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Lord Whitty: I am puzzled by the comments of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, with some of which I may agree. The amendment seeks to delete a provision designed to ensure that the strategies are consistent one with another. I am not sure whether that is a question of the balance of powers between the mayor and the assembly or between the mayor and electorate.
Baroness Hamwee: I am not being clear. I do not argue that the strategies should be inconsistent. I do not think that it is necessary to say so. If they look as though they will be inconsistent, what is the position of the assembly in scrutinising what the mayor proposes? The Government regard the need to act as a nanny as more necessary and desirable than we do.
Lord Whitty: Nothing in this provision dilutes the role of the assembly if it considers that the strategies are inconsistent. Surely it is better to put that obligation on the mayor in the first place. That is what the subsection intends. It means, for example, that environmental considerations have to be taken into account across the board in all the strategies. I should have thought that the noble Baroness would welcome that. If, having been obliged so to do and having attempted so to do but not having succeeded in the eyes of the assembly, clearly it is up to the assembly to tell him so. I would have thought that the obligation of the mayor should be written in. The consistency of cross-strategies should be included. I could not, therefore, accept Amendment No. 117.
If the mayor wishes to do anything in addition, it should be a matter for him or her to decide. The communications policy of the authority will therefore be in the hands of the mayor, subject to the provision of the specific documents to which I have referred. In any event, the broad outlines of the policies will be clear to Londoners after the election of the mayor, because he or she will presumably have fought the election campaign on the basis of a manifesto which included clear policy strategies, at least in broad terms. Londoners will have made their choice at the polls on that basis.
It is not for us to dictate the communications strategy of the mayor because we would hope that it would be effective and coherent, and I am sure that all candidates will have that very much in mind. I think the amendment is over prescriptive, and I ask the noble Baroness to withdraw it.
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