Caroline Pidgeon AM writes for Londonsays on the MPA/LFEPA meeting at the London Assembly

It may have been a cold December morning outside, but in the chamber of City Hall, the temperature soon rose with the police and fire bosses under the Assembly’s spotlight!
The first part of the meeting was a timely opportunity to quiz the acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, and the Mayor of London, as Chair of the Police Authority (MPA).

Sir Paul gave a statement on the investigation into Damien Green MP, and the tragic Baby P case.  The Damien Green saga and the Mayor’s involvement proved to be the hottest topic for discussion. Continue reading “Caroline Pidgeon AM writes for Londonsays on the MPA/LFEPA meeting at the London Assembly”

Breaking: Tim Parker

The following press release has just been issued by City Hall:

The Mayor of London has decided to continue chairing the board of Transport for London.

Boris Johnson was due to hand over the role to Tim Parker this September, but has concluded that his personal involvement is crucial to being an effective Mayor, and to ensure appropriate democratic accountability to the people of London.

Mr Parker will remain on the board and advise the Mayor on the reform and improvement of London transport. Continue reading “Breaking: Tim Parker”

London’s Film Festival

On the 15th October this year the brash, populist, deliciously unwieldy London Film Festival will roll into town, trumpeting its wares like a mountebank trying to peddle Agent Orange in the guise of Dr. Humpington’s Miracle Cure Spectacular. For make no mistake, London is the Danny Dyer of film festivals -all sound and fury, but signifying very little.

It doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of Cannes, the intellectual suffocation of Berlin or the zeitgeist-surfing nostalgia of Sundance. Though it was never meant to – from its genesis in 1956 the London Film Festival was designed to give public fora to a variety of hoity-toity Euro-smut that wouldn’t traditionally find a home in the fleapit cinematic basements of a derelict city that preferred whelks to Wilder and cockles to Cocteau. Continue reading “London’s Film Festival”

Give Londoners A Real Say Over Their City says Caroline Pidgeon AM

The last six months have seen huge political developments in this country, but one area that has received surprisingly little attention is the progress that has been made in devolving power.

The last Government was very much in two minds over devolving power from Whitehall.  Devolution was granted to Wales and Scotland – and regional government obviously returned to London, however a determination to keep a firm hold of the reins from number 10 and 11 Downing Street never went away.

The progress made by the coalition Government in such a short period of time has been impressive, especially in London.  Continue reading “Give Londoners A Real Say Over Their City says Caroline Pidgeon AM”

Freedom for Tooting?

As the Christmas party season hoves into calendar view, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ civil servants could be forgiven for giving more consideration to their dancefloor moves than London governance structures.  But not for nothing did he announce a laundry list of proposed devolutionary measures today, as part of the forthcoming and keenly anticipated Localism Bill (as assembly member Caroline Pidgeon wrote earlier this month).  The list of measures, developed in tandem between the GLA and London Councils, includes:

  • devolution of executive powers over housing investment from the Homes and Communities Agency to the Greater London Authority (GLA) so it can be fully aligned with the Mayor’s own funding pot and the London Housing Strategy;
  • abolition of the London Development Agency, with its city-wide roles on regeneration and management of European funding to be transferred to the GLA;

Continue reading “Freedom for Tooting?”

Banging the drum for London?

Cameron in China sought to bang the drum for UK trade and called for “hard headed internationalism” in his Mansion House speech, but post-Spending Review and ahead of the Trade White Paper how will the capital fare, asks Andrew Stevens

The recent visit  to China by David Cameron ahead of the G20 underlines the continuation of UK government’s approach towards vital economic engagement in Asia, predicated not only on ensuring Britain’s access to growing markets but also giving the UK greater leverage in public diplomacy on the continent.  For all the headlines about selling new British luxury goods to China’s growing commercial elite Continue reading “Banging the drum for London?”