London Local Councils
The precise structure of local government varies with territories. Local government in England operates either a one-tier system (unitary authorities) or a two-tier system.
London Local Council operates a two-tier system which is the Upper tier and the Lower tier administration. The Upper tier administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while Lower tier administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities.
- Upper Tier
The Greater London Authority (GLA) are elected. It is made up of the Mayor of London who has executive powers to make decisions and the London Assembly who can examine and question the Mayor’s decisions, with the right to accept or reject his budget or proposals.
The Great London Authority (GLA) is responsible for strategic planning, fire and policing services, and also most aspects of transportation. The GLA is a recent organisation that was set up in 2000 to replace the similar Great London Council (GLC) that was abolished in 1986.
The current Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan who was elected in 2016 to replace Boris Johnson after his second term in office. The GLA runs all its affairs from the headquarters at City Hall.
- Lower Tier
The local administration is carried out by 33 local authorities which consist of the 32 London Borough councils and the City of London Corporation. The lower tier of administration is responsible for local services that the GLA cannot oversee; such services include; local planning, educational services, social services, local roads and housing, and waste collection.
Each borough of London has a council made up from representatives of single issues organisation and political parties that are elected every four years by residents. Majority of the everyday services that keep London running smoothly is being carried out by the Boroughs. From basic things like the collection of waste, dealing with several applications to the licensing of clubs and restaurants occurs within the Boroughs.
The City of London does not have a conventional local authority; it is governed by the City of London Corporation that has been elected by both residents and businesses. Unlike the upper tier of administration, the Lower administration system has been in existence since the middle ages. The Lord Mayor of the City is the head of the Corporation which is a different position from that of the Mayor of London. The City of London also has its police force: The City of London Police, which operates independently from theMetropolitan Police Service that covers the rest of Greater London.
On the wider scope, the Health services in London is managed by the national government through the National Health Service, controlled and administered in London by a single NHS Strategic Health Authority called NHS London.
Whether you are in Kingston, Newham, the City of London or any of the other boroughs, do well to avail yourself of the London Local council information above.