); the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB); the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC); the Cultural Leadership Board; and the Deputy Chair of Transport for London (TfL). Improving transparency Transparency is one of our main priorities. Assembly committees scrutinise policy areas of GLA functional bodies and City Hall projects, so Londoners get the best value for money from their services. The GLA Oversight Committee is responsible for scrutinising the internal processes of the GLA and monitoring City Hall budgets and procurements, and bringing this information into the public domain. The committee met nine times in 2016—17. In November 2016, the Mayor appointed Ms Amy Lamé as London’s first Night Czar. Following this announcement, concerns were raised by Assembly Members about how Ms Lamé was recruited to the post. The GLA Oversight Committee examined the recruitment process to confirm the appointment was undertaken in line with the GLA’s processes and procedures and to London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 11

  • Page 12

    highlight concerns with the content of Ms Lamé’s social media. Following that meeting and in response to questions raised, the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries wrote to the committee to confirm that the relevant Twitter posts had been deleted and to clarify the legal basis for the recruitment process. Other significant work on transparency was undertaken by the Budget and Performance and Regeneration Committees which revealed the escalating costs of the transformation of the Olympic Stadium. With a new Mayor in post, the GLA Oversight Committee also played a role in reviewing the many proposals to restructure, expand or reduce teams in the GLA’s establishment. A series of ‘proposed changes to the GLA establishment’ papers were considered and questions were raised about grading of roles and the costs of accommodating further teams at City Hall, Union Street or elsewhere. Diversity and inclusion In order to accurately reflect London’s diversity and ensure a variety of perspectives inform our investigations, Assembly committees aim to attract a diverse range of guests to appear at formal meetings. Committees also strive to ensure that guests have a positive experience of the Assembly and are able to contribute fully to its work. The Assembly continued to survey committee guests during 2016—17 to collect information on diversity characteristics and to invite feedback on the experience of appearing at a committee meeting. Since May 2015, the survey has been sent to all guests appearing before all Assembly committees. There has also been a significant body of work undertaken in committees to ensure that London’s public services serve the whole of its community. For example, our Health Committee looked at access to mental health services for marginalised communities including LGBT+ people; Deaf and disabled Londoners; and offenders. And in November 2016, the Transport Committee questioned TfL over the closure of ticket offices and raised a number of concerns relating to those with mobility support needs. You can see further examples of the Assembly’s work on equalities issues as part of the Mayor’s Annual Equality Report for 2016—17. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 12

  • Page 13

    Events As well as formal committee work, the London Assembly hosts a range of events to engage, celebrate, remember and challenge. Engaging Twice a year, Assembly Members and the Mayor hold People’s Question Time, known as PQT. This evening event is open to all and gives Londoners an opportunity to ask their elected representatives what they are doing to improve life in their area. This year’s events took place in Brent and Sutton. People’s Question Time in Brent, chaired by Navin Shah AM In November 2016, over 600 Londoners attended the event at Brent Civic Centre. The most discussed topics on social media on the night were transport, crime and housing in London, and specifically, ticket office closures, hate crime, FGM and expenditure on the Garden Bridge. Watch the video of Brent PQT. During March, in Sutton, Assembly Members and the Mayor were joined by 680 Londoners and the venue reached full capacity. During the event, the topics of most concern to members of the public on social media were transport, environment and housing, and specifically the Croydon tram derailment, rail devolution, air pollution, Heathrow expansion and affordable housing. Watch the video of Sutton PQT. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 13

  • Page 14

    People’s Question Time in Sutton, chaired by Steve O’Connell AM Celebrating The Chair of the London Assembly, who is elected by Assembly Members each year, is given the opportunity to host an annual reception to raise the profile of an issue of their choosing. The 2016—17 Chairman, Tony Arbour AM, hosted an evening reception in February to celebrate the work of the thousands of volunteers who keep London’s uniformed youth organisations running. The Chairman recognised the work of the volunteers who transform the lives of many young Londoners and noted that their dedication helps deliver four million hours of activities per year. Around 200 adult volunteers, young people and stakeholders were invited to the event, which brought together representatives from the Air Training Corps, the Army Cadet Force, Girlguiding, the Boys’ Brigade, the Girls’ Brigade, the Fire Cadets, the Scouts, St John Ambulance, the Volunteer Police Cadets and more. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 14

