The London Assembly is the city's watchdog, responsible for holding the mayor and his advisors accountable to the public. It is funded by a combination of central government grants, transportation fees and other charges, business fees, and municipal taxes. The Assembly is comprised of 25 members elected by Londoners, and the mayor. Before finalizing any strategies or budget, the mayor must consult with Londoners and their elected representatives in the Assembly. The Greater London Authority (GLA) was established in May 1998 following a referendum that was approved with 72 percent of the votes.
The GLA was created to improve coordination between local authorities in Greater London, and the role of the Mayor of London is to give London a single person to represent him. The Mayor is also responsible for making London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city. This ranges from developing policies to setting budgets, from overseeing major programs to promoting London around the world, all in line with the mayor's vision and in the interests of London and Londoners. The City Council was not owned by the authority itself and the proposed measure would save the Greater London Authority 12.6 million pounds a year in rental costs. The GLA is different from the City of London corporation, whose mayors, mostly ceremonial, control only the square mile of the city, London's main financial center.
The City of London is part of London as a whole, along with the 32 London districts that are responsible for local government services in their local area. The main purpose of the London Assembly is to hold the Mayor of London to account by scrutinizing his actions and decisions. The mayor must consult with them before drafting his statutory strategies and his budget, including the City Council's participation in municipal taxes. Most pollution comes from motor vehicles, but car use in London is increasing despite growing evidence of health hazards. It shares local government powers with the councils of 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.