Sceptics who see the role of London's mayor being emasculated before it is formulated find confirmation in the legislation currently having its second reading in Parliament. Curiously, the Greater London Authority will not be a planning authority (though it will develop a 'spatial development strategy' for the capital); the mayor will have no powers to sort out street cleaning; and 'design' will not be a planning matter over which the mayor could intervene. In fact, the mayor's key planning power will be entirely negative: he or she will be able to instruct a borough not to grant planning permission for a particular project. Presumably this would then result in an appeal to the environment secretary. Oh dear.