The government hopes to build on its perceived success of the Greater London Assembly by increasing its powers in key strategic areas such as health, planning, housing, skills and waste.
The Greater London Authority Bill would give the mayor explicit responsibility to promote reducing health inequalities in addition to the existing duty to seek improvements in health; this will include a responsibility for producing a statutory health inequalities strategy.
The strategy would be developed in partnership with the regional public health group, the NHS and other relevant partners.
The measure means future regional action will include: having a health impact assessment during the development of the mayor's strategies; supporting activity to monitor Londoners' access to health-related services; a commitment to reduce health inequalities and tracking progress on such a reduction to identify areas of concern,
The mayor will also be responsible for the London housing board and its£850m budget, as well as producing a statutory London housing strategy and deciding on the distribution of affordable housing. This would have an impact on key NHS staff and patients with housing needs.