March 2019


The City's new Transport Strategy sets out how the design and management of our streets will develop to ensure the Square Mile remains a great place to live, work, study and visit. It includes ambitious proposals to:

  • Prioritise the needs of people walking, make streets more accessible and deliver world-class public realm
  • Make the most efficient and effective use of street space by significantly reducing motor traffic, including the number of delivery and servicing vehicles in the Square Mile
  • Eliminate death and serious injuries from our streets through measures to deliver safer streets and reduce speeds
  • Enable more people to choose to cycle by making conditions for cycling in the Square Mile safer and more pleasant
  • Improve air quality and reduce noise by encouraging and enabling the switch to zero emission capable vehicles


​More https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/transport-and-streets/Pages/transport-strategy.aspx




January 2019

New Year message


My priorities for 2019, as your elected representative in the City, are:

1. Promoting the City as a place to do business

I sit on the Policy and Public Relations and Economic Development Committees of the City Corporation and will continue to consult business and ensure that its voice is heard. I have continued to press for increased availability of small affordable office space for SMEs and start-ups in the City. A lot of progress has been made. I am delighted that Wells Fargo are consolidating their London and European presence in Bridge Ward and have now moved into the fine new building at 33 King William Street, on London Bridge.    

2. Addressing social issues 

Following on from successful Ward meetings that I've organised over the past 2 years, Ward businesses met again last month to discuss how opportunities for young people can be improved especially through providing experience of work and career advice. I am Chairman of Partnership for Young London and, as a Governor of two of the City Corporation sponsored schools, I will continue to devote time and attention to youth opportunity in London where unemployment, whilst reduced, is still 3 times the national level. Social mobility needs to improve as a key driver of delivering opportunity for young people. 


3. Improving safety, health and amenity 

With the working population of the City set to grow to c 600,000 by 2030, I am concerned that the needs of all the City’s stakeholders are understood and a balance is stuck in meeting those needs. I have focussed specifically on the vital importance of tackling air quality, speaking publicly in my role as Deputy Chairman of City's Port Health and Environment Committee. Everyone needs to get around the City safely and easily, particularly pedestrians. The City is becoming increasingly congested and I have been pressing for a strategic solution through my membership of the Planning & Transportation Committee as well as asking our Police and others in the City to educate and enforce where necessary to promote good road behaviour by all.  


4. Open spaces and cultural spots

I’d like to see more open green spaces for people to enjoy during the working day especially celebrating London’s heritage and culture. The significant improvements to the area around the historic Monument in our Ward have made a big difference. I would also like to see the riverside in our Ward enhanced and improved through potential re-development.  


5. Policing

A high-quality, well-funded, police capability is vital in today’s world. Threat levels remain at severe and counter terrorism is clearly a vital element of policing today, where the City's Force has, and does, play an integrated role. The City is unique in having its own police force. I was elected to the Police Committee 2 years ago and also sit on the Economic Crime Board. Fraud, economic and cyber crime are growing and serious areas of crime, much of which goes unreported. I'm also keen that vulnerable people are prioritised in policing, whether as victims of physical or economic crime.

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February 2017

Business Rates revaluation

 
I am deeply concerned that City firms are being hit particularly hard in the first revaluation since 2010 with average bills set to rise by 30%. Bills will be sent out in March next year but you can check your draft 2017 valuation now and ask for it to be changed if it’s wrong by providing rental evidence.
 
Strong demand for commercial property has placed pressure on the supply of office space across the capital which is driving up rents. Generally, though, City rents are still well below those in Westminster.
 
The City is committed to increasing the supply of accommodation for businesses and I continue to press, in particular, for smaller units to accommodate SMEs with fewer than 50 or 100 staff in space of less than 500 sq metres, which have been diminishing.
 
Over the years the make-up of the City has changed, with smaller, more agile and flexible businesses now the norm. Following the Brexit vote, London needs to redouble its efforts to maintain its competitive position as a world-leading financial and business centre in attracting these types of firms. A sudden and sharp increase in tax bills for the capital’s businesses is both unwelcome and badly timed given the uncertainties Brexit brings.
 
