City Charter presentation LSE Mark Kleinman

A City Charter for London
Mark Kleinman
LSE London Seminar March 2nd 2009
1. The Governance Question
•Govern: rule with authority.
Governance: the act, manner,
function of governing
•Be strategic…The core
strategy focus on steering, not
rowing – making policy and
setting direction rather than
producing services (Osborne
•I asked, 'How do you steer it'? Somebody
said, 'Shut up and go down'. I asked again.
And he said, 'Shut up and go down'. Jim
Shea Jr, U.S. ‘skeleton bob’ Olympian
The shift to governance is at
all levels of the state…
• National states have lost some exclusivity
and sovereignty
• Growth of supra-national bodies, e.g.
European Union, NAFTA, WTO
• Loss of legitimacy/authority of politicians
and some institutions
• But the death of the nation-state much
exaggerated. In fact, more nations today
than 20 years ago.
…including the management
of cities
• reduced authority of the state, both
national and local
• participation of actors, both private and
• networks as well as hierarchies and
• response to fragmentation - recognition
of inter-dependence
• importance of urban leadership- both
institutional and personal
London has had four
systems of government
in the last 40 years
• 1889-1965: London County Council – 4.5
millions. Fabianism in action
• 1965-1986: Greater London Council – 8
million. The metropolitan region
• 1986-2000: GLC abolition: an experiment in
‘network governance’
• 2000- The Greater London Authority –
strategic governance; London’s first Mayor
The Greater
London Authority
• From 1986-2000. London governed by the boroughs
(32 +1), central government and ad hoc bodies.
• 2000: directly elected mayor and separately elected
assembly of 25 members, each for a term of four years.
• The GLA represents a new form of governance in
Britain, with clear separation of powers between the
mayor and assembly.
• The mayor is responsible for strategies for transport,
planning, the environment, economic development and
The Mayor sets the budget for the GLA and the four
functional bodies that make up the GLA ‘family’. He
appoints most of the members of these bodies.
2007 GLA Act:
additional powers
• Investment in new affordable housing: London
housing strategy, chairs London HCA board …
• Planning: can ‘call in’
• Health inequalities and climate change
responsibilities devolved
• London Waste & recycling Board – but not Mayoral
Waste authority
• Chairs LSEB, can chair or appoint chair of MPA
• City Hall staff appointed by CX not Assembly
2008 Mayoral election
• Increased turnout (45%) and a‘Million vote
• Turnout increase highest in outer London
• Conservative strategy to target outer boroughs:
“Ken Livingstone has neglected London's
The Blue Doughnut
Mayor is part of a system of
‘network governance’
GLA ‘family’ spends around £12 billion annually. .
Boroughs spend around £13 billion p.a. Total public
sector expenditure in excess of £45 billion. ‘Core’ GLA
employs around 600 staff.
The mayor has limited fiscal powers. Most of the money
comes via Whitehall
Boroughs retain many powers. They are primarily
responsible for service delivery. Mayor devises
strategies, but needs boroughs and other agencies to
“However charismatic and forceful the Mayor is, London
is really governed by a crowd of jostling political bodies,
from borough councils to the City of London Corporation
to the Olympic Delivery Authority, as competitive and
labyrinthine as the City itself.” (Andy Beckett, The
Guardian 9/12/08)
2. What and Where is
The governance structure is
always ‘wrong’
• Economic and political scales of cities
are different.
• The urban economy functions over a
large area such as a labour market or
travel-to-work area
• Hence the economic definition of the
city is dynamic.
• But city political boundaries are usually
historically defined.
There are no clear rules for
optimal city governance
• Political identity is always more local than
economic reality.
• In most cities, there are arguments for
changing the governance structure.
• But the mismatch between economic reality
and political identity means that this is difficult
to achieve.
• The question is not “what is the optimal
structure?” but “what are the costs and
benefits of change? ”
Is metropolitan government
an economic necessity?
• Consolidation argument: efficiencies of scale for
larger units; provision of ‘local public goods’;
prevention of urban sprawl
• ‘Territorial Competition’: Functional Urban Regions
require city-regional form of governance.
Significant spillovers from growth promotion
• Requires leadership: dominant authority; ‘club’ of
authorities; or partnership arrangements
• More government units implies weaker leadership,
higher transactions costs and less effective policies
The evidence is mixed
• Carr and Feiock(1999): no evidence that
consolidation in 9 US cases had impacts on
economic growth.
• Swanstrom (2001): little evidence that
fragmentation harms economic growth
• Cheshire: success stories in Strathclyde,
Rennes, Nantes, Frankfurt associated with
regional/local development policies. (But
London performed better after GLC abolition!)
• ‘Public choice’ school: multiple governments
better reflect citizen preferences
A range of solutions are
Do nothing/create special districts
Annexation and consolidation
Federal two-tier structure
Voluntary co-operation
(Goldsmith 2002)
Solutions can be intermunicipal or supra-municipal
• UK was ‘supra-municipal’ – creation of GLC
(1965) and six metro authorities (1974) – but
then abolished in 1986
• In most European countries, inter-municipality
more common: Greater Rotterdam abolished
in 1985 and Met Corporation of Barcelona in
1987. Communautes Urbaines in France –
indirect elections.
(Lefevre 1998)
In the 1990s, return of the
‘Big Cities’
• Metropolitan government more in fashion
in last 10 years – experiments in Italy,
Spain, Germany, UK, Netherlands
• Limited success – e.g. reform attempts in
Rotterdam and Amsterdam rejected in
• London almost only European example
of new (revived) metro government
Challenges for metropolitan
• There are a range of choices about structure,
but network governance and a ‘messy’ system
are inevitable.
• For the largest cities, even a metropolitan tier
does not capture the whole of the economic
city or FUR – the 100-mile city.
• Economic logic and the competitiveness
agenda suggests larger units are more
effective. But citizens often identify with
something much smaller.
London/Greater South-East
Represents the
the physical
the travelto-work
area as an
of the cityregion
Travel to work
Thames Gateway
The London city region: Advanced Producer Services information flows
connect towns & cities at a global ‘mega-city-region’ scale. The megacity region “is the fundamental urban reality of the early 21st century”
(Sir Peter Hall)
1 9 9 1 C o m m u tin g N e tw o rks o ve rla id
o n 3 D m a p o f in -co m m u tin g
3. The London City
“Working towards a City Charter for
London” MoU June 2008
Signed by Mayor and Chairman of London
• Principles:
• Decisions as close to people as possible
• Each tier of govt has unique contribution
• Transparency, diversity, improvement,
• Actions:
• Congress of Mayor + borough leaders, at
least twice yearly
• Delivery Board
• Produce full city charter
What’s driving this?
• Politics
• Network Structure
• Maturity of the London Governance
Other relevant examples…
• New York City Charter: but it’s a
statutory document, 340 pages
• Toronto: e.g. Canada- Ontario-Toronto
MoU on Immigration and Settlement
• MAAs in other UK cities, and the
Olympic 5-borough MAA in London
What will be in the City
• Under discussion, but could cover:
• Principles (building on the MoU)
• Arrangements for Congress and a
Charter Board
• Protocols for key priorities of the
• Set the stage for next phase of
What are the risks?
• Economic risks: economic recession,
tighter public sector budgets
• Political risks: borough elections in
2010; general election in 2009 or 2010
• Bureaucratic risks: danger of ‘just
another document’
What are the benefits?
• Clearer, simpler, more transparent
• Avoid duplication and things ‘falling in the
• Elected London leadership, not quangos
• Acknowledges reality of both directly
elected Mayor and network governance

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