  • Page 15

    Assembly Chairman Tony Arbour AM with volunteers from London’s uniformed youth organisations and the young people they serve Remembering The London Assembly has an important formal role in commemorating significant events. On 23 March 2017, the London Assembly condemned the terrorist attack on Westminster during an emergency meeting at City Hall. The motion stated that terrorists will not change London’s democratic way of life or undermine Londoners’ tolerance and solidarity. The motion extended condolences to those affected by the attack and expressed the Assembly’s gratitude to the emergency services. In January, the Chair of the London Assembly, the Mayor of London and Assembly Members joined Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, survivors of the Holocaust and the Cambodian genocide, and other Londoners at City Hall’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony. Organised to remember victims of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, and marking 72 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, this year’s theme was ‘How Can Life Go On?’ which considered the aftermath of such crimes. View photos from the ceremony. Each November, City Hall hosts an Annual Service of Remembrance for London’s war dead. Representatives from the armed forces, the Royal British Legion, the emergency services and faith groups joined Assembly Members and the Mayor, as Chairman Tony Arbour AM opened the proceedings, before wreaths were laid at the City Hall War Memorial. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 15

  • Page 16

    The Assembly’s Remembrance Day Service, November 2016 In June, Assembly Members joined war veterans and representatives from the armed forces, military trusts and charities to mark Armed Forces Day with a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall. The ceremony is held each year to honour the bravery and commitment of London’s past and present service personnel. Challenging In January, Deputy Chair Jennette Arnold OBE AM hosted the London Assembly Tackling FGM Conference: an event for London’s frontline practitioners. The event included speakers from across the education, health and social care sectors as well as the Met Police and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. Roundtable sessions allowed practitioners from across London to hold open discussions about how they can work collaboratively to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The Tackling FGM Conference brought together London’s frontline practitioners, helping them to work collaboratively to end FGM London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 16

  • Page 17

    The work of our committees This section details more about the activities of the London Assembly committees during 2016—17. Some committees, such as the Transport Committee, have a clearly defined role looking at a specific area of the Mayor’s remit, where he has statutory powers. Others, such as the Health or Economy Committees, look at some of the less formal powers of the Mayor, including the ability to influence Government. At its annual meeting in May each year, the Assembly establishes its committee structure, memberships and terms of reference. During 2016—17 the London Assembly formed the following committees: • Audit Panel • Budget and Performance Committee • Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee • Confirmation Hearings Committee • Economy Committee • Environment Committee • GLA Oversight Committee • Health Committee • Housing Committee • Planning Committee • Police and Crime Committee • Regeneration Committee • Transport Committee The following were also formed: • Devolution Working Group • Education Panel • Election Review Panel • EU Exit Working Group You can find a summary of London Assembly achievements this year on pages 6—7 and our plans for 2017—18 on pages 58—59. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 17

  • Page 18

    1. Money, money, money The Budget and Performance Committee scrutinises how the Mayor spends the £16 billion budget for London. This important work is supported by the specialist Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee. The two committees examine the expenditure and performance of the main areas of spending within the GLA and its functional bodies including: Transport for London (TfL), the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 18

  • Page 19

    Scrutinising the budget for London The Budget and Performance Committee has the responsibility of examining the Mayor’s draft budget before it is voted on by the whole of the Assembly. As part of this scrutiny, the committee publishes its Pre-Budget Report every year. The report sets out the key financial issues facing the Mayor as he prepares the budget for London. In its report, the committee highlighted concerns over TfL’s finances, uncertainty over business rates income, and a perceived lack of transparency from the Mayor’s team in agreeing the budget for the next year. It also examined the thinking behind the Mayor’s increase in Council Tax, the first such increase since 2008. In January 2017, the committee concluded its scrutiny of the Mayor’s budget proposals, publishing its Response to the Mayor’s draft consultation budget 2017—18. This made a final round of recommendations for the Mayor and flagged any outstanding issues, such as the terms of West Ham United Football Club’s lease for the London Stadium. In addition, the committee expressed concerns over the finances of the LLDC and the OPDC and stressed the ongoing challenging financial positions of the Metropolitan Police Service and TfL. It also reiterated a lack of transparency in certain elements of the budget process, particularly with regards to the inconsistent presentation of savings and efficiencies, as well as a 40 per cent reduction in funding for the OPDC. In his response to the report, the Mayor provided additional information about funding for the police and committed to providing further information about funding for environmental priorities. The Mayor also confirmed that he was doubling contingency funding for the OPDC from £1 million to £2 million. TfL finances and the fares freeze pledge In September, the committee published the findings of its investigation into TfL’s financial position. The committee had examined how TfL planned to do more with less—reduce costs and generate additional income whilst passenger numbers increased and service expansions went ahead. It also looked at the implications of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments, including the pledge to freeze fares for four years. The report, Transport for London’s financial challenge, concluded that the Mayor’s commitments to freeze fares, protect concessions and introduce the bus hopper ticket have put extra pressure on TfL’s finances, already under strain because of government funding cuts and the fallout of the failed signalling contract with Bombardier. The committee was particularly concerned about the risks to TfL’s capital investment programme, and challenged TfL to provide more detail on its savings plans. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 19