I want to see the impact eased through meaningful transitional relief. The government’s current proposals for transition would see bills increase by up to 42% cent next year which is a huge increase at one go and at short notice.
 
This is another issue which adds weight to the devolution case for London to decouple London’s business rates system from the rest of the country. This will stop London’s high property values from distorting the national distribution of rates and ease the pressure on the City’s businesses.
 
You can check your 2017 draft valuation and ask for it to be amended if it’s wrong.
 
Monument Yard improvements
 
Further to my last update, we have been finalising the draft plans and costings for the improvements to the area around the Monument in our Ward, following completion of the consultation.
 
Thank you to all those who took time to feed in views in September and at the meetings I organised in the Ward – thanks again to Sophie Coles for hosting those at the Monument Building.
 
In response to your views and ideas the main changes from the draft scheme are as follows;
 
·         Amended position of the water fountain – away from the entrance to Monument Place
·         Creating a level surface with new drainage in the yard
·         Added additional seating to further improve inclusivity
 
The plans have now been approved and work is due to start in March. I will make sure that all businesses and residents in the area have the opportunity to input to the programming and phasing of the work where the main priority will be to minimise disruption.
 
The blue hoarding in Fish Street Hill outside Monument tube station is licensed to London Underground for works inside the station and was due to be removed in February 2017. I did ask at the outset for it to be made smaller to ease the peak time congestion from the tube station to Eastcheap. This wasn’t possible but a request to increase its size was declined. I have now secured agreement from London Underground to reduce the size of the hoarding which will be done weekend of 25/26 February. The hoarding is due to be removed completely in June.
    
If you’d like more detail at this stage please get in touch.


November 2016

Brexit Update

Thank you to the many people who’ve written to me since the Referendum in June – I’ve shared the priorities and views expressed with senior City of London Corporation Officers who are charged with influencing the Brexit policy and process. 

We now know that Article 50 is expected to be triggered within 6 months. The role of The City in shaping future negotiations will be critical to making sure the form of Brexit is as beneficial as possible to our businesses and communities here.
  
I wanted to update you on what the City, and I, have been doing on Brexit. There is a sense that there is a national vacuum on the issue, with mixed messages from Government and no clarity on critical issues such as the future of EU citizens in London, financial passporting, continued access to markets and essential skills and labour, and if we are to have a ‘hard’, ‘soft’, ‘flexible’ or some other form of Brexit. I think the Government are right to focus on free trade and a global outlook, and The City needs to lobby to protect those international businesses committed to investing in London and the UK.

The reality is that this is a very complex with a wide range of issues and varying perspectives across sectors and industries. The emerging view seems to be that we must aim for the best but prepare for the worst. In my view the City should also look to identify and maximise all opportunities to be innovative in protecting and advancing the interests of London. There's never been a more important time to do that.   
 
The City’s formal position can be read in full on the website (link). A position I agree with, The City must lobby for continued access to the single market and skills, and the Government must listen to City voices.

We should also go further. I think it’s critical that the voices of those in our broader City community are heard. Not just finance companies, which are essential, but SMEs and retailers, lawyers and tech companies. There is a wealth of ideas on the City’s future, from you and others in the square mile, in businesses of every size and shape. They should be heard and I am committed to representing those views.
 
The City of London Corporation has long prided itself and been very effective as the champion of the broader City, financial services and associated business sector. Personally, I felt it fell short after the 2008 crash when a more critical eye was needed. Now, with Brexit having huge impacts on The Square Mile, and bringing potentially new opportunities as well it needs to step up and represent all of those stakeholders in our wider community.
 
To this end, I want to make sure that you and the company you work for have your voice heard. I am more than happy to come to your place of work and meet you and colleagues interested in what the City of London is doing on Brexit and other areas of economic development and outreach – and bring some other subject matter experts with me. Please email me if you are interested in this. 

Other links:
TheCityUK has published ‘Brexit and the industry’, a report available here, setting out information on some of the key issues facing the UK Government and an overview of the UK’s economic position since the EU referendum.

