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Boris presses for more devolution to London

Boris Johnson has been pushing for greater devolved power for London councils by seeking extra powers over skills, criminal justice, transport and housing.

Despite the mayor’s time at City Hall coming to an end in less than a year, he is still intent on meeting the pace set by recent autonomy deals for the regions of Greater Manchester and Cornwall.

According to the Financial Times, he had a meeting with London Councils, which represents the capital’s 32 boroughs and the City of London, to draft a list of new demands to be overseen by council leaders and the mayor’s office.

Jules Pipe, mayor of Hackney and chair of London Councils, said there was a “real risk of London falling behind even Cornwall” when it came to skills and employment support.

Johnson also called for greater control of courts and prosecution service and wants Transport for London to take over more suburban railway lines serving the capital.

He has expressed desire for the city to keep 100% of growth in business rates as opposed to the current 50% granted to councils.

The mayor said more devolution would “reduce London’s dependence on deals with Whitehall and provide the stability of funding that would incentivise investment and economic growth around the entire country”, as well as more transparency and accountability.


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