  • Page 20

    Fighting crime without CCTV Following Westminster Council’s decision to withdraw its funding for CCTV in the borough, the Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee and the Budget and Performance Committee held sessions with the Metropolitan Police Service to discuss the funding of CCTV systems across London and the implications for fighting crime around the capital if other councils follow suit. In the October 2016 session, MOPAC and the Met committed to working together to find an immediate solution to Westminster’s funding issue and consider whether a pan-London approach was needed to fund CCTV across the capital. The Met has already made £1 billion of property sales, and is planning for more Policing London with no increased budget In October 2016, the committee assessed a drive by the Metropolitan Police to find efficiency savings. The Met needs to identify a further £400 million of savings by 2020, having already taken £600 million of costs out of its budget. The committee examined the Met’s progress with its estates, information technology, and commercial strategies. London Stadium spiralling costs The Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee examined the rising costs of the London Stadium with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in December. Media reports suggested that the costs of the stadium had risen by an additional £51 million—a figure confirmed by the LLDC’s Chief Executive during the meeting. The LLDC told the committee this would be the final cost increase for the stadium, and that the additional costs were primarily the result of having to appoint a new contractor after the previous contractor went bankrupt. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 20

  • Page 21

    2. Watching the wheels in London Tubes, trains, buses, trams, taxis and minicabs, walking, cycling and roads all make up the complex transport structure in London. The Transport Committee examines all aspects of the capital's transport system in order to press for improvements for Londoners. The committee pays particular attention to how the Mayor's Transport Strategy is being implemented, and looks closely at the work of Transport for London and other transport operators. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 21

  • Page 22

    Grid-locked London – the congestion question In 2014—15, central London traffic experienced a total annual delay of 4.9 million minutes per kilometre of road. After a long period of stability, traffic volumes have increased in all areas of London. As part of its investigation, the committee commissioned a survey of Londoners to learn about their experience of congestion and hear their views on charging for road use. The survey showed there is strong support for road pricing, bringing significant new evidence to the debate. Transport Committee Members toured the Surface Traffic Control Centre on a visit to the TfL Palestra offices In January, the Transport Committee published its report, London Stalling, which called on the Mayor to reform the Congestion Charge and ultimately replace it with a road pricing scheme and introduce measures to reduce delivery van traffic and the impact of roadworks. The report encouraged widespread debate in the media. The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have confirmed that a number of the committee’s recommendations are being taken forward. This includes a restriction on staff receiving personal deliveries at TfL premises, efforts to establish more delivery consolidation centres, and moving toward partnerships with multiple retailers for ‘click and collect’ services at stations. Subsequently the draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy set out the Mayor’s intention to consider a new road pricing scheme, as recommended by the committee. Both Steve O’Connell AM of the GLA Conservatives and David Kurten AM of UKIP have minority views on this report. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 22

  • Page 23

    Oxford Street – a feet only street? Every hour, 270 buses travel along Oxford Street. Between January 2012 and September 2015 a pedestrian was involved in a collision on Oxford Street approximately every seven days. 500,000 pedestrians walk Oxford Street every day During its investigation, the committee explored how the Mayor could fulfil his manifesto commitment to pedestrianise Oxford Street, looking at the implications for road users and retailers and factoring in pedestrian safety and road congestion. Committee Members discovered that the Mayor is planning to pedestrianise Oxford Street by 2020, setting out detailed timings that had not been made public. Having met with representatives of local businesses, residents, road users, TfL and Westminster City Council, in September 2016 the committee published a letter to the Mayor spelling out what it believed needed to be done to make the pedestrianisation plan achievable. It recommended innovative changes to bus routes and service patterns, including an immediate priority for TfL to reduce the number of buses on Oxford Street without creating additional congestion elsewhere. Holding TfL to account Increasing passenger numbers, rising congestion, Tube station staffing issues, the need to make £4 billion of savings over the next five years—the committee recognised the mounting pressures on London’s transport system and questioned TfL Commissioner, Mike Brown, in March to find out how TfL is responding, to ensure the system continues to function efficiently for Londoners. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 23

