Mayor targets funding quango
The Mayor of London has criticised the Learning and Skills Council for its performance in the city. He says the funding quango has failed to close or merge poorly performing colleges, and accuses the LSC of not possessing "the political appetite or capability" to take tough decisions relating to a strategic area review it conducted in the capital.
The LSC has control of the pound;1.2bn budget spent in London on colleges and other organisations providing post-16 education and training, other than universities. But a "scoping paper" has been sent to John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, putting the case for the Mayor, through the London Development Agency, to take control of this budget.
A review of the Mayor's powers is being conducted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. It is being led by David Miliband, minister of communities and local government, and Jim Fitzpatrick, minister for London.
Mr Livingstone said: "If London is to sustain its position as the powerhouse of the national economy, and offer the best deal for Londoners, then now is the time to bring more powers closer to the people of the capital."
Jacqui Henderson, director of the LSC's London region, said: "This review is just part of a government process looking not just at the LSC but a host of public-funded activities.
"The Government will decide what the future will be. We need to see the consultation paper, and what the key points are."
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