As the World watches the scenes in Afghanistan we will all be asking ourselves how can we help - those left behind in the country, those safely in the UK or another friendly nation and those in limbo?
I am pleased to hear that the organisations in the UK who are already involved with the Afghani community are working hard to address the imminent needs, but they will need more support and help as the demands are growing. Apart from statutory bodies such as national government and local authorities, civil society is also treating the situation with urgency and intent. As has been proved at other moments of major crisis ( 7/7 London bombings or Grenfell Tower) the help can best be given in collaboration with those nearest the need and ideally from an existing relationship with a trusted partner on the ground. London Funders (the umbrella body for all London funding trusts, endowments corporates and local authorities) called a meeting last week to co-ordinate the response and share thoughts. Exchanging knowledge and intelligence about the issues is critical so that the best actions can be taken. I anticipate good actions will now follow. Specialist groups understanding immigration, legal and language needs are critical as well as being able to negotiate the bureaucracy of the funding and housing provision that is being offered.
Help can be provided in several ways:
Raising money for displaced people in Afghanistan, in the UK and in between. As with all such donations they need to be given to the right organisation who has the ability to use this wisely and are credible in their aims
Supporting resettled people arriving in the UK (2,000 people arrived early last week, others will follow and many are likely to gravitate to London). At present 60% of the UK’s 250,000 residents of Afghan origin live in Greater London.
Working to integrate people through housing advice, language classes, mentoring, social and cultural support, legal advice, immigration advice and well as support with paperwork
Working with other organisations in lobbying the Home Office to allow more Afghans into the UK or provide help in other ways
I know that the City Bridge Trust is one of the funders reviewing the needs and supporting their grantees working in this area. My law firm is providing pro bono advice to new arrivals on legal and administrative matters. Many other initiatives are in hand. Responding to this crisis and welcoming those in need into our neighbourhood and communities will be a mark of our humanity. Let us all hope that the UK can deliver on this.
Extract from my speech to the City Livery Club Women in the Livery Lunch August 2nd 2021 on the topic of the City and Environmental Social and Governance Issues, hosted by Mei Sim Lai.
You will hardly have been able to avoid talk on all media about the upcoming climate conference COP26 in November that the UK are hosting in Glasgow. A time for all nations to reassess their progress towards the goals set by them in Paris in 2015 and to pledge anew in the context of our current understanding of the world’s climate as we establish how far we are along the road and how we will need to redouble our efforts.
It is in that context that I am working with others at the City Corporation to promote the work of the financial city and the opportunity that COP highlights to work with government and other international organisations and multilateral development banks to drive this agenda and help fund the transition needed to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the likely temperature rise.
The City Corporation has these matters firmly in hand, first of all in walking the talk with its own Climate Action Strategy reviewing all its operations as well as its investment strategies for its properties and financial investments.
Working closely with the Green Finance Institute, where I am the vice chair, we are planning and indeed already actively involved in the COP26 programme. The City are hosting a pavilion at COP26 and putting on a parallel real and virtual programme in Glasgow and London working with significant sponsors and in alignment with the Government departments. Branded as part of the Green Horizon series it will be a very visible contribution by the City and its leading businesses. This programme will continue after November as we deliver what has been promised
We also continue the international promotion of the City as a global hub for business and only last month I spoke at the Saudi British Investment forum on green finance and tomorrow lead a session with Latin America on the same topic of disclosure and compliance issues.
This drive towards net zero is wider than purely environmental matters. It involves Environmental Social and Governance matters ESG. A recent survey said that 66% of investors said London was world-leading or one of the world’s best cities in tackling ESG issues. Clearly an important feather in the cap of the City and the UK. However the absence of consensus, data and the ability to track these measures could cause some backlash or rightful criticism of claims that investments might turn out to be unverifiable. The City is keen to see a consensus on this taxonomy.
The initiative launched by Mark Carney under the Taskforce for Climate Related Financial Disclosure means that UK businesses are now either required due to their size or regulatory regime or are voluntarily considering the climate impact of all their actions and reporting thereon. This is being taken up internationally and other initiatives are gaining momentum.
Whilst the S is less easily measurable, work is progressing here at the Impact Investing Institute has been set up with the City Corporation with private support and government funding to drive this work – such as help in funding the rebuilding of the new City YMCA where the social impact of such provision was as relevant an outcome as the interest rate on the loan.
