What’s the point of the local London elections?

London Elects

In response to a question in the comments from eoinhouly:

…I do not view this mayoral election as meaningful. All major decisions regarding education, healthcare etc are made at parlimentary level and I feel this reduces the significance of the role they play.

They look after transport, policing and what else?

So, what is the point of voting in the local London elections tomorrow?

I’ve already ranted about how valuable it is is just to keep out the BNP. Keeping fascists out of power, locally or nationally, is no small thing. You don’t hove to man the barricades, just vote.

But what about reasons to vote for someone, rather than against someone? What does the mayor and assembly do?

Transport, police, fire and emergency services, cultural strategy, economic development and local policy relating to waste, culture and sport, health, and climate change.

Hey, that’s a lot of stuff [see more about it at the Mayor of London website]. Especially in a city of 7.5 million people…practically a small country in some ways.

For me, planning and development is very important. Building and land use in London is something that will effect my quality of life directly, and shape the city for many years to come.

Culture and sport may sound superficial, but even if the local council isn’t out there making foreign policy (although ours kind of is) these things do effect our day-to-day life, especially for families living in London.

Not to mention that old voting cliché: if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. And god, I love to complain!

3 Comments so far

  1. toby1kenobi on April 30th, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

    Ha, I love the idea that we should dismiss the responsibilities of the major/GLA as merely "transport, policing and what else?" – I would say that those are two huge concerns to many living and/or working in London! The mayor brought in congestion charging, Beyond that, everyone in the country votes to elect members of their local authority, why should Londoners be any different? I can’t help thinking that eoinhouly wasn’t really thinking when they made


  2. toby1kenobi on April 30th, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    Ha, I love the idea that we should dismiss the responsibilities of the major/GLA as merely "transport, policing and what else?" – I would say that those are two huge concerns to nearly everyone living and/or working in London! To stick with those examples, the mayor brought in congestion charging, is working to extend the reach of public transport in the capital (Cross Rail, the East London line extension etc.) and has a direct effect on the policing of the capital. This is without even thinking about the effect locally derived policy has on environment, housing, business etc.

    You might not agree with the policies, but really, not meaningful?!

    I can’t help thinking that eoinhouly wasn’t really thinking when making the comment quoted above


  3. Daneeta Loretta (daneeta) on April 30th, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

    I want to vote. Unfortunately, I’m a foreigner…the kind that can’t vote. Otherwise, I would be exercising in the political process. What’s the point of voting? It’s your duty, for one thing, as a citizen in a democratic society.



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