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Assembly wins battle to scrap Government Office for London

PUBLISHED: 13:16 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:04 05 October 2010

THE London Assembly has won the battle to get rid of the Government Office for London. The announcement by Downing Street that the Office is being scrapped follows a six-month campaign by City Hall

By Mike Brooke

THE London Assembly has won the battle to get rid of the Government Office for London.

The announcement by Downing Street that the Office is being scrapped follows a six-month campaign by City Hall.

The London Office has been condemned as an unnecessary extra tier of local government when public services are under financial strain because of the recession. It has also been slammed for hindering the Mayor's Office.

The Assembly's Chair Dee Doocey said: "Spending £15 million on the administrative costs for an organisation that duplicates many activities carried out elsewhere cannot be justified.

"We are looking forward to a streamlined conduit between London's directly-elected government and Whitehall departments, providing oversight of the public sector."

The Assembly passed a resolution in December calling for the Government Office for London to be abolished.

The Tory Group at City Hall wants the new coalition Government to go further and have ministers giving evidence to the Assembly on London Issues.

Group leader Roger Evans said: "Ministers giving evidence to us rather than the Commons London Scrutiny committee would make more savings for the new coalition administration and give it more time to focus on repairing our country."

It was a victory for taxpayers, he added, because it cuts bureaucracy, frees the Mayor and Assembly as they will now "be without someone looking over their shoulders.

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