Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Boris Johnson to start taking his own decisions

Boris Johnson intends to take back the responsibility for major planning decisions from his Deputy Mayor Ian Clement 'within the near future' once 'he has sorted his diary out.'

These decisions, which are only ever the biggest and most strategic ones, will be taken by the Mayor in future unless he is 'otherwise unavailable' to do so. 

In these situations, the decisions will be taken instead by his new Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning Sir Simon Milton.

The decision to take back what was originally one of the primary responsibilities of the Mayor, comes after Assembly members discovered that Boris was unable to name a single major planning decision taken since he came to power.

Boris's new role was announced by Sir Simon at this morning's Planning and Spatial Committee. 

Sir Simon could not give a date as to when Boris would start doing this particular part of his job, but he is expected to do so by no later than September.


hannah said...

Hold on - if Boris is to make major decisions, why is this decided by Simon Milton. Unless it isn't a major decision to let Boris make major decisions, of course.

Sam said...

Yay Boris.

Ian Clement has much better things to be getting on with. Listeners to Boris's LGA conference speech would be forgiven for thinking that Ian is going to do pretty much everything for the Mayor, the number of times the phrase 'Ian will do that' was used.

Ian is also the architect of a 'Memorandum of Understanding leading to a City Charter for London' with London Councils:


It's a great document - I particularly like the bit where they agree 'to create a delivery board for London, bringing together London’s most senior public servants from all tiers of government'.

Or as Boris said at both the LGA conference and at the London COuncils Summit: "It'll just be Merrick (Cockell - Tory chair of London Councils) and Ian (Clement - former executive member at London Councils) sitting down to sort things out."

Seeing as it's already been decided that Boris isn't going amend any planning applications, this isn't really Boris taking back power - it's him being seen to be doing something while the real work continues being done by a former postman.

The Tory Troll said...

Yes it isn't especially clear which decisions he will be taking Hannah. The line this morning is that Boris 'intends' to take them all unless 'unavailable' to do so. There is as you have noticed, an incredible amount of wiggle room in that statement.

Who's to say that he might suddenly become unavailable when the decisions have to be taken? Who's ever going to know? Will it say on the final decision who took it? It's anyones guess at the moment.

The Tory Troll said...

Sam - His full title as given by Boris is Deputy Mayor for Local, National and International Government. So basically, any discussion that has to be done with anyone bar the tea lady, will be done by somebody else.

'Seeing as it's already been decided that Boris isn't going amend any planning applications, this isn't really Boris taking back power - it's him being seen to be doing something.'

You're probably right here, but at least Boris can't wriggle out of responsibility for them any more. Ignorance, real or feigned, will no longer be a defence.

Anonymous said...

What is this all about? Did they have to wait three months for Boris to work out how to read a planning application and use a pen?

chris said...

What i want to know is whether that is Boris Johnson hanging off the end of that crane and if so can someone tell him to come down so he can get on with his job please?

Anonymous said...

Okay so I get it, Boris says all the nice things about protecting playing fields, protecting back gardens, looking after the environment and Ian Clement just lets everything through so that K&C and the other Conservative boroughs don't get offended by these 'green' wish lists and they get their planning approvals through the GLA without Boris being involved.

So Holland Park School sells off a quarter of its space to provide luxury housing for people who don't even occupy their properties and Boris is still mister nice guy. Are people really that gullible?

Bobbin said...

It would appear so.

Tom said...

It's certainly something to put on the watchlist - will Tory councils get an easier ride with planning decisions than Labour ones, given that the people making the decisions will be, er, Tory (ex-)councillors.