Election for London Mayor and Assembly 2021

The election will be held on 6 May 2021 to elect the Mayor of London. It will be held simultaneously with elections for the 25 London Assembly members and other local elections. The position of Mayor of London is currently held by Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party and he is standing again as the Labour candidate, Shaun Bailey is the Conservative Party’s candidate, Siân Berry is standing for the Green Party and Luisa Porritt is representing the Liberal Democrats. A number of other smaller parties are also standing.

Why does that matter to our sector?

The GLA also known as City Hall is London’s governing body and is responsible for implementing the Mayor’s Policies. Although limited in many ways by central government legislation and by financial constraints, these policies cover how London is policed, housing and house building, transport (TFL), the environment, health, culture and sport, fire services and London’s economy. They also support London’s Youth Assembly.

The Mayor is responsible for setting budgets and deciding on the GLA priorities for the four years they are in office. That includes how and if they will attempt to tackle poverty and inequality in our City. 4in10 try to influence these decisions and hold them to account where necessary to ensure low income, inadequate housing, equality of opportunity and of outcomes are on every agenda and at the forefront of the Mayor’s thinking but that can only be effective if you make your concerns heard.

It is worth noting that the Mayor is not responsible for the NHS, council housing, schools, social services, rubbish collection, street cleaning, parking permits and taxation all of which are governed either at local authority or national government level. However, they do have a voice in all these areas and provide a London wide representation.

How can we gain influence?

Getting the attention of the Mayor matters even in areas of government where they don’t have direct control. They are regularly contacted by the media for stories and for comments on policy and can raise the profile of issues that may otherwise be ignored. Providing them with the information and detail they need to do this can only come from those of us who see first hand what the main difficulties are for our children and their families and why they matter. In other words, it is up to us to give them that detail in advance, when they are writing their policy documents and to ensure they understand what really matters to those they serve. It is also up to us to challenge broad statements they may release, asking what they see as the solutions to the impact of child poverty and how they will prevent this getting worse during their tenure if elected.

You can write directly to candidates to invite them to talk to groups online. You can look at candidates’ websites and see what they are saying. You can tell us what issues you would specifically like us to raise with candidates and we can try to do so on your behalf and you can ensure your service users know about the elections, are registered to vote and understand that, despite the limitations, who governs London matters to us all.