  • Page 24

    Committee Members questioned the Commissioner about a range of strategic transport issues, including TfL’s emerging approach to the regulation of the private hire industry, priorities for new cycling infrastructure, delays in the Tube upgrade programme, and future plans for the staffing of Tube stations. Transport Committee Members took a look behind-the-scenes at the major upgrades of London Bridge station London’s buses The committee investigated London’s buses in early 2016, considering both safety and the planning of the bus network. The work on safety explored the causes of a rise in collisions involving buses, with the committee speaking to victims of collisions, bus drivers and operators. In a forthcoming report, the committee will recommend ways TfL can incentivise safety. For network planning, the committee identified the need to increase bus capacity in outer London and offer passengers faster services on major corridors. Night Tube, ticket office closures and Heathrow expansion During November and December 2016, the committee scrutinised major new developments in transport when Committee Members questioned TfL about the initial rollout of the Night Tube, highlighting concerns from some residents about noise, and the effects of the Tube ticket office closure programme. In December 2016, the committee examined the Government’s plans for expanding Heathrow Airport, raising concerns about the lack of planning and investment in new surface transport schemes to accommodate a large growth in passenger numbers, staff and freight movements. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 24

  • Page 25

    3. Law and order The Police and Crime Committee examines the work of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) - which oversees the Metropolitan Police and produces London’s Police and Crime Plan, the four-year blueprint for tackling crime in the capital. The committee meets formally, in public, twice a month. One of these meetings is used for a question and answer (Q&A) session with representatives from the Metropolitan Police and MOPAC on current issues; the other is to consider a particular topic or aspect of policing and crime in greater detail, hearing from a range of guests and often resulting in a report with recommendations for the Mayor. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 25

  • Page 26

    Tackling electoral fraud after Tower Hamlets During 2015, there were 481 recorded cases of electoral fraud across the UK—111 of these related to London. In the run up to the 2014 Tower Hamlets Mayoral election, 164 allegations of electoral fraud were made. Following an election petition alleging corrupt practices, the High Court ruled that there had been a variety of corrupt and illegal practices and the election was made void, but no criminal prosecutions followed. In response to public concern, the committee investigated the difficulties involved in tackling election fraud and malpractice in London. Following its review, the committee wrote to MOPAC to request further investigation into the work carried out by the Met in relation to the Tower Hamlets Mayoral Election. The Committee found that investigations into electoral fraud in London were not undertaken to the highest possible standards In a significant move, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime implemented the committee’s recommendation and wrote to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to request an independent investigation. In addition, the committee’s work prompted the Met to launch its own investigation, Operation Lynemouth, to look at whether there is sufficient evidence to mount criminal prosecutions related to the 2014 Tower Hamlets Mayoral Election.i i The Met is carrying out a four strand investigation, overseen by HMIC, with a team of specialist investigators looking at the totality of alleged criminal offending, including examining 27 files arising from the Election Court to ascertain whether those files contain anything that changes the previous advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, changes the decisions made by the Metropolitan Police Service, or requires further investigation. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 26

  • Page 27

    Policing Europe’s largest street carnival Notting Hill Carnival hits the headlines every year, but often for the wrong reasons. Following reports that arrests at Notting Hill Carnival had reached record levels, the committee carried out an urgent piece of work looking at the existing policing and security arrangements to identify any improvements that could be made to keep people safe. The committee was concerned to find that while the number of crimes at Carnival has risen over recent years, what is most significant is the rise in serious and violent incidents. The Met Police recorded 151 offences of violence against the person at Carnival in 2016, an 86 per cent increase on 2010. Overcrowding also poses a significant safety risk, with the Met Police warning of a potentially “catastrophic public safety incident” which could result in loss of life. Putting these two issues together, the report, Notting Hill Carnival: safer and better, concluded that there is a very real threat of serious harm to a large number of people. The investigation created the impetus for MOPAC to commission a major review of crowd management arrangements at Carnival and of how the Carnival is run. The cost of policing and stewarding Notting Hill Carnival exceeded £8 million in 2016 The rise of serious youth violence The number of victims of serious youth violence in the capital has increased by over 20 per cent in just four years, to over 6,000 in 2015—16. Half of all reports of youth violence involved a knife. A key reason for the increase, particularly of knife crime, is the belief among young people that they need to be prepared to defend themselves. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 27

  • Page 28

    The committee investigated the issue of serious youth violence and in particular the increase in knife crime among young people. Its report, Serious Youth Violence, was published in September 2016. The report concluded that if a serious incident occurs, there needs to be a concerted effort by the police and other agencies to reassure young people that they are safe and to tackle the immediate sense of danger. This may be through intelligence-led stop and search, more visible patrols, or by agencies working with local youth clubs and schools. The report received widespread media interest—and helped to bring the rise of serious youth violence to the attention of the public and policy makers. ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Police and Crime Committee Chairman Steve O’Connell AM speaks to BBC London about the rise in serious youth violence Violence against Women and Girls Through its investigation into how Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) can be better addressed and victims better supported, the committee found that reports of VAWG in London are rising, as victims gain confidence to come forward. This is to be welcomed, but increased reporting has not translated into increased action against alleged perpetrators. The low level of action against perpetrators suggests that the Met has struggled to keep up with the increase in reports. In the year to September 2016, for example, there were over 70,000 domestic offences reported, but only 28 per cent of these resulted in a charge, caution or other outcome. This compares to 41 per cent of the 48,000 offences reported in the year to September 2012. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 28

