Magoosh GRE

Mayor of London

| January 4, 2015

The mayor is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of developmental programs in the city. The Mayor is endowed with the power to plan and execute projects for the overall development of the city. He is also responsible for bridging the gap between the poor and the rich in the urban regions, and this could be achieved by focusing on policies that provide better housing facilities, sanitation, access to drinking water, hospital facilities, etc, to the lesser privileged sections of the society. Furthermore, the mayor also oversees that the infrastructural developmental activities do not compromise on the environmental standards of the region. Overall, the mayor strives to provide good ‘city governance’ and this would only be possible if developmental policies go together with effective social policies that are aimed at reducing the social inequalities. (IIED, 2009) A brief overview of the mayoral responsibilities, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the changes that have been effected by the current Mayor’s policies would provide more insight into the topic.

The Mayor of London
The current Mayor of the city of London is Mr. Boris Johnson. He was born in June 1964. He stood for the Mayor’s election as a conservative candidate and was elected on 6th May 2008. Mr. Boris Johnson comes from a journalism background and has published several books and articles. As the Mayor, Mr. Johnson oversees the execution of the plans and the funding allocations for the developmental programs in the city. He closely coordinates with various governmental and non governmental organizations to ensure that developmental projects are completed on time. He has assured the people of London a transparent functioning of the Mayor’s office and actively supervises project implementations. Particularly, Mayor Johnson has assured that projects that are above £50,000 would be approved directly by him and not by the GLA.

The GLA
The GLA is the strategic body of the city of London and it was created by the GLA act of 1999. The GLA works closely with the mayor of London and the ‘London assembly’ in ensuring fairness and transparency of the proposed projects and their smooth completion. The three main goals of the GLA include 1) ‘Economic development and wealth creation’, 2) ‘Social development’ and 3) ‘Environmental improvement’ (GLA) The GLA helps to achieve the developmental objectives together with promoting equality of opportunities, sustainable development, removing health inequalities, addressing climate change mitigation policies and promoting the safety of London city. (GLA). In helping fulfill the Mayor’s vision for the city, the GLA closely works with four individual organizations namely ‘Transport for London’(TFL), ‘London Developmental Agency’ (LDA), ‘London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’ (LFEPA) and the ‘Metropolitan Police Authority’ (MPA).
The TFL manages the public transport system in the city of London and it is also in charge of the London taxis. The TFL also manages the Victoria coach station. The mayor is the chairman of the board which manages the TFL. The LDA is constituted by a board of members who are selected by the mayor. LDA’s mission is to produce the economic strategy for the city that would propel the infrastructural development and improve the overall life standards of Londoners. The LFEPA manages the London fire brigade which handles fires and emergency situations in the capital. The MPA formulates the policing policies and it supervises the London police department. The mayor personally selects 12 members of the MPA. [GLA]

Achievements of the current Mayor
The current Mayor of London is very enterprising and takes much initiative for social improvement programs and community emergency response programs. For instance the Mayor initiated the ‘High street fund’ with an initial contribution of £500,000 towards compensation for the riot affected small businesses in London. With further contributions from corporate houses the High street fund currently has crossed over £3 million. As the mayor himself said, “The businesses which were destroyed or damaged form the backbone of our communities. Their resilience since the disturbances has been inspiring, as has the response from ordinary Londoners supporting their neighborhoods”. (GLA, 2011) This funding program will provide the affected businesses the support they need to overcome their setback.
Another successful and new program initiated by the current mayor is the ‘Communities Conversation program’. This program is designed to help children who are at risk for offending by providing them mentor services. So far, the program has already attracted 2000 adult volunteers and it is greatly expected to help communities who have been affected by youth violence. [GLA, 2011] Furthermore, the mayor is also initiating a new program called the ‘Parent Gym’ that would help parents by providing them practical solutions to their parenting problems. This initiative is directed as a counseling and support service for parents who have difficulties managing children at home. (GLA, 2011)
The environmental focus of the mayor is also well illustrated by the ‘Green energy doctors’, an energy efficiency program that is currently providing Londoners an energy efficiency overhaul for their homes. Already several boroughs such as Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Newham and Barking and Dagenham have implemented the program while it is soon to be extended to other boroughs such as Wandsworth, Croydon, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Redbridge, etc. This free go- green initiative is expected to help Londoners save significantly on their energy bills. (GLA (Sep 2011)) Overall, the present mayor is very proactive in his approach to the social problems in the city. By providing a balanced approach between infrastructural development and policies that address social inequalities the current mayor is delivering his mayoral responsibilities in an excellent manner.

Bibliography

1) GLA, About the GLA, viewed Oct 3rd 2011, < http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/greater-london-authority/about-gla >
2) GLA, The GLA Group, viewed Oct 3rd 2011, < http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/greater-london-authority/gla-functional-bodies>

3) GLA (Aug 2011), Apply for Help now. Mayor tells riot affected Small Businesses, Viewed Oct 3rd 2011, < http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/%E2%80%98apply-help-now%E2%80%99-mayor-tells-riot-affected-small-businesses>
4) GLA, (Sep 2011), Mayor’s community conversations program reaches over 2000 volunteers to mentor black boys. Viewed Oct 3rd 2011, <http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/mayor%E2%80%99s-community-conversations-programme-reaches-over-2000-volunteers->

5) GLA (Sep 2011), Mayor Helps homes across nine more boroughs get energy efficient and save gas, viewed Oct 3rd 2011, < http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/mayor-helps-homes-across-nine-more-boroughs-get-energy-efficient-and-sa>
6) GLA (Sep 2001), Boris Helps Mums and Dads tackle challenging kids with Parent Gym, viewed Oct 3rd 2011, < http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/boris-helps-mums-and-dads-tackle-challenging-kids-parent-gym >

7) IIED, (Apr 2009), What Role for Mayors in good city governance, Environment &Urbanization Vol 21, No 1, viewed Oct 3rd 2011, <http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/10579IIED.pdf>

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