The Relationship between Local and National Government in London: An Expert's Perspective

In London, districts form the lowest level of local government and are responsible for most local government functions. However, a new Greater London Authority (GLA) was created in 2000 with limited revenue raising powers, but with responsibility for public transport, police, emergency services, the environment and planning across Greater London. The GLA consists of a directly elected mayor and an assembly of 25 members elected by proportional representation. England has a distinct system of local government that has evolved over the centuries. The counties or historic counties that developed during the Anglo-Saxon era persisted as geographical, cultural and administrative units for approximately a thousand years.

In 1888, the Local Government Act regularized the administrative functions of counties and redrew some of the boundaries of historic counties to create new administrative counties, including the County of London, formed by parts of the historic counties of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent. Local authorities receive money from the central government and collect money locally through taxes and fees. The relationship with and funding from the central government are described in a separate section below. This section focuses on the fundamental question of the ability of the city council (local authority) to increase taxes to pay for local services. The relationship between central and local government remains a key debate in British politics and public policy. George Jones writes that the shift to a centralist culture is necessary and achievable, but only through substantial reform.

England itself has no formal government or constitution, and it is difficult to identify a specifically English role in contemporary government and politics in a formal sense since these operate at the British level throughout the country. Another decisive test of what residents think about local government is the struggle that political parties can have to encourage people to stand for election. It's clear that it's important for local government to make sure that those in control of local services are representative of the local population, but research on data on the age range of councilmembers clearly points to the overwhelming predominance of older people showing up. In Wales, these local government areas are known as counties or county districts, while in Scotland they are known as municipal areas or local government authorities or, in some cases, cities. However, while women have made significant political advances in much of Western Europe, especially in Scandinavia, progress for women in British national elections has been rare.

In 1191, the commune was officially recognized by Prince John while his brother Richard the Lionheart was absent in the Crusades, and in 1199 John, now king, granted the citizens of London the right to choose their own marshals - a particularly important right since the sheriff was the king's representative through whom the city was governed. In the United Kingdom as a whole, turnout in local elections is generally much lower than in general elections. Successive local government reorganizations in the 1970s and 1990s redesigned the boundaries of administrative units so that no remaining administrative unit would correspond directly to a historic county, although many administrative and geographical counties and other local government units bear the names of historic counties. Freedom of expression and opinion with adequate opportunities for reasonable debate are part of the English tradition but the development of partisan and parliamentary government in its modern forms took place after the Act of Union of 1707 when, in politics, the history of England became the history of Great Britain. The vast majority of civil actions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are tried in local county courts whose jurisdiction is limited by nature of action and amount of money at stake. Within central government there should be a cabinet committee supported by an official unit at center itself - Cabinet Office chaired by Prime Minister - to oversee functioning principles established in Statutory Code and ensure their consistent application by all departments. The relationship between local and national governments is an important one that affects citizens across England.

It is essential that both levels work together to ensure that citizens receive quality services while also being able to express their opinions through reasonable debate. Local governments must also ensure that those who control services are representative of their population. To achieve this goal, it is necessary for political parties to encourage people to stand for election. Additionally, central governments must provide adequate funding for local governments while also ensuring that they adhere to established principles. Ultimately, it is clear that there must be an effective relationship between local and national governments if England is to continue its tradition as a leader in democracy.

This relationship must be based on mutual respect between both levels while also providing citizens with adequate opportunities for reasonable debate.