Understanding the GLA Better

Our meeting on Wednesday 03 April 2024 featured our representative on the Greater London Authority (GLA), Krupesh Hirani.

Our meeting managed 6 visitors on the evening making for a well-packed room at the Kenton Beefeater.  Krupesh grew up locally, and attended Preston Manor School, which is not far from our meeting place.

With a background in the Charity Sector, his experiences with Aspire and with the MS Society (Multiple Sclerosis) were of great interest to the members.  In particular, many of those attending Aspire have experienced a life-changing spinal injury that has changed their lives in a few seconds, often with no warning whatsoever.  With those needing support from the MS Society, the need for prompt diagnosis represents a real challenge, as the sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner life extending medication can be organised.  In both organisations, an unexpected radical change demands support personnel for the patient to cope with the change.

Krupesh then spoke about the structure and representation in the Greater London Authority.  Krupesh represents those living and working in Brent and Harrow – two London boroughs noted for their diversity.  The Greater London Authority took on its role in 2000 as a result of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, and the later Greater London Authority Act 2007.  The controlling body is the London Assembly which has 25 members and the elected Mayor of London.  Their brief covers transport, policing, economic development, and fire and emergency planning at the strategic level, relying on the Local Government Councils in the 32 Boroughs and the City of London Corporation to oversee the management of these in each Borough.  The GLA is largely funded by Central Government, but does benefit also from local taxation.

This was a fascinating talk on a subject of great interest to the members as there will be an election for the GLA, and for the Mayor of London next month.  There were many questions from the floor dealing with Roads, Pollution, Representation, Inter-borough Projects and much more.  The Club’s vote of thanks was proposed by David.

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