Today's Queen's Speech included some new legislation for the UK's cities - a bill to tackle road congestion and improve public transport, proposals to reform the planning system, and bills to reform local government and increase the powers of London's Mayor and Assembly.
We support the new powers for Ken Livingstone over housing, planning and skills. Ken's new housing powers will help deliver the thousands of new homes that the capital needs. His strategic planning powers will help make major projects happen, like Crossrail and the Olympics. And his new London-wide employment and skills board will tackle the rising numbers of workless people in London.
The Local Government bill will implement some of the stuff in the Local Government White Paper. It should learn from the lessons of London, and devolve real powers to our other major cities like Greater Manchester.
But there's still a lot more to come. Over the next few months, we'll get the Lyons Inquiry and three major reviews of transport, planning and skills - all leading up to next summer's Comprehensive Spending Review. See this article in today's Guardian online, where I help set this out in more detail: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/queensspeech2006/comment/0,,1948478,00.html