The Greater London Authority (GLA) comprises the Mayor and the London Assembly. The Mayor is the executive arm of the GLA and the 25 strong Assembly is its scrutiny arm, holding the Mayor to account and raising issues of interest to Londoners.
The Mayor has a wide range of pan-London responsibilities some of which are performed by the GLA and some of which are performed by the GLA's four functional bodies:
- Transport for London (TfL) (external website)
- Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) (external website), which oversees the work of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) (external website)
- London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) (external website)
- London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) (external website), leading on the physical Olympic legacy
The Mayor’s priorities cover a wide range of public service provision, some of which are set out in the GLA Act and associated pieces of legislation and some of which the Mayor has used his discretionary powers to identify as priorities. Examples of discretionary Mayoral initiatives include the GLA’s youth and volunteering programmes.
The GLA Act provides the GLA with a lead strategic role in the following areas:
- Health improvement
Central and local government
Central government and local government represent the other two tiers of government in London. Central government provides most of the funding for the GLA and the London boroughs. Central government also leads in the following areas:
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Social security
- Most forms of taxation
There are 33 local authorities in London, comprising 32 London boroughs and the Corporation of London (external website). Local authorities are democratic institutions whose leadership are directly elected by the local communities which they serve. In London local authorities’ views on certain issues are represented by an umbrella group, London Councils (external website). Boroughs lead at a local level on:
- Social services
The boroughs and the Corporation collect a local property based tax known as Council Tax from their local residents. The GLA adds a precept to the bills generated by local authorities, which helps to fund the GLA’s and its functional bodies’ activities.