London Councils represents London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London. We are a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all of our member authorities regardless of political persuasion.
What we do
London Councils makes the case to government, the Mayor and others to get the best deal for Londoners and to ensure that our member authorities have the resources, freedoms and powers to do the best possible job for their residents and local businesses.
London Councils runs a number of direct services for member authorities including the Freedom Pass, Taxicard and Health Emergency Badge. It also runs an independent parking appeals service and a pan-London grants programme for voluntary organisations.
London Councils acts as a catalyst for effective sharing among boroughs – be that ideas, good practice, people, resources, or policies and new approaches.
The strategic direction of London Councils is set by the Leaders' Committee. Meeting eight times a year, our Leaders’ Committee comprises the Leaders of all of London’s local authorities. There is also a cross-party Executive Committee which guides the organisation’s day-to-day work.
Adding value for London’s boroughs
London Councils acts as host for a number of bodies which add value to the work of our member authorities by helping them co-ordinate their work with pan-London organisations. These include:
- London Safeguarding Children Board – representing London’s councils in a broader partnership with police, health and other partners to promote child safeguarding across London
- London Young People’s Education and Skills Board – the lead strategic body for 14-19 education and training in the capital
- London Councils is the Regional Employer body for London local authorities. Boroughs are members of the Greater London Employer Forum and are represented on the Greater London Provincial Council for the purposes of negotiations with trade unions
- London’s improvement and efficiency partnership, Capital Ambition
- London European Partnership for Transport – which provides the London boroughs with support and access to European funding for transport projects
- London Councils also provides a key interface between boroughs, the London Fire Brigade, the Greater London Authority (GLA ) and emergency services on issues around city management and resilience
- The Local Authority Performance Solution – London Councils collects and analyses a range of data sets provide voluntarily by London authorities, in order to provide authorities with comparative data through which they can consider their relative performance against the other London local authorities, indicate areas of potential improvement and highlight those boroughs that might provide improvements.
Advancing London local government
London Councils acts as a focal point for representing borough interests – informed by the political and professional networks that we run with government, the Mayor, the wider GLA and London’s public services.
To ensure our member authorities influence the decisions made at pan-London level which impact on them and the communities they serve, London Councils has developed a series of shared governance arrangements with the Mayor, TfL, Metropolitan Police, health and other partners (including London business organisations). London Councils nominates – on a cross party basis – members to serve in such shared governance arrangements, including:
- London Housing Board
- London Waste and Recycling Board
- London Crime Reduction Board
- London Enterprise Partnership
- London Health Board.
Some of these have statutory underpinning. The overall progress of these is monitored jointly by the Mayor and borough leaders.
More recently, London Councils has been actively engaged with the Mayor of London’s London Finance Commission. This included making the case for why greater fiscal devolution should be accompanied by wider devolution to boroughs and groups of boroughs to help drive economic growth. The work has also led to the agreement of a set of principles for the effective shared governance of further devolution.
In addition, London Councils ensures that the London local government perspective is part of policy development at national level by, for example, organising a full set of ministerial meetings and senior official discussions, and also by promoting ideas and policies at each of the party conferences. Read more about the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for London