Local Government Reform: Greater London — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:13 am on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford 10:13 am, 17th October 2018

I am delighted by what the Minister has just said, because that is exactly what I said earlier: it would be far better to have an assembly or council of leaders from each borough who have a genuine understanding of what is needed in their local communities. I am afraid I do not think that the London Assembly fulfils that task in the way that is needed.

In the London Borough of Havering, the legitimacy of the Mayor and the GLA is hanging by a thread. If there were a referendum in my borough to opt out of the GLA and become a unitary authority, in my view there would be an overwhelming vote to exit—as it has been termed—the GLA. Most people would overwhelmingly want a separation and to restore control to our local communities. An area such as Havering feeds money into central London and pays far more for services from which we do not benefit; at the same time, the Mayor is able to interfere with our local area and override the council on planning. I hope that the Government will take this seriously and look at what reforms can be brought forward.