I’m one of 25 Members elected to the London Assembly. My job is to represent Londoners, scrutinise the Mayor and improve the lives of people living in the capital.
I am proud to stand for the residents of Ealing and Hillingdon on the Assembly. It is an important role and big responsibility, especially considering that my constituency is home to over half a million people and is an area covered by six Members of Parliament in Westminster.
What is involved in ‘being an Assembly Member’? Well, I’ve always thought that the first duty on anyone who’s is elected to represent the people who put you there – your constituents. This applies to the Assembly Members, in exactly the same way as it does to the Mayor of London or the Prime Minister.
I see my role as to represent my constituents by understanding their concerns and issues, speaking-up for their views and interests, and trying to help if there’s a problem. I think it’s important not only deal with people’s day-to-day concerns, but also try to make lasting changes to improve the lives of people in the capital.
For me, this includes making sure outer London gets a fair allocation of police resources, improving transport infrastructure by delivering Crossrail and keeping City Hall’s share of the council tax down.
My role on the Assembly is to be part of the watchdog for London – to hold the Mayor to account and scrutinises his actions. And to make sure the decisions that the Mayor takes are the ones that most improve London.
Assembly Members do this by directly questioning the Mayor and his key advisors on the strategies and decision taken to make our city a better place to live. The Assembly also examines the Mayor’s spending, and if it believes that money can be better spent it can amend his annual budget through a two-thirds majority vote.
The political make-up of the Assembly sees the Conservative Group as the largest with 11 Assembly Members. Labour have eight members with the rest of the Assembly made up of three Liberal Democrats, two Greens and one BNP member.
Assembly Members also champion Londoners concern by investigating important issues and pressing for change to national, mayoral or local policy. Members sit on Committees that explore policy areas central to the functioning of the capital; these include the police, transport, public finances, health, housing, planning, the economy, the Olympics and the environment.
I sit on committees that deal with London’s Health and Public Services and the Greater London Authority’s Business Management and Administration.
The Mayor also appoints some Assembly Members to Executive positions and roles within his Administration. Boris has appointed Assembly Members to Chair the Metropolitan Police Authority, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority which runs the fire service, and the capital’s Waste and Recycling Board.
I’m very pleased upon taking office he appointed me as his Deputy Mayor for London. My responsibilities also include Communities, Social Cohesion, Social Inclusion, Equalities including Disabilities and Responsible Procurement.