As to the G in governance – well I am a lawyer and so I like to think that how a corporate is governed is considered to impact the performance. This leads into the area of good processes, board composition and the inevitable need for diversity ( of thought) and engagement and communication with stakeholders.
This interplay of good behaviours should all work together and the E the S and G don’t need to conflict with each other.
Since this is a women in the livery event with a predominance of females present let me mention an argument and a hypothesis that I like the sound of that blends the social with the climate impact.
In low- and middle-income countries the fact of gender discrimination means that adolescent girls living in poverty are often the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. This includes disruptions to their education, increasing their time in poverty, and with the risk of early and forced child marriage. Yet, ensuring that girls receive a proper quality of education can resolve this. Indeed, research suggests that girls’ education can strengthen not only their life chances but also climate strategies in three ways:
First by empowering girls and advancing their reproductive health and rights. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates suggest that together with family planning, girls’ education has the potential of avoiding nearly 85 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050.
Education will help girls participate in climate leadership and pro-environmental decision-making – look at the women and young women taking leading roles on climate issues around the world.
And thirdly education will develop girls’ green skills for green jobs. We all know that girls are underrepresented in STEM ( science technology engineering and maths ) yet in pursuing a new green learning agenda, girls can have the opportunity to develop the skills not only to participate in green jobs and so help to redefine and transform our economic systems.
Would that not be a great social outcome for all those young women as well as for the climate? To me that is what ESG can lead to in so many real life situations.
I would argue that the way that we operate as individuals or within our businesses organisations and livery companies we can play a part however small and ensure that we prepare for a potentially very different future environment
My reasoning is that it is good for the planet, for people and for profit. I don’t need to be a goody two shoes I need to be a hard-nosed financier/lawyer who sees the future and wants to be investing in it.
I want the City of London to return to a more normal working pattern with people coming into their offices and engaging in our vibrant city. Shops, restaurants, bars and gyms as well as wonderful iconic cultural venues like the Barbican are open and waiting to greet everyone again. However the clean air benefits of the nearly empty streets over the last year -which recorded much lower air pollution -are in danger of being lost if the return to the City also leads to a return to smoggy air. I now have asthma in my adult life and must accept that this probably arose from City living some 10 years ago. Taking some simple steps can make a difference wherever we live or work. https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2020/in-your-community/10-things-you-can-do-to-help-reduce-air-pollution-today The City of London Corporation has led the way in monitoring air quality and then taking steps to create green spaces such as the new public park at Aldgate or through planning conditions encouraging green roofs ( the most green roofs proportionately than in any other City) and in providing electric vehicle charging points. The fleet of cleansing vehicles keeping our streets so tidy is all electric. There is a strong engagement with the City businesses who are themselves concerned about the impact on the health of their employees and the CityAir Business Programme https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/environmental-health/air-quality/air-quality-business-engagement is a great way for businesses to find out what more they can do. It’s time to return to the City and enjoy all that makes it the best place to work live and visit and to breathe #london #cleanair #returntotheCity.
Following my election as one of the two Sheriffs of the City of London on 24 June, I am planning my year’s engagement with the City, the UK and internationally. The role of the Sheriff is to support the Lord Mayor and the City of London and to oversee the administration of the Old Bailey and promote the rule of law (arguably the historic role of the Sheriff is to supervise the delivery of justice in the Square Mile). This is in addition to working alongside the City Corporation in alignment with the corporate plan and initiatives.
Whilst the photograph of me shows the formal and ceremonial dress on the very important occasion of the Election of the Sheriffs in Common Hall by the Livery, the role is wider and more influential than this might show. The Sheriffs form part of the civic team with the Lord Mayor and working alongside the Chair of Policy and Resources – Catherine McGuinness who is the effective leader of the City Corporation. As a Sheriff I hope to join visits overseas and meet foreign delegations coming to London in order to promote the role of the City, its financial business and professional services.
The focus in the first quarter of my year of office will be the lead up to COP26. My role within the City Corporation working on the City’s own Climate Action Strategy and my position as non-executive director of the Green Finance Institute means that I will be promoting the role that the City can play in financing the much needed transition to net zero. There are many positive responses from Government, local authorities, business and civil society as well as the clamour of individuals who all want to play a part to create our greener and sustainable future.
