London | administration

Administration

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Local government

The administration of London is formed of two tiers: a citywide, strategic tier and a local tier. Citywide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities.[139] The GLA consists of two elected components: the Mayor of London, who has executive powers, and the London Assembly, which scrutinises the mayor's decisions and can accept or reject the mayor's budget proposals each year. The headquarters of the GLA is City Hall, Southwark. The mayor since 2016 has been Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital.[140][141] The mayor's statutory planning strategy is published as the London Plan, which was most recently revised in 2011.[142] The local authorities are the councils of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.[143] They are responsible for most local services, such as local planning, schools, social services, local roads and refuse collection. Certain functions, such as waste management, are provided through joint arrangements. In 2009–2010 the combined revenue expenditure by London councils and the GLA amounted to just over £22 billion (£14.7 billion for the boroughs and £7.4 billion for the GLA).[144]

The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for Greater London. It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and is the third largest fire service in the world.[145] National Health Service ambulance services are provided by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, the largest free-at-the-point-of-use emergency ambulance service in the world.[146] The London Air Ambulance charity operates in conjunction with the LAS where required. Her Majesty's Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution operate on the River Thames,[147][148] which is under the jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority from Teddington Lock to the sea.[149]

National government

London is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom. Many government departments, as well as the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street, are based close to the Palace of Westminster, particularly along Whitehall.[150] The British Parliament is often referred to as the "Mother of Parliaments" (although this sobriquet was first applied to England itself, and not to Westminster, by John Bright)[151] because it has been a model for many other parliamentary systems.[151] There are 73 Members of Parliament (MPs) from London, elected from local parliamentary constituencies in the national Parliament. As of May 2015, 49 are from the Labour Party, 21 are Conservatives, and three are Liberal Democrat.[152]

The UK government ministerial post of Minister for London was created in 1994 and currently occupied by Nick Hurd.[153]

Policing and crime

Policing in Greater London, with the exception of the City of London, is provided by the Metropolitan Police Service, overseen by the Mayor through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).[154][155] The City of London has its own police force – the City of London Police.[156] The British Transport Police are responsible for police services on National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and Tramlink services.[157] A fourth police force in London, the Ministry of Defence Police, do not generally become involved with policing the general public.

Crime rates vary widely by area, ranging from parts with serious issues to parts considered very safe. Today crime figures are made available nationally at Local Authority[158] and Ward level.[159] In 2015 there were 118 homicides, a 25.5% increase over 2014.[160] The Metropolitan Police have made detailed crime figures, broken down by category at borough and ward level, available on their website since 2000.[161]

Recorded crime has been rising in London, notably violent crime and murder by stabbing and other means have risen. There have been 50 murders from the start of 2018 to mid April 2018. Funding cuts to police in London are likely to have contributed to this, though other factors are also involved.[162]