  • Page 29

    The committee’s report, Violence Against Women and Girls, published in November 2016, concluded that while the increase in reporting should be seen as a success, there is a risk that public confidence will be lost if the resources available cannot meet demand. The report called on the Mayor to provide visible leadership on the issue and to ensure that services meet demand. The Mayor has committed to a refresh of the current VAWG strategy, and to a campaign to raise awareness of the issues and tackle unacceptable attitudes towards women and girls. London’s Police and Crime Plan In February 2017, the committee published its response to the Mayor’s Draft Police and Crime Plan. The response made a number of recommendations asking the Mayor to amend parts of the plan, or consider certain issues in more detail. It stressed that the final plan, and subsequent strategies, should build and inspire confidence both of the police in its leadership, and of the public in the police’s ability to respond to their needs. The Mayor’s final plan, which was published at the end of March, adopted many of the suggestions made by the committee. For example, it committed to specific work in the areas of custody healthcare and mental health—issues that the committee has been raising concerns about for some time. Getting answers from the Met Once a month, the committee publicly questions the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and a senior representative from the Met at City Hall—this is often the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner. The Q&A sessions are a platform for the committee to publicly hold the Mayor’s Office and the Met to account and ask topical questions in a public forum. The committee is in a unique position to do this and the meetings are regularly broadcast on TV and attended by journalists. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 29

  • Page 30

    Issues raised during Q&A sessions this year have included: moped and motorbike-enabled crime; neighbourhood policing; the use of spit guards in custody suites; the rise in hate crime; and the appointment of a new Commissioner. The Committee publicly questioning former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe; Deputy Commissioner, Craig Mackey; and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 30

  • Page 31

    4. In residence The Housing Committee scrutinises the Mayor’s role and record in delivering the homes London needs. The Mayor has specific responsibilities for strategic housing, regeneration and economic development. These include producing a statutory housing strategy, providing new affordable homes, improving existing social rented homes, managing a portfolio of public land and delivering regeneration projects. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 31

  • Page 32

    In the hot seat: the new Deputy Mayor for Housing London experiences a lack of genuinely affordable homes, rising rents, a growing number of empty properties, increasing homelessness, and a population growing by 100,000 every year. London’s housing crisis became the focus of the Mayoral election debates in 2016 and continues to dominate news in the capital. In June, the committee publicly questioned the newly-appointed Deputy Mayor for Housing—one of the most high profile roles in the new administration—to gain an early insight into his thinking. Although his policies were still embryonic, two hours of public discussion so early in his term of office were of great interest to the London housing community. Housing vulnerable adults Supported housing provides homes for some of the most vulnerable people in our society—these include people with physical or learning disabilities, frail and older people, people at risk of domestic violence, young people leaving care and homeless people. As the Government reviews how supported housing is funded, the committee took the opportunity to investigate the current supply and demand for supported housing in the capital and the implications of changes to rent levels and Housing Benefit. Supported housing offers vulnerable people security and choice in their accommodation In November, the committee published its report, Supported Housing in the Balance, which assessed the challenges facing supported housing in the capital. It highlighted worrying concerns that hundreds of the most vulnerable Londoners will face an uncertain future, unless the Mayor and the Government act immediately to rectify the situation. The report discovered an London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 32

  • Page 33

    underspend of £23.4 million in the Mayor’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (MCSSHF) which funds supported housing. A home for the birds and the bees The Housing Committee’s report, At Home with Nature: Encouraging biodiversity in new housing developments, explored how new housing can be provided in London without losing green spaces and damaging natural wildlife habitats. The report was a rapporteur investigation undertaken on behalf of the committee by Leonie Cooper AM. It recommended that the Mayor amend the London Plan to ensure biodiversity is enhanced and created, not just protected, in new housing developments. It was launched with a tour of the viewing platform at the One Tower Bridge development, where beehives on the roof can be observed. The Mayor has agreed that London will trial a Green Space Factor, one of the report’s recommendations. Beehives on the roof of One Tower Bridge – a successful example of incorporating biodiversity initiatives in new housing developments Affordable housing and estate generation The Housing Committee issued a joint response with the Planning Committee on behalf of the Assembly to the Mayor’s Draft Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) Consultation. The response noted that the Draft SPG contained a number of policy recommendations put forward by Assembly Committees over the period 2011—2016. In March 2017, the committee published its response to the Mayor’s draft Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration. The draft contained a number of London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 33

