Livingstone explains his approach to local democracy:
Tony Arbour: Why do you think that local authorities are unable to make decisions on strategic planning applications which will affect local people with whom the local authority has more contact and has a clearer understanding of local needs?
Ken Livingstone: Because they too often ignore London Plan policies or misinterpret them.
Not much room for discussion there. But what if the strategic London Plan is unsuitable for large parts of the city? North and South London are very different places. Hampstead is not much like Havering. Very different communities exist alongside each other and that is part of London's unique culture.
This does not bode well for the impending widening of the Mayor's planning powers.