ConservativeHome in conjunction with the London Policy Institute today launches a debate to attempt an answer to this question. The Mayor of London is one of the most powerful executive positions in British politics with a control of a £12bn budget and substantial responsibilities for policing and transport and with a leading role to play in range of issues of vital importance to the future of London.
James Morris, Director of the London Policy Institute, offers 5 initial suggestions.
- Take direct responsibility for the fight against violent crime. Take over the chairmanship of the Metropolitian Police Authority and call high profile, public meeting with the Metropolitian Police Commissioner. Publish specific action plan for combating violent crime and start tackling the problem from day one. Announce a series of monthly public meetings to track progress on the plan. Call for all Londoners to join in the fight. Make some high profile visits to trouble spots. Get momentum going.
- Announce radical financial review of the GLA, its statutory bodies including a review of the Mayor's budget. The financial review should examine all aspects the Mayor's remit includng the Met and Transport for London and should deliver preliminary recommendations within the first 100 days. The review should consist of how many is spent, financial transparency and should look for tangible cost savings which can reduce the size of the GLA bureaucracy and free up resources.
- Appoint new head of Transport for London. This is a crucial first appointment. Needs to be someone with a track record and the drive to take on the challenge of delivering tangible improvements to London's transport system, by investing more wisely, ensuring Cross-Rail happens and is delivered, and accelerating the upgrade of the underground. This will be a tough assigment but will need real focus.
- Appoint a Mayoral cabinet. The Mayor should create a cabinet with individuals responsible for particular portfolios. Cabinet members could be drawn both from the London Assembly and outside to bring in expertise and talent to deliver on the Mayoral objectives. This will send the signal that the Mayor will govern more collegially and send the signal that improvements to London will come through a process of collaboration not Mayoral diktat.
- Build bridges with the boroughs. The Mayor cannot deliver without working with the boroughs. Bring in the borough leaders and agree shared priorities.
What would you prioritise?