The City of London has produced a report with PWC on how a regional visa system could work.  Access to talent is a major concern to businesses I speak to across the City.

Oliver Wyman have produced a significant report for TheCityUK regarding the impact of Brexit on UK based financial services. This fact-base will help inform discussions with Governments across Europe. 

Further reading:
In addition to the links to items above, you may also be interested in a paper authored by Andrew Tyrie MP, outlining some of the choices available to the Government to give meaning to Brexit and the principles underpinning how it should proceed. The paper ‘Giving meaning to Brexit’ was published by the think tank Open Europe and is available here


Experimental safety scheme at Bank Junction


One of my priorities as your elected representative is to ensure that we build a healthy and enjoyable environment for the people who work and live in the City.


Keeping people safe on our streets is of vital importance. The number of people working in the square mile is forecast to grow by over 40,000 in the next 10 years. 

There are proposals to implement an experimental safety scheme at Bank Junction which I am fully supporting. In short the proposals are to introduce a restriction to motor vehicles that cross Bank Junction during the hours of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday. 


This restriction is likely to be for all vehicles other than bus and pedal cycle and possibly taxis. The full details of this proposal will be presented in December.  If approved it is anticipated that the scheme could be operational in April 2017.


As part of the design process we have been working with businesses in the vicinity of the junction to minimise the potential impact on their day to day operations. Letters have been sent to explain a little about the scheme and to give assurance that other than routing to their premises, access is not likely to be impacted by the proposals.


If you would like more information please let me know.

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October 2016

Addressing social issues - youth unemployment

I have organised a breakfast event in our Ward when Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow (Lord Mayor 2015) will talk about the role of Lord Mayor and what he observed and achieved during his year in office. We will also be looking at what more can be done to tackle youth unemployment in London. The event is on Wednesday 30 November at 20 Fenchurch Street in Bridge Ward, courtesy of Vanquis Bank. We will also have a presentation from a London Youth beneficiary with time for questions and discussion. The City of London Corporation will also be showcasing the ways in which it can support businesses. The event will also provide an important networking opportunity for responsible business professionals to connect and share perspectives on topics of mutual interest, including the Apprenticeship Levy. If you are interested in attending please let me know.


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September 2016

Local Plan to 2036

The Local Plan is the strategy for planning the City of London. It sets out the vision for shaping the Square Mile in the future and contains the policies which guide planning decisions. The City of London Corporation is preparing a new local Plan which will provide the planning framework up to 2036. The whole process takes about 2 years with public consultation at each key stage. The first stage is to seek views on the major issues and options facing the City – safety and security, office and utility infrastructure, tall buildings, places in the City, culture, protected views, history, transport, streets and walkways, housing, open spaces and recreation.
 
For our own Ward of Bridge the enhancement of the riverside is an important issue where I would like to see improvements. I sought views on this topic last year http://www.keithbottomley.com/thames-strategy.html and I’m very keen to see improvements in both utility and open spaces, as well as the reopening of Swan Lane pier to provide water taxi access to the City.
 
Consultation starts with posing a series of open questions on how the City should develop and maintain its role as a world leading international financial and business centre through to 2036. Although a wide range of questions are posed, no decisions have been taken on future planning policies. The initial consultation runs for 6 weeks until 31st October. The consultation document, and other supporting information, is available on the City Corporation website at: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/cityplan2036

You can submit comments using an online questionnaire, which has been divided into different sections to reflect the broad themes, Strategic Objectives, A World Financial and Business Centre, Key City Places, City Culture and Heritage, Environmental Sustainability and City Communities.

Comments can also be made by emailing: localplan@cityoflondon.gov.uk , or in writing to the Department of the Built Environment at the Guildhall, and will be used to help draft detailed policy wording for further consideration in summer 2017.
 
As always I am keen to hear your views and to represent them.

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July 2016

Brexit Update
I am keen to keep you updated on the important work we are doing on Brexit, particularly in light of the huge political change we have seen in the last week. I want to represent your views, ideas and concerns and feed them directly in to the City's work on influencing the terms of the UK's exit from the EU. There is a critical need for us to understand the position of City businesses and to help to shape and reflect those positions to policymakers. Likewise we are focussing on understanding where political and regulatory policy makers they are coming from and influencing them.