  • Page 34

    policy recommendations put forward by the Housing Committee in 2015 and the committee recognised that the guidance made a positive contribution to estate regeneration best practice. A voice for London’s hidden homeless There are thousands of homeless people in London, but official figures only tell half the story. Some estimates suggest that as many as one in five 16 to 25 year olds in the UK have been ‘hidden homeless’ in the past year. The ‘hidden homeless’ remain under the radar and uncounted because they often do not approach local councils or support services, relying instead on friends or family and ‘sofa surfing’ because they have no secure accommodation and nowhere to call home. During the March meeting, the committee gave a voice to some of these vulnerable Londoners, providing a public forum for them to tell their story and highlight a growing problem in the capital. Experts and practitioners also gave their views and answered questions from the committee. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 34

  • Page 35

    5. The big picture The Mayor of London also has a significant strategic role in planning—producing the London Plan, which sets out the framework for how London will develop over the next 20—25 years, and making a final decision on many large-scale developments. The Planning Committee has an ongoing role in evaluating the Mayor’s changes to the London Plan and his use of planning powers. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 35

  • Page 36

    Planning for London’s growth London faces a number of complex infrastructure challenges arising from population growth. Demand for energy supplies in the capital is set to increase by 20 per cent by 2050. Thames Water projects demand for water will exceed supply by 10 per cent by 2025. It has been predicted that London’s population will exceed 10 million by 2036 and will require infrastructure investment of around £1.3 trillion from now until 2050. The Planning Committee met in October to discuss London’s infrastructure challenge to find out what infrastructure London needs in energy, water and broadband, in the medium—long term (2020—30) to meet demand. In March the committee examined sustainable ways to provide housing without compromising on quality. The London Plan In June, the Planning Committee examined how the Mayor expected to revise the London Plan to reflect London’s growth, and to what extent he will incorporate his own housing, employment and infrastructure policy priorities within it. Building homes off-site London needs another 49,000—80,000 homes per year to cope with the projected population growth of a million in the next ten years. Yet, London is delivering less than half, and some years only a quarter, of the new homes it needs annually. Modular housing in Mitcham London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 36

  • Page 37

    A number of studies have sought to identify the barriers to housing production, with one of the prominent factors being the capacity of the ‘traditional’ housebuilding industry to delivery. This year, the committee began a rapporteur review of the potential of off- site manufactured housing to help solve London's housing crisis and to identify the factors that have prevented, and are still preventing, the adoption of this type of housing more widely. The Green Belt of the Future London’s Green Belt is an issue that divides opinion across the country. With an increasing need to balance population growth while ensuring quality of life, the value of the Green Belt to Londoners is increasingly under pressure. Planning Committee Chair, Nicky Gavron AM, hosting the Green Belt of the Future seminar at City Hall In February 2017, the Planning Committee hosted a seminar at City Hall about the future of the Green Belt. Speakers, panellists and delegates reaffirmed a commitment to protect the Green Belt and share ideas about how we can improve the value of London’s Green Belt land so that its benefits are shared by all Londoners. Watch the seminar video London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 37

  • Page 38

    6. Getting down to business The Economy Committee scrutinises the work of the Mayor relating to economic development, wealth creation, social development, culture, sport and tourism in London, including the Mayor’s role as chair of the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP). This year, the committee has also been keeping a close watch on the impact of Brexit to ensure London’s voice is heard over the course of the debate and during the negotiation process. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 38

  • Page 39

    Setting the economic scene In June, the committee discussed the current state of London’s economy with a panel of experts, focusing on the key economic challenges and priorities for the new Mayor. Guests set out what they considered to be key challenges and priorities for the new Mayor, including low pay and in-work poverty, flexible working including temporary and zero-hour contracts, addressing the skills gap, the cost and supply of workspace and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Economy Committee Members visited Pullens Yards to discuss the main challenges facing SMEs in accessing workspace The Brexit effect Twelve per cent of London’s population are from EU countries and 13 per cent—or 600,000—of the five million jobs in London are held by workers born in EU countries. Responding to the outcome of the EU referendum, the committee recognised that Brexit presented both threats and opportunities for London along with an immediate period of volatility and uncertainty. The committee adjusted its work programme to create space to examine this vital issue by looking at key themes and sectors. Continuing this work with a series of four meetings from October to December, the committee first took a more in-depth look at the impact of Brexit on the financial services sector and SMEs; before examining workers’ rights; the impact on big businesses; and finally, the short and long-term London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 39

