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Mayor of London - role

The Mayor's role as the executive of the strategic authority for London is to promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and the improvement of the environment. The Mayor also has a number of other duties in relation to culture and tourism, including responsibility for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.

What can the Mayor do?

The Mayor has a range of specific powers and duties, and a general power to do anything that will promote economic and social development, and environmental improvement, in London. Before using many of his powers the Mayor must consult with Londoners, and in all cases, the Mayor must promote equality of opportunity.

The Greater London Authority Act 2007 supplemented and updated the GLA Act 1999 and granted some additional powers to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Setting strategies for London

The Mayor sets out plans and policies for London covering transport, planning and development, housing, economic development and regeneration, culture, health inequalities, and a range of environmental issues including climate change, biodiversity, ambient noise, waste disposal and air quality.

These individual plans fit together to help deliver the Mayor's policies. Between them, these plans must also contribute to sustainable development and the health of Londoners.

Planning and housing

The Mayor's Spatial Development Strategy - the London Plan - sets out the policies for new building and land use in London. London boroughs must refer their local development plans and any major planning applications to the Mayor. The Mayor is responsible for London's housing strategy, and for the annual regional housing budget.

Funding services for London

The Mayor sets the annual budget for:

  • the Greater London Authority
  • the Metropolitan Police, who provide policing in the capital, under the oversight of the Metropolitan Police Authority
  • Transport for London, which is responsible for London's buses and the Underground, manages river services and some light rail services, maintains London's main roads and regulates London's licensed taxi and private hire services
  • the London Development Agency, which works with business to sustain and improve London's role as a business centre, while increasing economic opportunity for all Londoners
  • London Fire Brigade, which responds to fires and promotes fire prevention, under the oversight of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Appointing people for London

The Mayor appoints the boards of the London Development Agency, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, and Transport for London. He appoints some members of the Metropolitan Police Authority, and can either appoint the MPA's chair or assume the role of Chair himself - he currently chairs the MPA. He also chairs Transport for London and the London Skills and Employment Board.

The London Cultural Strategy Group is appointed by the Mayor to develop his cultural strategy, which covers everything from sport, to architectural heritage, to performing arts in London. The Mayor also acts as the co-sponsor (along with the Corporation of London) of the Museum of London, and appoints half of the Museum’s Board.

Deputy Mayor

The Mayor appoints a member of the London Assembly to be the statutory Deputy Mayor. Richard Barnes AM currently holds this position.

Term of appointment and next election

The Mayor is elected for a fixed term of four years. The most recent election of Mayor and Assembly was in May 2008.


The Mayor's salary for the current financial year is £143,911. More information about GLA elected members' salaries, including 2009 SSRB salary review .

Contacting the Mayor

You can write to the Mayor at City Hall - see the Contact page - or email

Related links

Best value

Budget and Strategic Plan

Annual London Survey 2009

News releases

Payments over £1,000

People's Question Time

Consultation meetings


Mayoral strategies 2000-2008

Links to other sites

London Boroughs

London Development Agency

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

Metropolitan Police Authority

Transport for London

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