The response of the City businesses to the Covid pandemic is still unfolding. The City Corporation is committed to the recovery of the ecosystem that makes the Square Mile the best place to work, live and visit. One element in the balance is the impact on commercial real estate and, as a property lawyer, I understand the drivers around the market and the cost of property to businesses but also the investment value that real estate has in our economy. Property has to serve the business needs. I see these changing with a greater emphasis on property needing to address the wellbeing of the occupiers and employees. There is a growing recognition of the importance of the public realm, ease of access and ambience that have always been hallmarks of, and the reasons why, people like working in the City. These need to be enhanced.
During my year of office I want to continue to champion the role of philanthropy. Many City businesses already understand their wider role in society and I want to ensure that businesses working with civil society and Government ( national and local) can address the inequalities in London and beyond that have been so exposed during the pandemic.
Whilst this might sound ambitious I hope that the elements of the role interest you and I look forward to a wide engagement – do get or keep in touch.
On June 24th 2021 at the meeting of the Livery in Common Hall in Guildhall in the City of London I was elected as one of the two Sheriffs of the City of London to serve for one year commencing on September 28th 2021. At the election I was permitted to make a short speech of acceptance in which I agreed to serve in this office and spoke of my intentions. I also thanked my Livery Companies for their support. The text of my speech is here:
I am honoured and delighted to have been elected today to serve as one of the two sheriffs of the City of London in this ancient legal role. I have great pleasure in accepting the office of Sheriff. I pledge to serve this City my Lord Mayor and you the Livery during my year’s tenure and thereafter. And thank you for your support and the confidence you place in me.
I am equally pleased to have this opportunity to work alongside the Recorder Common Serjeant and Judges at the Old Bailey and assist them in every way that I can in the delivery of the finest judicial system in the world, upholding the values of this City and this nation of integrity, independence and fairness exemplified in the rule of law.
Surveying this fine assembly ( albeit reduced in size – I like to think that there is nothing wrong in being small) you indeed fuel my imagination with the many aspects of the City’s life in which I am determined to engage and champion. The Livery Companies have shown their resilience and sustainability over the centuries and just to pick one area of my expertise - the challenge of climate change is now the opportunity for the City and Livery once again to raise their game and repurpose their aims and I solicit your assistance in this.
I look forward to working hand in glove with my good friend and colleague Alderman Nick Lyons and know we will work together with vigour and with much fun. I thank my Livery Companies whom I have each - bar one- referenced obliquely in this speech – did you catch their names as used in common parlance? But I struggled to casually mention The Plaisterers and I certainly hope I do not end up too often…… plas..
Subject thereto I set forth now with determination to serve.
My Lord Mayor
Election of the Sheriffs of the City of London
The City of London has an historic right to elect two Sheriffs every year on 24th June. Elsewhere in the UK the High Sheriffs of the Counties, including Greater London, are chosen by the Queen. The electorate is the Liverymen and women who meet physically in the Guildhall in the City at a meeting called Common Hall. This year there will be restrictions on how many can attend due to Covid 19.
The nominations for the election have closed and I am one of the two names ready to serve. The election on 24th June will confirm that by outcry. It might sound a bit obscure but there is quite a process through which Aldermen have to go in order to get to this stage of standing for Sheriff. First you need to be elected as an Alderman. I have been elected as an Alderman for my Ward (of Dowgate) since 2002 with elections taking place every 6 years during that period. The voters are the residents and business occupiers who register. Those voters considered me to be fit for the role of Alderman. Then the Court of Aldermen, assisted by an external panel of business leaders in the City, interview and appraise the Aldermen following which the Aldermen meeting together as a Nominations Committee consider and give their final approval. As it happens this year there are two Aldermen standing and as there are no other nominations the Livery do not have a contested election.
