A petition calling for a referendum on removing the London Assembly and London mayor has received a response from government – though no change appears to be forthcoming. 

Signed almost 45,000 times, it references the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) as a key reason behind being set up.

The petition says: “We are particularly concerned about the impact of expanding the ULEZ on people who are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis to put food on the tables, keep kids clothed and fed while struggling to heat homes.” 

In an article earlier this month, the Recorder reported how, according to a map showing where signatories live, Hornchurch and Upminster was the parliamentary constituency which had given the highest number of backers at the time. 

While this appears to have since shifted to Orpington, the Havering constituency remains among those to have provided the most backing. 

On February 22, the government responded to the online petition, indicating its support for retaining London's political system as it currently stands. 

Romford Recorder: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced the extension of the ULEZ to cover all of London late last year, with the expansion due to be implemented in AugustSadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced the extension of the ULEZ to cover all of London late last year, with the expansion due to be implemented in August (Image: GLA)

In its response, the government states it believes “with the right incentives and strong accountability directly elected mayors can provide valuable local leadership.

"This leads to more joined-up public services and better outcomes for local communities. A directly elected mayor is the strongest, most transparent and most accountable form of local government leadership.” 

It adds a “devolution accountability framework” will be published later this year to set out how mayoral authorities, such as the Greater London Authority (GLA), can be effectively scrutinised. 

However, it makes clear that there are no current plans to review the way in which powers in London are administered. 

Specifically on the ULEZ, it wrote: “The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone across London is a devolved matter and the primary responsibility of the Mayor of London and Transport for London.” 

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A spokesperson for the mayor, Sadiq Khan, previously told the Recorder that around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year due to toxic air, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in its outer boroughs.   

They also referenced the mayor’s £110million scrappage scheme, adding: “Any money received from the scheme will be reinvested into running and improving London’s transport network, such as expanding bus routes in outer London.”  

To view the map and read the petition, visit the webpage here: https://petitionmap.unboxedconsulting.com/?petition=631763