Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games section to find out more about London's plans for 2012 and the Games' benefits for London, Londoners and the rest of the UK.

London 2012

The current Mayor is Boris Johnson. Read his biography.

If you want to know more about your Assembly Member visit the Assembly Members' pages.

The last election for the Mayor and London Assembly took place on 1 May 2008.

The Mayor

The Mayor is elected to provide a voice for the whole of London. He manages a gross budget of £10.7 billion, develops strategies to improve the city, runs vital services such as the transport system and promotes London abroad. Elections for the Mayor are held every four years.

Find out about the Role of the Mayor.

The London Assembly

Members of the London Assembly act as a check and balance on the Mayor. They are elected by the people of London every four years, at the same time as the Mayor. Some represent specific areas of London; others are elected as 'londonwide' members of the Assembly. The London Assembly scrutinises the Mayor's performance and makes proposals to the Mayor.

Many GLA documents are available for free download from this website. Alternative formats such as printed versions or version on a CD-ROM may be charged for. These charges are intended to cover the costs of producing the alternative format.


No; the Greater London Authority is not a grant-giving body and is unable to assist with funding. Its budget is relatively small and it is not set up to give grants or to sponsor other organisations.

The London Development Agency delivers the Mayor's economic development and regeneration strategy. The agency has funds to deliver these objectives and can sometimes assist with match funding where a proposal fits with its strategic objectives and delivery targets.

Alternatively, you may wish to approach

The Mayor develops strategies to make London a better city. The Mayor works with the transport, police, fire and development authorities to provide Londonwide services. These include: reducing crime and making London safer; improving public transport; reducing traffic congestion; making more affordable housing available; improving deprived areas and improving the environment; supporting tourism and economic development; championing equalities and tackling deprivation.

You can read more about the Mayor's Priorities and the GLA Budget.

No! The GLA does not directly tax London residents, but a part of the Council Tax levied by local borough councils is set by the Mayor to provide funds for the GLA, the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), Transport for London (TfL) and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA).

Much of the cost of funding the GLA family - MPA, TfL, LFEPA, and the GLA itself - comes from government grants.

Find out more about the GLA Annual Budget.

Although the Mayor considers housing issues at a strategic, Londonwide level, he cannot intervene in individual housing applications and disputes.

For these issues, you will need to contact the  representatives for  your local area, such as your MP, your local councillor or your local borough's housing department, depending on the specific problem.

Generally, your local borough council is responsible for making decisions regarding housing issues and you should contact them first.

If you have a problem with the local borough council, you should go through their complaints procedure first. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman using their Adviceline on 0845 602 1983, open Monday - Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm

If you have problem with a private landlord, the Independent Housing Ombudsman Scheme deals with disputes between landlords and tenants in England.

The Mayor does not have plans to pedestrianise other streets in London. The London boroughs are responsible for the majority of streets in London.

A network of major roads through the capital, called the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) is maintained by Transport for London, covering about five per cent of London's total street system. The priorities for the TLRN, set by the Mayor's Transport Strategy, are to reduce traffic congestion and reduce the impact of traffic; make the streets safer and more secure; manage the street space more effectively; and make the streets more attractive.

Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square are being revitalised as part of the World Squares for All programme. The two squares come under the management control of the Mayor of London.

Trafalgar Square has been transformed into a more vibrant and accessible space at the heart of London, and has won a number of urban design awards. It is the setting for a vibrant programme of cultural events, enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike.

The Mayor's vision for Parliament Square Gardens is that it should be a symbolic and dignified setting for Parliament, in keeping with the historic buildings that surround it. Pedestrian access to the square will be improved, providing a safe and accessible link with Westminster Abbey.

The GLA organises many cultural events throughout the year, sometimes in partnership with other organisations. Most events are free and open to the public. Free events include:

The Mayor is also responsible for promoting culture in London, in particular increasing participation in the arts in London and making culture more accessible to all Londoners.

  • Red Routes
    Transport for London (TfL) Street Management are responsible for operating 550 km of London's most important roads - the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). Most of these roads are Red Routes, identifiable by red lines and signs.
  • Motorways
    M1, M4, M11 and M25 are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.
  • Local roads
    The remainder of London's roads are run by local borough councils.

TfL Street Management will also be responsible for the operation of London's traffic control systems, maintaining London's strategic roads and improving conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers.

The Mayor cannot intervene in parking issues, which are the responsibility of the local borough councils.

However there is a formalised systems through which you may appeal if you dispute a parking penalty notice. You should complain in the first instance to the local borough which issued the penalty notice.

If you are not happy with the borough's decision, you can then appeal to an independent parking adjudicator PATAS =

Taxis and minicabs =

Cabwise = find out whether a minicab firm is licensed, check with the Public Carriage Office, which oversees taxi licensing. You can search online using their database of licensed firms = You use the database to see a list of all licensed minicab operators by borough.

Congestion Charging is now operating in central London, between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays and designated non-charging days). Visit the congestion charging website, to find out where congestion charging operates, how to pay the charge or whether you are eligible for an exemption or discount. Businesses and fleets that use the charging zone can also find information relevant to them.

The Greater London Authority does not have operational responsibility for the services provided by Transport for London. Any complaints or comments on their services should be directed to their contact points, listed below.

The Tube
How to contact London Underground

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Other contact details:

London TravelWatch

For general information on Transport for London (TfL), including visitor guides, local travel guides and TfL news, visit Transport for London.

For information on National Rail Services, to find out about rail timetables or plan your route, visit National Rail.


Birth and death certificates are not the responsibility of the GLA. To find details of how to obtain these certificates, visit the following organisations' websites:

There are a number of conferences organised by the Mayor of London each year. These include:

  • the State of London Debate: a conference that brings Londoners together to discuss key issues affecting them, and gives them the opportunity to question the Mayor and other key policy-makers for the capital
  • Disability Capital: the Mayor's disability equality conference, which provides a forum for disabled and Deaf Londoners to discuss key issues with policy-makers, reports on the progress of the GLA’s Disability Equality Scheme and action plan, and celebrate the contribution of disabled and Deaf Londoners to the capital.

Other conferences are organised on an ad-hoc basis. They are listed in the Get Involved section, and many are advertised in London's newspapers. You can also check the London Issues section of the GLA website for conferences relating to specific subject areas. Most conferences are free, but you will usually need to register in advance to secure a place.

You can download all of the GLA's recent publications from this website:

You can also obtain printed copies of many current documents. There is a charge for some of the large publications, but many are free.

There is a great deal of information about the GLA on this website - one place to start is the About the GLA page.

The GLA offer educational visits to City Hall for London groups.

For further information:

Yes. City Hall is open to the public Mondays to Fridays and also for London Open House Weekend. Please see the City Hall public access page for information about visiting City Hall, including opening hours. All visitors must undergo a security check on entering the building.

View online panoramas of City Hall.

The public can access the Lower Ground Floor, where there is a cafe, a visitor centre and an area for exhibitions, and Floor 2, where the Chamber is.

Meetings and debates take place in the Chamber, most of which are open to the public. To find out about meetings held in the Chamber that are organised by the London Assembly, see the section on Meetings of the London Assembly and Assembly committees.

Some small exhibitions are also held on Floor 2, outside the Chamber. For details of these exhibitions, contact the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.