The mayor of London has the role to promote London economically, socially as well as maintaining the environment. The Greater London Authority, GLA, has the responsibility to formulate policies and procedures aimed at improving the general well being of Londoners. Its policies too have a great impact on the environment and the social life of the people of London. Over the last years, GLA has achieved a lot over the last few years. It has managed to develop a number of plans and services that have contributed a long way in making London a better living place.
The Greater London Authority,
GLA policies are geared towards achieving sustainability, equality, good health and development. They have also come up with policies to deal with congestion, especially in Central London. GLA and the office of the mayor of London have to work closely together to ensure that the people of London live in an environment where they can carry out their day to day activities and grow economically.
The mayor of London and the GLA has been quite effective in tackling several issues related to environment. These include waste and water management, land management, air management as well as reduction of carbon emissions. This has come at a cost. In the process of maintain a sustainable environment, the office lifted the living standards of Londoners especially those of people living near the venues where the London 2012 Olympic Games were held.
The office mayor of London has a vision to make London, a world class city that has a strong economic base, one that allows all the residents of the city to share in the success of the city (Poynter & MacRury, 2012, p. 121). The mayor’s office also has the vision of ensuring proper utilization of resources in the city as well as proper management of the city environment. The mayor is the head of GLA and is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the city achieves its dreams.
Over the years the mayor of London and GLA has always used its influence to push for policies that support environmental conservation and social integration among the people of London (Poynter & MacRury, 2012, p. 121). Another important factor that GLA considers in formulation of its policies is value for money. It ensures that London residents get value for their money in whatever projects the city of London carries out on its behalf. Greater London has a population of over 7 million people and GLA and the mayor of London have the responsibility to ensure that London becomes an international business centre which supports its people economically and socially.
Over the last 5 years the mayors of London and GLA have laid down several policies that relate to the environment. His was clearly visible in 2012 London Olympic Games. They came up with a budget and programmes (Commission for a Sustainable London, 2012, p. 7). They came up with plans to bring to live the legacy action plan initiated by the government. They also had to provide other significant inputs related to the London 2012 Olympic Games. In building of the stadia required for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the structure of the buildings required was carefully assessed to ensure that negative impact of the new structures and the entire games on the environment were minimized.
Although there is a gap between development of policy and implementation of the same, the mayor of London and GLA have made great strides in preserving the environment of London. United Kingdom is among the top emitters of green house gases. London contributes about ten percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in the United Kingdom. This has forced the office of mayor of London in collaboration with GLA to come up with policies to reduce carbon emissions in both the greater London area as well as the in Central London (Rogan & Rogan, 2011, p. 123). Without serious policy intervention, the carbon dioxide emissions from the city would have increased to about 50 million tones by the year 2025. In response to this the mayor came up with a climate change action plan in which he seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city by over 60% by the year 2025. The city developed a waste management system that recycles about 9 tonnes of waste per year. This waste management system has proved very effective despite the fact that it requires a lot of improvement.
Since its coming into existence in the year 2000, GLA has come up with policies to ease congestion in central London among other policies. This involved renovating old infrastructure, building new ones, expanding old roads and even introduction of environment conscious vehicles. There have also been other programs to promote sustainable health, as well as the various ethnicities living in London.
Some of the projects the office of the Mayor of London has carried out in the recent past include delivering sustainable London 2012 Olympic Games and developing sustainable communities in London (Thornley, 2013, p. 18). This involved reusing construction waste and ensuring that emission of pollutant gases was reduced to bare minimum. They aimed to create a healthy natural environment that could stand the test of time. The quality of and the biodiversity were preserved in the construction.
The mayor had identified the main priorities, as initiating strong economic growth in the town, ensuring social inclusivity in the activities in London, environmental management as well as proper management of other natural resources (Commission for a Sustainable London, 2012, p. 7). So far London has witnessed several changes in these areas although there still needs a lot of improvement. The policies laid down by the mayor and GLA have led to improved air and water quality, as well and sustainable land utilization. The city has also witnessed a reduction in emission of greenhouse gases. Studies show that the London 2012 Olympic games for instance managed to achieve high levels of sustainability.
I carried out a survey to find out what were the opinions of GSM London students on how effective GLA and mayor were in tackling climate change. A representative sample of 10 students was picked out of a class of 50 students. The 10 students were then asked to fill a questionnaire regarding how effective they think GLA and the mayor of London were in tackling key issues related to environment. Of the Of the 10 GSM London students sampled, 80%, (8 students) were of the opinion that that the mayor of London and GLA were effective in tackling key issues that relate to environment while the remaining 20% responded that the level of effectiveness attained was low.
In conclusion, the mayor of London and The GLA have achieved quite a lot in their effort to tackle key issues relating to the environment. The sustainability levels witnessed during the London 2012 Olympic Games serves as an example of how effective the two have been. The policies were geared towards environmental improvement, social inclusivity and creating a strong and diverse economic base for Londoners. To a large extent, GLA and the mayor of London have been largely successful in tackling key issues related to the environment.
Gavin Poynter, & Iain MacRury 2009, Olympic cities: 2012 and the remaking of London Sport
in the global society, Publisher, Routledge.
Matt Rogan & Martin Rogan, 2011, Britain and the Olympic Games: Past, Present, Legacy.
Publisher, Troubador Publishing Ltd.
Commission for a sustainable London, 2012, From vision to reality. Retrieved from
http://www.cslondon.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/11/CSL_Post%20Games%20Report_Final.pdf accessed on August 22 2014
Andy Thornley, 2013, The search for an effective metropolitan government for London –
reflections on the Greater London Authority, London: LSE Press.