Our aim is to seek to minimize the loss of business from the City by ensuring that there is a full understanding of the implications of various options and, with others, making the appropriate policy representations. We also seek to explore and promote compensatory policy and other measures to take advantage of opportunities to increase business for the City, London and the UK as a whole.

The City Corporation is working closely with TheCityUK and the International Regulatory Strategy Group. We are also fully engaged in the various industry fora. The following questions are pertinent. Please let me have your views on these, or any other aspect, ahead of a meeting I will be attending with other elected Members on Wednesday of next week:

  *  What can we do to minimise business moving away from the City as a result of the current uncertainty?
  *  What can we do to attract more new business into the City?
  *  Are there any specific areas that we should be seeking to promote (Fintech and green finance are obvious examples, where we are already very active)?
*  What form does continued access to the Single Market need to take?.
  *  How do we ensure that industry continues to have access to the skilled workers from EU member states it requires?
* How do we achieve stability in the regulatory environment - no major changes?
  *  How can we best increase business with non EU countries - noting that additional resources have been agreed to fund this work?
  *  What contribution can we make to counter the view outside London that London generally and the City specifically are not seen as benefitting the rest of the economy?
  *  What can we do to counter the small but significant element of xenophobia that has been experienced in recent weeks?
 
A substantial increase in the budget to cover representational work has also been agreed, as referenced above, which will predominantly be used to -

· Build Future Products and Services: providing a stronger focus on innovative policy development to respond to new challenges and to secure the position of the City as a premier financial services centre for the future.
·  Strengthen the Regulatory Framework: providing strong leadership for the City on strategic policy and regulatory issues affecting London as a financial services centre.
· Promote Exports and Investment: developing a new approach to provide attractive customer service for businesses served by the Corporation's trade and investment work.
 
Please do let me have your views.

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June 2016

EU Referendum
As your elected representative I want to ensure that the City Corporation plays a full and proactive role in securing the best exit terms possible, representing the interests of all of London's stakeholders, including yours.

Please make contact if there are any specific aspects that you would like me to put forward on your behalf. I am a member of the Public Relations and Economic Development Sub Committee of the City's Policy and Resources Committee.

This is the City's position:
 
“The City of London has thrived as a financial and trading centre for more than a thousand years and will continue to do so.
 “There will be no mass exit of banks and financial institutions from the Square Mile.
 “While there will be uncertainty as Brexit negotiations go on we are still the financial centre of the fifth-largest economy in the world.
 “The task now is to respect the will of the British people and secure the best deal we can in the negotiations that will follow this vote.
 “Financial services contribute £66.5bn in taxes to the Treasury - 11% of total government receipts - and City businesses I have consulted believe they must be allowed access to the single market without discrimination.
 “Financial and professional services account for 2.1million jobs in the UK - 7.2% of workers – and City businesses I have consulted believe we must be allowed to trade with passporting rights with the 27 member states of the EU.
 “The Government should now engage in a period of consultation to ensure we can keep creating jobs both in London and throughout the country.
 “The general view of the City is that the Government should push for the UK to retain our access to the Single Market.
 “Any other option will fail to provide proper arrangements for financial services and risks damaging this vital industry.
 “There is also a clear view in the City of London that our labour market must be kept flexible. European nations have provided much of the highly-skilled talent we need to succeed and this level of support given to the British economy must continue.
 “For our part the City of London Corporation will continue to engage with EU policy makers and continue to promote London as Europe’s international financial and business centre.
 “We have had a thorough, open and democratic debate.
 “All sides of this debate must now put aside their differences to do what is in the best interests of ensuring the UK remains a success on the international stage.”

This is in similar terms to the CityUK position which is set out below:
 
TheCityUK responds to the UK’s vote to leave the EU
 
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, said, “The people of the UK have decided that the future of the UK is a new one outside of the European Union. There will be challenges ahead and it will be important for Government and business to work together to address them. Our immediate focus is on stability – in the markets, for investors, and for our industry’s customers.
 
