When anyone asks me if life is quieter now I am no longer Sheriff I refer them to my blogs online. Life is excitingly busy as I pursue my work for Dowgate Ward, the City and its businesses and work to create a more responsible society.
I have written separately in a blog about International Women’s Day and the importance of celebrating diversity in the City Women to the front (alisongowman.org). I will write also about Whittington600 at length but here are some highlights of my last 5 weeks.
I never fail to be proud of my Ward of Dowgate. No less than 5 businesses were in the short listings for the Clean City Awards where Cannon Place won in both the Plastic Free City and Clean Streets Partnership Awards and Cannon Bridge House scooped the Chairman’s Award for overall excellence in FM. The end of March saw the annual Ward Mote for voters and we had a stellar turn out at Innholders’ Hall. Our Ward Police Officers attended to answer questions. Just as well since rough sleeping, anti-social behaviour and waste issues were raised by those present. These meetings tend to focus on local problems but I was keen to let the audience know about the Lord Mayor’s and my work on promoting financial and professional services since the majority of the attendees all work in FS.
My work for the Livery Climate Action Group Home - Livery Climate Action Group (liverycag.org.uk) is a regular commitment of time and events. We held an in-person seminar about Almshouses and how to meet net zero. We calculated about 14 Liveries still have almshouses which date from all centuries and with a variety of issues. The Master Chartered Architect, Chris Dyson, masterminded an array of professionals to speak about this complex area to much acclaim. This helped the Liveries and other attendees consider the future of their important social housing. Maybe at the other end of the scale the City hosted the Transition Path Taskforce in a very full Guildhall. TPT are driving businesses to create, publish and stick to verifiable plans to meet net zero commitments rather than just talk about it. Led by Amanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva and Minister Baroness JoJo Penn. A lesson to us all.
I was honoured to be made a Fellow of the Institute of Couriers at a ceremony at the House of Lords. The IoC represents the logistics industry and last mile express delivery service. In the last 12 months they delivered 60 billion packages in the UK. They have set up a new road safety committee and, with my interest in this area, I was delighted to join the Commissioner of Transport for London, Andy Lord, as an Hon Fellow. Covid showed how important this sector is to our economy and personal lifestyles. Safety alongside reducing emissions and air quality are key factors as they also promote skills, training and efficiency.
The month also gave me some out of City events. The Plaisterers Livery, where I am a Past Master, has a strong link with the RAF and are affiliated with the 282 Air Cadets in Newham. We were given the great privilege to go up in a Voyager Airbus from Brize Norton to experience the refuelling of a variety of fighter jets. It was an unforgettable experience to see the expertise of the pilots as they lined up the nozzle and the hose to take on board in-flight fuel. The Airbus flew over the North Sea roughly near to Newcastle upon Tyne as we looked for the thirsty jets. We did not have to wait long as we witnessed Saudi, Finnish and UK jets line up and refuel. On board we had great RAF expertise to explain the issues and the dangers. The air cadets were thrilled and showed their own fantastic training and expertise in viewing the amazing scene. Back down on terra firma I walked the path of the proposed Camden Highline https://www.camdenhighline.com/ This is a new park in the sky linking Kings Cross and Camden and creating a high level green space for exercise, fresh air and fun. It has planning permission and now needs to raise the funds. I enjoyed a pleasant walk with the Master Gardener John Gilbert and Consort Lynn Berry. One final enjoyable experience was a visit to the Guildhall Art Gallery and the exhibition The Big City – well worth a visit. It is literally an exhibition of gigantic sized paintings depicting the ceremonial side of City life and of the buildings and infrastructure. https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/events/the-big-city
Did I mention I slept for the Lord Mayor's Appeal? You can still sponsor me Alison Gowman is fundraising for The Lord Mayor's Appeal (justgiving.com).