  • Page 40

    effects on migration and migration policy. This large body of work culminated in three reports: • Financial services – the report, EU exit and financial services, set out the key asks for London, in order to ensure the continued success of this vital part of the UK economy. • Labour market – the Committee’s February report, EU exit: workers’ rights and the London labour market, set out robust approaches to support low paid workers in a post-Brexit London. • EU migration – later in February, the committee identified the risks and opportunities that might come from changes to immigration policy post- Brexit in its report, EU migration. Economy Committee Chair, Fiona Twycross AM, speaking to London Live about the Committee’s work on the impacts of the UK leaving the EU Improving apprenticeships A number of worrying trends have emerged about how London’s apprenticeship numbers stack up in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability and age groups. Furthermore, despite having the second largest apprenticeship population in England, London is consistently among the worst performers in numbers of apprenticeship starts regionally. Last year, London had the second lowest number of apprenticeship starts across England with 45,550, compared to the best performing North West region with 79,310. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 40

  • Page 41

    16 per cent of women said they were out of work at the end of their apprenticeship – compared to 6 per cent of men Recognising the need for change, the committee published its report, Apprenticeships: an un-level playing field, in January. The report flagged that more than a quarter of all apprentices fail to finish their training and achievement rates are declining more quickly for apprentices from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. It also highlighted that BAME and female apprentices tend to be clustered in low level, low pay apprenticeships. Local news provision in London Falling print readership and a decline in advertising income has led to a sharp fall in newspaper revenues, and local news groups struggle to hold on to local advertising revenues, leading to some newspaper owners restructuring and making staff cutbacks. In March, the committee looked at local news provision in London, how it has changed over the past decade, what is driving the changes and what impact this will have on the civic engagement and local accountability. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 41

  • Page 42

    7. Talking about regeneration The Regeneration Committee was established in 2013 to examine the Mayor’s regeneration plans and spending decisions, including oversight of the Mayor’s Development Corporations—the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 42

  • Page 43

    Culture-led regeneration Culture accounts for one in six jobs in the capital and London has seen many impressive examples of areas that have been turned around through a process of culture-led regeneration. The Cultural and Education District within the Olympic Park, for example, is set to deliver 3,000 jobs, 1.5 million additional visitors and £2.8 billion of economic value. The Mayor has said he wants to embed cultural objectives into all his regeneration interventions in order to improve community participation and bolster social integration. The Economy Committee met with Creative Barking and Dagenham to learn about their work with local artists and the community. Photo credit: Jimmy Lee Photography The committee’s report, Creative tensions: Optimising the benefits of culture through regeneration, published in March, found that regeneration programmes, which now cover large areas of London, can put the capital’s cultural offer at risk and that rising property prices—due to the regeneration of an area—are forcing some communities out, when they are part of the reason for that regeneration. It recommended that the Mayor should develop a bold programme to create and promote sustainable culture in the capital. Crowd-funding for regeneration In 2015, it was estimated that US$34 billion worldwide was raised through crowdfunding to support local good causes. In October, the committee looked at the potential for crowdfunding to deliver locally-led regeneration programmes and reviewed the Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding Programme. The Programme offers local groups the opportunity to propose and crowdfund London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 43

  • Page 44

    projects that will ‘improve their neighbourhood for the benefit of the wider community’. Monitoring London’s major regeneration projects Visiting major regeneration projects to keep a check on Mayoral spending and to identify lessons for other projects across London is an important part of the committee’s work. Some of the most significant and wide ranging regeneration powers the Mayor has are exercised through his two Mayoral Development Corporations, and so these are an important focus of the committee’s ongoing scrutiny work. Over the past year the committee continued its scrutiny of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), as they lead on regeneration in their respective areas in East and West London. Formed in April 2012, the LLDC’s purpose is to use the opportunity of the London 2012 Games to drive growth and investment in East London. The OPDC was launched on 1 April 2015 to secure the benefits of the regeneration and development of Old Oak and Park Royal. Both are Mayoral Development Corporations, and therefore are directly accountable to Londoners through the Mayor. A model of the Old Oak and Park Royal development area London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 44

  • Page 45

    At a meeting in December 2016, the committee sought to hear why the Mayor had commissioned a review of the OPDC, which had stalled progress on the planned development. At a meeting in January 2017, the committee reviewed the progress and finances of the LLDC, with a focus on long-term vision and its collaboration with surrounding areas. Members frequently visit the sites to monitor progress and ensure Londoners are receiving value for money. For example, the committee visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in November to receive an update on the work of the LLDC. Senior officers gave Members an update on controversial issues in the Park—including escalating costs linked to the transformation of the Olympic Stadium, the financial viability of the ArcelorMittal Orbit and proposals to locate concrete batching plants in the Park. More than 10,000 Londoners had signed a petition objecting to the plans. In January 2017, as part of the committee’s investigation into culture, the committee met with artists and residents of Hackney Wick, Fish Island and Stratford to discuss the regeneration of the Olympic Park as seen from their neighbourhoods. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 45