“Clear agreement is now needed on the way forward for the forthcoming negotiations as Government shapes a new relationship for the UK with the EU and retains the jobs and investment that the UK has seen to date. For financial and related professional services, the focus is on securing continuing access to the Single Market.
 
It is vital that action is taken to reinforce the global competitiveness of the UK as a place in which and from which to do business. This will help to mitigate the risk of prolonged uncertainty while a new relationship with the EU is negotiated. We look forward to working with Government on forward-looking policies to help achieve this and to advancing the attractiveness of UK-based financial and related professional services.”
<<ENDS>>
We are working with other stakeholders to preserve the City’s position.  This morning Mark Boleat chaired a meeting of the major trade associations and spoke with the Mayor of London and the Treasury.  Further meetings are being arranged for next week. There is common agreement on the need to maintain access to the single market.
 
The referendum decision will have significant implications for the City’s work in a number of areas.  The Resource Allocation Sub-Committee will give preliminary consideration to this at a strategy session. 


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April 2016

Helping Young Londoners into Employment

Nearly one in five young Londoners is unemployed. The capital has the third highest rate of 16 – 24 year olds out of work in England and I am determined to see that more is done to tackle youth unemployment in London. For example I have recently been appointed a Trustee of Partnership for Young London. and Governor at the City of London Academy Southwark and City of London School.

'The City’s Business' is a new guide informed by a panel of senior people from City businesses, Livery companies, voluntary and community organisations working with young people, London local authorities and the City Corporation. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/thecitysbusiness It offers practical suggestions on how City businesses can help young people to develop the skills that employers require to meet current and future demands.

The guide looks at how and when you, as a City business, can engage with young people and see the benefits to your organisation; finding new talent and diversifying your workforce. You can use this to develop your talent strategy, learn about what other organisations are doing, or share it with your colleagues who are interested in supporting young Londoners.

Contact partnerships@cityoflondon.gov.uk with any comments or questions, or if you would like to be involved with activities related to 'The City’s Business'.

City Giving Day 2016 

On Tuesday 27 September, the City will celebrate City Giving Day! It’s something that our Alderman in Bridge Ward, Sir Alan Yarrow, championed with great enthusiasm and passion during his year as Lord Mayor. Hundreds of businesses and organisations in the City will take part by celebrating and promoting the fantastic work they have achieved, and continue to achieve, with the charities and communities they support.

Giving Time, Supporting People is this year’s theme, with many companies choosing to volunteer or raise money/awareness for the charities that they care about including the Lord Mayor’s Appeal charities: JDRF and Sea Cadets.

This is an ideal opportunity for City businesses and organisations to promote and celebrate charity and community work, recruit more volunteers into CSR programmes, have fun raising money, and underline the importance of contributing to communities. In 2015:

205 companies took part in City Giving Day.
4,000 new volunteers were recruited to help local charities and community groups.
£300,000 was raised for charities, community groups and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

I encourage you and your colleagues to get involved in City Giving Day 2016. You can register online now so that you can have your name included in promotions throughout the year.  
  
City Business Traineeship Programme

The City Corporation’s prestigious City Business Traineeship (CBT) programme is looking for new corporate partners to join companies including UBS, Société Générale and Lloyd’s, and from our own Ward CNA Hardy and Tokio Marine Kiln, who provide paid internships to young people every year. The CBT programme introduces City firms to a new and diverse talent pool, helping them to meet their CSR, equality and diversity objectives cost effectively.

The Brokerage, the charity which delivers the programme on the City Corporation’s behalf, recruits high-achieving, motivated and ambitious ‘A’ level students from inner London state schools into over 100 paid placements annually.

Aside from the trainee’s wages, employer participation is free. For more information, contact Melissa Lucien on 020 7628 9904 or visit: http://www.thebrokerage.org.uk/file/cbt-programme-2015-yearbook-pdf

The Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards
 
If your organisation is working hard to tackle London's most pressing social challenges, you should be celebrated. The Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards are London's most prestigious recognition scheme for organisations having an exemplary impact on the capital's communities. Companies of any size and sector can apply free of charge before 25th April. The Lord Mayor particularly wants to hear from SMEs, and the tech, retail and insurance sectors.
 