The electoral addresses for myself and my fellow Alderman, Nicholas Lyons, are posted on the Livery Committee website https://www.liverycommittee.org/shrieval-addresses-to-common-hall/
The second seminar for Livery Companies took place on 15th April with a positive introduction and ringing endorsement from the Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell. He thanked the Livery for spearheading this topic which is a high priority for him as the “Green Lord Mayor”. The seminar heard from Dr David Viner and Raphaelle Vallet from the Green Investment Group. They gave a succinct and evidence based description of the impact of Climate Change and an overview of the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. A large number of livery members attended and a video is available for those who missed out or what to view again or use it for other events. You can view this here https://youtu.be/kuitwFHCB0g
The seminar ended with breakout rooms for everyone to contribute to the discussion as to what Livery Companies are already doing, especially with their respective industry/trade sectors. There was so much to talk about and some comments can be shared here:
-Noted that this varies from company to company, with some having a more direct link eg Gardeners and Horticulture, Architects on UK building regulations, Water Conservators on the UK water industry which is the 4th largest energy industry in the UK. It was suggested that these could be mapped .
-For some companies there is a strong link with their industry through training, grants, research etc. Young engineers drive methodologies to reduce carbon.
-Plans are underway by the Chartered Architects to build a temporary ‘Eco Show Home’ in Paternoster Square. Funding support has been received from Mitsubishi and Savills. This initiative is being driven by a consortium.
-The Engineers have a series of online seminars discussing net zero issues; mostly attended by members but open to others too.
-Awareness in industry has given rise to changes, e.g. The Poseidon Initiative, a global framework for responsible ship finance. One influence is that the more polluting ships must pay a higher insurance premium. Shipping companies and port authorities are highlighting the need to reduce climate change which will hopefully drive behaviour.
-How to double glaze stained glass being considered.
-Promote the use of sustainable materials eg Drapers and wool, Carpenters and supporting woodland
-Conscious that blacksmiths are big users of fossil fuels, although not a large industry, and few of the Blacksmiths Company are practising in the trade. However now promote only using Welsh coal to reduce international miles. Also reviewing alternative energy sources for furnaces.
-As might be expected strong support for education by the liveries. This ranges from Livery Schools Link to supporting specific schools as well as grants prizes studentships, scholarships and lectures projects etc. The need for climate action is woven in here but could probably be extended.
One thing that has absorbed me over the last year is work around the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy coupled with the lead up to COP26.
It was exhilarating to work on both topics as I have had a long involvement with sustainability, green finance and the environment. Ten years ago this was not so popular such that I felt I was pushing the Corporation uphill in trying to get buy-in about the need to consider emissions and the impact of climate on risk and resilience. My determination then led to the setting up and chairing of a subcommittee which was the start of the Corporation’s road to be considered a leading authority. I ensured that the Corporation complied as much as possible (creating a corporate Carbon Descent Plan to net zero carbon by 2050 and being the first local authority to be accredited under the Carbon Trust Standard) as well as linking to the Governmental interest in this topic via the Environmental Audit Committee. I was asked to help lead the Green Finance Initiative that led to the Green Finance Institute where I am a non-exec director.
Working on the City Corporation's preparation for COP26 has been a significant piece of work. When the date was moved to November 2021 it was agreed that the City would host the Green Horizon Summit in November 2020 which reached hundreds of thousands of delegates. This positioned the work of the City with Government on a national and international stage. Now work is progressing towards November 2021, including the legacy thereafter.
The Corporation's Climate Action Strategy was launched in October 2020 with an ambition to create a net zero Square Mile by 2040. https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/assets/Services-Environment/climate-action-strategy-2020-2027-20-10-20.pdf
This was game-changing in the way that the departments in the Corporation worked together to achieve a programme of work that received significant member support. I am leading the engagement with some of the stakeholders across the City and arranged a recent seminar for the Livery Companies which has resulted in a full programme of workstreams to prepare the Livery for net zero; to lead in education on this topic and provide protocols and templates for smaller businesses and charities to achieve net zero and address other areas regarding climate change. https://www.liverycommittee.org/about/city-of-london-corporation/climate-action-strategy/
I am sure that in retrospect our individual and collective actions will all seem to have been following an expected pattern. That is of compliance and stoicism through fear and fretting to frustration and wanting to break free. Across the City businesses activities are frustratingly partially open but not quite there and largely still without many walk-in customers. The City is keeping many activities alive online and with some limited physical presence. Two physical ceremonies saw flags being raised over the Guildhall to celebrate (separately) Pride and Armed Forces. Elsewhere Hampstead Heath is a growing magnet for people whilst the arts are still anxious and premises closed. There are those always ready to make a killing in any situation. I don’t mean lawyers but the criminals who prey on the vulnerable at this time.
