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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Sections 310 and 312 and Schedule 26: Establishment, membership and duty to maintain police force

473.Section 310 deals with the establishment and duties of the MPA. It provides that a police force is to be maintained for the metropolitan police district (MPD) and for the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) for the MPD.

474.Section 312 substitutes the MPA for the Home Secretary as the police authority for the MPD. It is intended that the MPA will be established on 3 July 2000.

475.Provisions on the membership and procedures of the MPA are contained in Schedule 26. As with other police authorities, the MPA will have a majority of elected members, with the balance made up of magistrates and independent members. However, there will be a number of differences between the MPA and the other authorities:

  • to reflect the size of the metropolitan police force, the MPA's membership is to be 23 compared with the normal figure of 17 elsewhere;

  • to reflect the existence of a pan-London chamber, the 12 elected members of the MPA will be drawn from the Assembly (appointed by the Mayor), not, as happens elsewhere, from the local councils which are within the police area (i.e. the 32 London boroughs in the case of the MPD);

  • to reflect the creation of the Greater London Magistrates’ Courts Authority (GLMCA), the four magistrate members will be appointed by the GLMCA selection panel which is to be set up under powers inserted into the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 by the Access to Justice Act 1999;

  • to reflect the Home Secretary's continuing responsibilities for the national functions of the metropolitan police force (see comments below), one of the seven independent members of the MPA is to be appointed by him;

  • for the first round of appointments of independent members to the MPA, the selection panel which puts forward the list of potential members is to be constituted differently from a standard panel. In particular, the three-member selection panel will not include (as it will in future rounds) a nominee of the MPA's Assembly and magistrate members. This will enable the selection panel to be formed before the first elections of the Mayor and Assembly members take place, thereby allowing the full membership of the MPA to be chosen as soon as possible after those elections. The selection panel will consist of three persons. Two of them will be appointed by the Secretary of State, one after consultation with organisations which represent the interests of local government in London, and the third person will be appointed by the other two.

476.Schedule 27 also makes various amendments to parts of the 1996 Act which set out the selection procedure for independent members of police authorities.

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