Last year's applicants reached almost 300,000 Londoners through meaningful partnerships, employee volunteering and local purchasing. They also reported increased staff engagement and strengthened relationships with key audiences. Previous winners include: IBM, Freshfields, Alium Partners, UBS and Beyond Food Foundation. 
 
www.dragonawards.org.uk/
dragonawards@cityoflondon.gov.uk
020 7332 1762

Statement of Community Involvement
 
The City of London Corporation is consulting on its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and is seeking your views. The Statement sets out how the City Corporation will consult the City’s communities when drawing up plans and policies and when making planning decisions. The SCI was last issued in 2012, and is being reviewed to keep it up to date.
 
The changes to the current statement are relatively small and mainly focus on providing greater clarity for the reader as well as updating factual information. Reference has been added to consultations regarding Neighbourhood Plans; more emphasis is given to the duty to cooperate with neighbouring boroughs and certain other bodies in the preparation of planning policies; a table setting out the consultation requirements for different types of planning applications has been added; and the guidance on pre-application consultations with the community by developers has been updated.

New London Bridge river staircase
 
There have been a few further delays in completing the new staircase on the North side of London Bridge due to two weekends where no crane lifts could take place due to high winds but the works are now nearly complete, and the new staircase will open to the public on 9 May 2016.

Area around the Monument

I have raised serious concerns with Officers at the Corporation about the blue hording which has been erected by TfL recently on Fish Street Hill. It is required until February 2017 to service works in the underground station but I am pressing to have it reduced or changed in shape to allow for safer movement of people, particularly at peak times.

The new Skanska building is due to complete by the end of next month and the area will be made good ahead of the Great Fire of London anniversary events which will take place in the area during the first weekend of September. Thereafter enhancements are planned for the area and I will make sure that you see the proposals and have an opportunity to input and comment on them. These could include creating a level surface across Monument Yard to improve access for all, seating, new street lighting, trees and other greenery, cycle parking, improved signage and interpretation of the site where the Great Fire started.

If you have ideas and thoughts / needs you'd like to raise now please do get in touch.

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March 2016

Keeping our City safe

I set dealing with terrorism and properly funding the City of London Police as one of my priorities for 2016. In the face of a severe threat level and more atrocities committed by terrorists in Europe it is vital that our police are properly resourced.
 
Over the last three months I have lobbied hard on this issue when the City Corporation was debating funding for its police force and I voted in favour of £1.6m additional annual police funding at Court of Common Council on 3 March. This money will be used to fund additional specialist firearms officers and continued work on counter terrorism to keep the City of London safe. This has been afforded by increasing the Business Rates Premium from 4p to 5p in the £. The first increase for 9 years and one also supported by many of The City's businesses.
 
The City Police continually assess Counter Terrorism response and measure reassurance amongst London's communities via a quarterly survey of residents and businesses. Please do take 5 minutes to complete the short survey:
 
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/98TT77T
 
Did you know that you can see the work of our Police first hand?
 
Our Police are inviting people to be involved in an impartial scrutiny group assessing stop and search processes, and other areas of police engagement and intervention on crime as part of an Independent Advisory Group. The scrutiny group will involve volunteers meeting once every three months, and giving impartial feedback on areas of police involvement including stop and search.
 
Also the Community Roadwatch initiative involves members of the community accompanying a uniform officer and using a speed gauge device, identifying speeding vehicles and will give you the opportunity to work with police on road safety.
 
Please contact Luke Harley directly for more information:
 
Luke Harley|Temporary Inspector|Uniform Policing Directorate|City of London Police Telephone 0207 601 2406 / 0207 601 2222 / mobile 07803 305198 / issi 2507
Address: 5 Snow Hill London EC1A 2DP


EU Referendum - City Corporation view

You might have seen in media reports that the City Corporation agreed to support Britain remaining in the EU at its meeting of the Court of Common Council yesterday.