Online Fraudsters Steal £17m during COVID19 Lockdown
The City of London Police are the National Lead Force for Economic Crime and run the national Action Fraud reporting call centre and dissemination. Sad to say that nearly £17m has been lost to online fraud over the COVID-19 lockdown period with younger shoppers most affected, according to Action Fraud. Online scams have snared 16,352 victims with online shopping and auction fraud since bricks and mortar stores were ordered to close on March 23. That amounts to around £16.6m in losses, with the largest group of victims (24%) aged 18 to 26 and residing in cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham. A spokesperson said “Always be wary of emails, texts and social media posts that offer products for considerably less than their normal price – this is a common tactic used by criminals. Where possible, use a credit card to make online purchases as this will offer you more protection if anything goes wrong.”
Pride in the City
The rainbow flag has been raised over four City landmarks as the City of London Corporation shows its support for the LGBT+ community. The iconic banner was raised with a small ceremony at Guildhall and also flies at Tower Bridge, The Mansion House and the Central Criminal Court, as well as at some of the City Corporation’s schools and open spaces.
In recent years, City Corporation staff and elected Members have taken part in the annual Pride in London parade, but this year’s celebrations have been cancelled due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The Chair of the City’s Establishment Committee said “While we can’t physically come together to celebrate, flying the flag is a sign of our support for London’s LGBT+ community and our diverse City”.
Armed Forces Week
In the following week the flag of the Armed Forces was hoisted over Guildhall on 22nd June and the Lord Mayor was actually present with senior members of the Armed Forces. This was a first event of such kind to be held since lockdown. All the necessary social distancing was observed. In keeping with the new normal the event also included an online element with the Lord Mayor meeting and talking to City Reservists from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who celebrated Reserves Day on 24th June.
The City of London Corporation runs Hampstead Heath as part of its 11,000 acres of open spaces around London. A particular pleasure associated with the Heath is the open swimming ponds available all year round to allow swimming in fresh water. These had been closed but the City is now setting out a plan to reopen these facilities. The situation is under constant review and will reopen as soon as it is safe for visitors and staff, in consultation with Swimming Associations. Meanwhile the rest of the Heath is open and proving very popular with walkers cyclists and dogs.
Arts and culture
Sadly London’s major theatres and arts venues are in dire straits. Only so much can be performed online when, after all the thrill of the theatre, concerts, dance and opera is that they are live and you are present. Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican described the crisis as a triple whammy: it’s an economic crisis of devastating proportions, affecting all sectors of the arts; it’s an artistic crisis, destroying the work and earning power of individuals; and it is a philosophical crisis, causing us to question many of our ways of operating and working.
He added “We have a long history of delivering art and learning activities with schools and communities in east London and beyond, while the Culture Mile initiative brings us together with a wide network of partners large and small. It’s vital to us that the arts as a whole thrive, because the sector is a delicately balanced ecology of developing talent, creative innovation and income generation. As we look to re-opening, we will be back — but we may not be quite the same.”
Plans approved for create a New Museum for London
As Plaisterers heard at the recent Zoom event the Museum was keeping its fingers crossed to get planning permission for the new site. The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee approved the plans on 23rd June. The new Museum of London will create a new, world-class cultural destination within a series of historic buildings in West Smithfield
The project will redefine what a museum can be in the 21st century. It will tell the story of London and Londoners in new and innovative ways, and create an unmissable experience for its visitors. It holds 7 million objects and will continue to reach every school child as well as the many adults criss-crossing the location at the hub of the transport network of London. The approved plans mean a secure, sustainable future for the historic market buildings that make up the site, most of which date back to the Victorian Era and have fallen into significant disrepair. Much of the historic fabric of the buildings will be preserved to create cavernous and atmospheric spaces both above and below ground, capable of hosting a broader range of displays, exhibitions, learning activity and events.
It seems that the excitement of the new Museum site might be liable to mask the underlying issues around the Arts in general, as Nick Kenyon sets out. The City of London thrives as an international destination because of the richness of the cultural offering as well as the business cluster and liveability of the City. We would be a poorer and less dynamic place if these were not able to revive and flourish.
