Even though we are eagerly awaiting the Blue Moon on 30th August, I doubt if we will be able to see the Indian spacecraft that has landed – not least because it is on the far side of the moon! So many cliches to play with suggests that I have had too much time on my hands over August. Fewer formal commitments and a couple of weeks away have allowed time to refresh and reflect as well as enjoy some interesting events.
I spent a wonderful eight years as a trustee of the Old Royal Naval College Greenwich https://ornc.org/, where I oversaw the fundraising for the visitor centre and witnessed the cleaning and restoration of the west wall. It was great to return and see again the splendour of the Painted Hall and the magnificent ceiling and to bid farewell to Tony Hales as Chair of the Trust. Greenwich is definitely worth a visit. As a Past Master of the Plaisterers’ Livery, I have to laud the plasterwork by another Past Master, Henry Doegood. Without his exceptional work, the painting would have literally collapsed years ago.
It was also good to share a visit to the London Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford https://waterandsteam.org.uk/ hosted by Past Master Water Conservator Rob Casey who volunteers as a guide. Also to view the film The Living Thames and meet its director Dorothy Leiper https://aquaeyemedia.org.uk/the-historic-thames/# . Do look online at the film and see her plans to film a sequel called The Historic Thames – you might like to donate to the crowdfunding.
I was delighted that the Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce published its evidence-based report on the state of the construction and related industries and their preparedness for the new green skills needed to meet net zero. The Taskforce has operated for over a year to hone the thoughts and survey the main players. https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/assets/Business/skyline-skills-recommendations-report-pdf-9mb.pdf
Over 300 organizations have joined the 'Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce,' including designers, construction firms, and education providers. The Taskforce emphasises the urgency of addressing the growing demand for sustainable commercial buildings. I am a member of the Steering Group and lead the smaller team that is considering how to engage policy makers including Government and Local Authorities. Recommendation 4 of the Report looks at how we need to reform section 106 (planning) policies, procurement processes and the Apprenticeship Levy. There are some great partners already, but we are keen to hear from anyone who works to help in this work.
There has been a plethora of consultations over the summer from the City Corporation and others. All of them are trying to plan for a better environment or healthier living. I hope you can help and respond or just read and see what is possibly planned. A wonderful idea is to change the road system around St Martin’s Le Grand and Little Britain in what is called the St Paul’s Gyratory System. See the ideas for a new public space that will complement the existing Greyfriars Gardens and the route to St Paul’s Cathedral. Nearby there is a review of the gardens around Barber-Surgeons’ Hall and I visited them again so that I could be up to date in replying to the questions. https://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/have-your-say-on-improvements-to-barber-surgeons-gardens/
More mundanely the City are consulting on a draft sexual and reproductive health strategy for the City https://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/city-residents-and-workers-asked-to-give-views-on-sexual-and-reproductive-health-services/ A key offering to City residents and workers.