Thanks to those who were able to complete my survey ahead of the vote. Here are the results

Based on the 31 responses (10% of the Bridge Ward electorate) 68% agreed that the City Corporation should take a position on EU membership and 65% support the UK remaining in the EU.

I referred to the views of Bridge Ward electors in my contribution to the debate. I also said that the Corporation has built a strong international profile for the City by speaking up and having a view which is a crucial component in maintaining London's pre-eminence. Our membership of the EU goes to the heart of this. We are elected to make decisions and to promote, defend and advance the interests of the 'World's Financial Capital'. The City Corporation's tradition of independence is from party politics, not politics. Independence doesn't mean not having a view. Independence doesn't mean neutrality.

Chairman of Policy Mark Boleat said: "The City of London Corporation cannot afford to remain quiet on the biggest issue facing the UK at the moment. When City firms of all sizes and in different sectors, who we represent, are voicing their concerns about the risks of leaving the EU, we need to make sure the City of London Corporation remains relevant to our stakeholders. While we might be criticised for taking such a stance, we need to speak up and encourage others to follow suit." Mark Boleat's full speech is here http://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/speech-by-mark-boleat-chairman-city-of-london-policy-and-resources-committee-on-eu-referendum-at-court-of-common-council/

Shakespeare Son et Lumière

Whilst writing, if you are in the City today or tomorrow do take the opportunity to see this wonderful modern interpretation in light, sound and performance. It's free and no ticket is required.

Friday 4 & Saturday 5 March
6.45pm - 8.45pm (20-minute loop) last show commencing 8.15pm approx.
Guildhall Yard, London EC2V

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January 2016
Air quality


In line with my promise to keep you informed on key issues, I hope that you will find this useful on air quality in the City which is getting some media attention. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/killer-pollution-in-city-hits-top-black-alert-level-a3160716.html


You may know that legal limits for air pollutants set by the EU will not be met until after 2025 in London. In April 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the Government was required to meet the legal limits, and ordered Ministers to submit new air quality plans to the European Commission by the end of 2015. The City of London published an Air Quality Strategy in 2015 outlining actions that will be taken to improve air quality in the Square Mile. The strategy details a number of initiatives such as:
 
Encouraging City businesses to reduce emissions via CityAir
Working with external organisations to improve air quality
Minimising construction and demolition emissions through the City's Code of Practice
Tackling emissions from idling vehicle engines
Recognising and rewarding good practice
Increasing public awareness of air quality
Monitoring the impact of measures to reduce pollution

More at http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/environmental-health/environmental-protection/air-quality/Pages/air-quality-reports.aspx
 
The Government’s plans involve implementing a new programme of Clean Air Zones to discourage the driving of diesel vehicles—one of the main contributors to poor air quality—in urban centres.
 
The Mayor of London’s strategy for improving air quality by 2025 includes retro-fitting of buses, using licensing powers to require taxis to be zero emission capable and an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for Central London which I fully support, mirroring the Congestion Charging Zone. The ULEZ would require all vehicles driving in central London to meet new emission standards. It will take effect from 2020, and apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
The City of London Corporation has a strong history of taking action to improve air quality in London. The City Corporation was the first local government authority to introduce a smokeless zone, and, later, the first authority to obtain powers to stop the burning of sulphurous fuel, achieved through private parliamentary acts passed in 1954 and 1971, respectively.The Corporation provides the chair for the London Air Quality Steering Group, and is an active member of the central London air quality cluster group.
 
Increasing public awareness and understanding of air pollution is a key part of the City Corporation’s Air Quality Strategy. To achieve this, the City has involved residents in monitoring of air quality; developed an air quality app that provides information on levels and alerts; and has engaged with City businesses to raise the profile of air pollution with City workers.

Please do let me have any views or comments. I will continue to press hard to make sure that the City Corporation does all that it can to take effective action as well as maintaining pressure on the GLA and central Government. 

City AIr  – sign up for air pollution alerts and find low air pollution routes when levels of air pollution are high in London http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/environmental-health/environmental-protection/air-quality/Pages/New-CityAir-App.aspx