Funny how things can sometimes cluster together. So early July saw two annual conferences of organisations where I am the Chair (last year they were both on the same day which was very hairy).
The London Road Safety Council is a cross London charity that is made up of representatives of all the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London including both elected members and road safety officers. I am the Chair. Operating for over 100 years it has championed the need to share ideas and programmes across boundaries in order to reduce collisions and build confidence for those who are vulnerable – being pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists. Transport for London is working towards Vision Zero whereby there will be no fatalities or seriously injured on the London roads by 2041. In 2022 there were 129 deaths and in 2023 to date some 57. That is slightly more than the number of homicides in Greater London. These numbers need to continue to reduce.
At the Conference we heard from Sarah Bell the Traffic Commissioner for London about her role in licensing HGVs, buses, coaches and local bus services. We also heard from Prof Sir Chris Whitty the Chief Medical Officer and now on the Advisory Board of Active Travel England. Sir Chris advocated the benefits of active travel for health and well being and the need to break down the barriers perceived by many, preventing them cycling or walking.
On 3rd July the Livery Climate Action Group held its conference at Merchant Taylors’ Hall and a full house had a packed programme of speakers and networking. Our keynote speaker was Emma Howard Boyd who is Chair of the Green Finance Institute and former Chair of the Environment Agency. She is now leading a review by the Mayor of London into the resilience of the capital and has urged us to respond to the call for evidence. More detail on the Livery Climate Action Group website. https://liverycag.org.uk/news-and-events/lcag-annual-conference-2023/
Aldermen need to stand for re-election every 6 years and Alderman Ian Luder CBE had served in Castle Baynard Ward for 18 years before retiring this year. Seven candidates stood for the role making the field wide open and very interesting to the objective observer. I was objective but not an observer as I took the role representing the Lord Mayor as Returning Officer at the Ward Mote prior to the poll day and then at the electoral count. For the first time the Ward Mote was live streamed and you can view that event on the City Corporation’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u91gnzGm_M8 The turn out was only 25% of the electorate and the winner was Martha Grekos. Elections are a good time for people living and working in the Ward to learn more about the work of the Corporation and their Council members and if you are interested to know more then the City’s website has information on the elections and standing for a role here https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-us/voting-elections
I have long wanted to take part in an abseil and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal launched a day to abseil down the iconic Lloyd’s Building. It was exciting and scary at the same time and I am delighted to have raised over £2,000 towards the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Thanks to all who donated.
For many after dinner speaking is too scary but I have had lots of experience and so now enjoy the chance to talk about a topic of importance to the organisation or to me. Apart from the Conferences, I also spoke at the Wheelwrights’ Livery lunch and Basketmakers’ dinner. I know that the Livery can be a very discerning audience and so hope that a mixture of serious purpose bookended with some lighter material and even the odd joke should find favour with most listeners. They both seemed to go well.
One of my external roles is on the Council of the 1st Battalion London Guards, formerly the London Regiment. They have a close link to the City as one of the Privileged Regiments allowed to march through the City. With the redesignation, their new colours were presented at a moving ceremony at Buckingham Palace by their Colonel HRH, Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh. It was an honour to be there to see the unit in all their splendour and active in many roles as reservists. https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/news/2023/07/first-battalion-london-guards-receive-their-colours/
A highlight of any Lord Mayor’s year is the dinner with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This year the Lord Mayor, Alderman Nick Lyons, was able to use the opportunity to announce the Mansion House Compact - being a commitment by some of Britain’s largest pension firms to allocate a minimum of 5% of defined contribution funds to unlisted equities by 2030. With the aim of unlocking over £50 billion of new capital by the end of the decade. A chance to give the economy a much-needed boost. Well done to Nick and his business colleagues.
A selection of my other work this month is shown in the photos below.