  • Page 46

    8. In good health The Health Committee examines health and wellbeing across London, with a particular focus on public health issues and reviewing the progress of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 46

  • Page 47

    Mental health inequalities This year the committee launched a major investigation into mental health inequalities in London, focusing on the experiences and needs of three marginalised groups: LGBT+ communities; disabled people and Deaf people; and offenders and ex-offenders. The committee will draw on this work to influence the London Health Board’s mental health review. LGBT+ mental health Gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population and 40 per cent of LGBT+ people experience a mental health issue, compared with 25 per cent of the wider population. The Health Committee’s LGBT+ mental health event featured speakers from Mind, Metro charity, Public Health England, CliniQ and London Southbank University In October 2016, the committee hosted an LGBT+ mental health event at City Hall. Over 60 delegates from health providers, LGBT+ organisations and mental health services heard from speakers on issues facing these communities and how the Mayor could support better mental health for all Londoners. The event generated significant interest on social media and was very positively received by stakeholders. The findings were delivered to the London Health Board to assist in the development of the Mayor’s mental health roadmap. On 1 February, at the beginning of LGBT History Month, the Health Committee published its report, LGBT+ Mental Health. Disabled people and Deaf people Deaf people are twice as likely to suffer from depression as hearing people and one in three people with chronic physical impairment experiences a mental health problem, compared to one in four in the wider population. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 47

  • Page 48

    The Health Committee visited Springfield Hospital in Tooting, which provides specialist services for Deaf adults and children with mental health needs In January, the committee discussed with a panel of experts the ongoing challenges faced by disabled and Deaf people and how the wider determinants of health—employment, education, housing and transport— contributed to social isolation and increased the risk of mental ill health in these groups. In March, the Health Committee visited Springfield Hospital and the National Deaf Mental Health Service, to find out about specialist support for Deaf people. The committee met with service users and the team that supports them, to discuss access to local mental health services and new innovations. Diagnosing HIV London is currently home to 40 per cent of the UK’s diagnosed HIV population, with over 2,500 new cases diagnosed each year. The committee discussed the importance of early diagnosis with a range of experts, and heard that almost four in ten diagnoses in London were late, with significant implications for illness, mortality and onward transmission. Following the meeting, the committee wrote to the Mayor, welcoming his manifesto commitment to focus on HIV prevention and screening, and making a number of suggestions for further action. In particular, the committee urged the Mayor to use his position to increase awareness of HIV and encourage more people to get tested. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 48

  • Page 49

    The Mayor responded by thanking the committee for helping to raise the profile of one of London’s most pressing public health issues, and committed to supporting the pan-London Do It London HIV prevention campaign and to using the profile of City Hall to help bolster the campaign. TfL’s role in promoting healthy transport Transport is one of the key determinants of good health, and the Mayor and TfL have significant potential to improve Londoners’ health by supporting them to choose active travel options. The committee examined TfL’s role in promoting health in London, urging the Mayor to ensure that healthy transport was available across the capital, and ambitious targets set for increasing active travel. The committee wrote to the Mayor in November to help inform the development of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, which has included healthy transport as a central component. London’s suicide spike Every week, an average of 14 Londoners end their own lives. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of deaths by suicide in London increased by 33 per cent from 552 to 735 incidents – the highest figure recorded by the ONS since records began in 2002. In February, the committee published its findings and recommendations to the Mayor of London on how he can provide better support for suicide prevention in the capital. The letter recommends that London should become a ‘zero-suicide’ city (first adopted in Detroit), preventing suicide by creating an open environment for people to talk and find out where they can get help. The future of the NHS The NHS and local councils have formed partnerships in 44 areas covering all of England, with the aim of improving health and social care. Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) could bring significant changes to how health and social care services operate in London. In response, the committee looked at how STPs are being developed and delivered across the capital, and their potential impacts, to ensure that health inequalities are not increased by the proposed changes. The committee will be writing to the Mayor to help inform his further work in this area. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 49

  • Page 50

    9. Our environment The Environment Committee examines all aspects of the capital’s environment by reviewing the Mayor’s strategies and action on air quality, water, waste, climate change and energy. It also considers what additional measures could be taken to help improve Londoners’ quality of life. London Assembly I Annual Report 2016—17 50

  • View More

Get the full picture and Receive alerts on lawsuits, news articles, publications and more!