Things are beginning to change visibly around the City. There are a few more people on the streets, much more noisy construction work, vehicular traffic has increased and more shops are open and trading. I have lived in the City for 24 years and when I first came here the weekends were empty. It feels a bit like that now – not entirely dead but just reviving. That is clearly what the economy needs and the City Corporation and businesses are focussed on facilitating a safe working environment.
Black Lives Matter
The public killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis was abhorrent and the repercussions across the world have been felt in the City as well. The City of London Corporation issued a statement which included the words “The City of London Corporation is committed to equality, inclusivity and diversity and we stand in solidarity with BAME colleagues and communities. We understand it is not enough to say we are against racism but we have to work to eradicate all forms of racism in all that we do.” Many City businesses have made public statements and committed to action to eradicate racism, prejudice and inequality. This is clearly an important issue that must shape the working practices of the City and all communities. The City Corporation has set up a group to review in the widest terms what further action can be taken to tackle racism. Some focus has been on the visible signs of historic inequality and profit from the slave trade. Outside the Museum of London Docklands the statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was removed peaceably with the full support of the Museum and Tower Hamlets.
The City prepares
Work on the streets has started to introduce wider pavements and extra cycling road space with many barriers being erected across the City. Businesses are preparing with markings delineating 2 metre spaces as well testing for those arriving at work. Whilst some businesses have started a slow return, the opening of shops from 15th June with be a big signal. Alongside these indicators the Mansion House has taken the opportunity to mark the work of the frontline workers and placed a rainbow wreath on the front door.
Plans afoot for the new combined wholesale City markets
Notwithstanding pressing issues around the pandemic longer term planning continues. On 3rd June the City of London Corporation submitted a landmark planning application to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham which will create a new home for Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield markets at Dagenham Dock (the former Barking Reach Power Station).
The move will create the country’s largest wholesale food destination across 42 acres of industrial land – forming a new 21st century food centre for London, the South East and the UK. Not only will the move to Dagenham Dock secure the future of the three historic markets, it will also provide an economic boost to Barking and Dagenham, by reviving an abandoned industrial site – bringing new jobs and businesses to the area.
Relocating the market to Dagenham Dock will bring a number of environmental benefits too, with the potential to use the nearby rail network and River Thames to transfer goods and produce. This pioneering approach to food logistics will help to alleviate pressure on the A13 road.
The designs, which have been developed by architects Chetwoods, also present an opportunity to help combat the effects of climate change. The new development will be built with sustainable materials and using the latest environmental technology. As well as providing market tenants with new modern facilities to help protect their futures and grow, the plans will deliver a new food school, which will aim to train tomorrow’s market traders, butchers, fishmongers and fruiterers.
If consent is granted, the City Corporation will be required to submit a series of detailed planning applications, with the target of opening the new markets by 2025/2026.
Will you take the test?
The Lord Mayor joined others re-entering the workplace at Legal and General who started the day an immediate test for Covid19. This was set up by a charitable foundation, Covid Crisis Rescue (CCR), who want to test people in order to minimise the risk of a second wave of the disease.
City Police get new recruit
The City of London Police have been in the news quite a bit recently. Whilst face to face crime had dropped at the start of the lockdown, cybercrime and online fraud particularly Covid related have been frequently in the news with warnings not to be taken in by fake websites selling masks and gloves or risking your savings. More recently the City Police’s work with the Metropolitan Police has come into the news. The two forces with British Transport Police work collaboratively under a policing arrangement called Operation Benbow. This has meant our City cops are on the front line of the protests in Westminster, Whitehall and Parliament Square. Their latest recruit, who was impressed with this commitment is Penny Lancaster who is joining the ranks of the City of London Special Constabulary. Many will recognise her from celebrity magazines and reports as the wife of Sir Rod Stewart. As one wag said that’s sorted out the band for the Police Christmas bash. The City of London Police have nearly 100 special officers who give their time voluntarily and many bring exceptional skills much needed and used by the Force. For example some have played an important role in helping the Police to unpick tortuous financial frauds using their work experience as bankers, or others have helped in the areas of professional standards bringing some private commercial skills to the world of policing.