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About the Greater London Authority

What is the Greater London Authority (GLA)?
The GLA is a unique form of strategic citywide government for London. It is made up of a directly elected Mayor - the Mayor of London - and a separately elected Assembly - the London Assembly. There are around 600 staff to help the Mayor and Assembly in their duties.

The Mayor is London's spokesman. He leads the preparation of statutory strategies on transport, spatial development, economic development and the environment. He sets budgets for the GLA, Transport for London, the London Development Agency, the Metropolitan Police and London's fire services.

The Assembly scrutinises the Mayor's activities, questioning the Mayor about his decisions. The Assembly is also able to investigate other issues of importance to Londoners, publish its findings and recommendations, and make proposals to the Mayor.

What responsibilities does the GLA have?
The GLA's main areas of responsibility are:

How is the GLA structured?
There is a clear separation of powers within the GLA between the Mayor - who has an executive role, making decisions on behalf of the GLA - and the Assembly, which has a scrutiny role and is responsible for appointing GLA staff. The internal organisation of the GLA takes account of this separation.

Common services
The GLA has a pool of permanent staff who support the work of the Mayor and the London Assembly. The Chief Executive, Anthony Mayer, oversees the permanent staff of the GLA and ensures that it operates effectively and properly.

The Mayor's Office
The Mayor has an office of around 30 staff who support him in his role and direct staff on his behalf.

London Assembly Secretariat
The Assembly has a dedicated support staff who service its committees, organise Assembly meetings and proceedings and deliver its scrutiny and investigation programme. The Secretariat provides a core of experts who, themselves or through commissioned work, review matters arising from the Mayor's activities for consideration by the Assembly, and research issues for Assembly investigation.

What resources does the GLA have?
The GLA has taken over control of a number of existing government programmes in London on police, fire, transport and economic development and regeneration. The total budget amounted to £4.7 billion in 2002/03.

The cost of the GLA itself was about £49.9 million in 2002/03. Most of the £49.9 million is met by central government grant. London council taxpayers contribute a small amount - about 13p a week on a Band D Council Tax bill.

When was the last election?
The last election of Mayor and Assembly was on 1 May 2008 - see the London Elects website.

Further information
Greater London Authority Act 1999. Published on 11 November 1999. ISBN number: 0 10 542999 6, price £32.50
Explanatory Notes - Greater London Authority Act 1999. ISBN 0 10 562999, price £12.35

These documents are available from The Stationery Office Publications Centre, PO Box 276, London SW8 5DT. General enquiries 0870 600 55 22; Fax orders 020 7873 8200. Also available from the Parliamentary hotline on lo-call 0345 02 34 74 and all main Stationery Office Bookshops. Secondary legislation under the GLA Act 1999 is available at

Copies of the Mayor's strategies and other reports are available by contacting the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100 or via the GLA website.

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