Edward Lister appointed London's deputy mayor for planning

London Borough of Wandsworth leader Edward Lister has been appointed as Boris Johnson's chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning.

Lister: appointed as Boris Johnson's chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning
Lister: appointed as Boris Johnson's chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning

Lister’s appointment follows the death of former deputy mayor for planning Sir Simon Milton last week.

A spokesman for Wandsworth Council confirmed that Lister would step down as leader of the council to take on the new role.

Lister said: "I'm delighted to be joining Boris Johnson to take forward his ambitious vision for this great city. My focus in Wandsworth has always been on improving the quality of life of our residents. I now relish the opportunity to do that on a London-wide basis."

Lister has been leader of Wandsworth Council since 1992, after first being elected in a by-election in 1976.

In 2006, Lister was appointed by David Cameron to a commission to improve public services.

He was also a member of the audit team appointed by Johnson to help prepare his first budget.

In December, Lister called for local authorities to be given more involvement in planning decisions related to national infrastructure projects.

His comments reflected frustration that the council had no official say in decisions over Heathrow’s third runway and Thames Water’s proposed sewage tunnel under the Thames.

Lister has also enthusiastically overseen Wandsworth’s plans to revolutionise service delivery by giving users personalised budgets to spend on adult and children’s services.

Johnson said: "Edward has the perfect combination of experience, character and expertise to help me lead this city out of recession and harness the unique opportunity of the 2012 Games to secure London for another generation as the best big city in the world.

"We will always mourn the loss of Simon Milton. The greatest tribute we can pay him is to deliver in the areas that mattered so much to him and improve the lives of Londoners in the great city that he loved. Edward Lister shares that goal."

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