THE Mayor of London has called for his powers to be widened to tackle key issues including waste management, skills training and affordable housing.

A report released by the Commission on London Governance on Monday called for a rethink of the current arrangements for waste management and collection and incorporating London's five Learning and Skills Councils into a single body accountable to the Mayor.

In his response to the review of powers, Ken Livingstone called for a further devolution of powers and said his priority was skills training of Londoners.

"My highest priority is ensuring all London's residents can share in the city's prosperity by equipping them with the skills they need to fill the coming job opportunities as London continues to prosper,'' he said.

"Our city has one of the lowest rates nationally of working age employment and I am determined to address this so that poverty and worklessness are a thing of the past in this city. The current system does not serve London well.

"The target and priorities set do not suit either the needs of Londoners or of employers in the city. I am therefore proposing that the mayoralty takes the lead in this important area by setting London-specific skills targets and ensuring that they are achieved."

Mr Livingstone also said London had an appalling record on waste and he called for a new single waste authority to deal with waste and recycling disposal across the city.

"London dumps three-quarters of its waste in landfill sites outside its boundaries and Boroughs face the prospect of European Union fines to the tune of £2.5 billion over the next 15 years unless we get our act together on this issue,'' he said.

"London lacks the city-wide powers to end its record as one of the worst cities in Europe when it comes to recycling."

And Mr Livingstone said he wanted to take control of London's affordable housing investment, together with additional powers to speed up the planning system in London.

"The prohibitive cost of housing in London is a huge burden not just on ordinary Londoners trying to find decent, reasonably priced, accommodation, but on the future prosperity of the city as a whole,'' he said.