The Easter weekend has been a welcome warm break away for most of us just before the start of the new City Corporation year. A great variety of events have taken place.
Please book your tickets:
I must commend the fabulous concert that will be taking place on Tuesday 3rd May in the Grand Hall of the Old Bailey. A few tickets remain for the concert and sign up is via Eventbrite. All proceeds go to the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund.
Book tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-of-17th-century-music-song-in-the-grand-hall-of-the-old-bailey-tickets-250034388587
Working across London and the UK
The London Landmarks Half Marathon is the brainchild of Tommy’s, the charity that works to help save babies’ lives. Tommy’s are based in my Ward of Dowgate and I have worked with them over the last 5 years to create this massive fundraising event. Great to then be asked to start the race with over 12,000 entrants who raised £6 million. Sunny glorious day shared with the Lord Mayor of Westminster.
The relationship with Scotland is key to the UK and to the financial and professional services sector. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in London for a few days after Easter and met various business organisations. The Lord Mayor hosted a dinner at Mansion House. Edinburgh and Glasgow are major partners and complementary financial centres to London. We have mutual goals around promoting talent, impact investing and green finance – points made by both the Lord Mayor and the First Minister.
prestigious group of Kenyan Judges visited the Old Bailey and stayed for lunch. The Kenyan Chief Justice Martha Koome was very complimentary of the work of the Judges. The Old Bailey hosts many such overseas visits and the liaison and engagement across jurisdictions is a very important part of the Judicial role.
City Corporation and the new Civic Year
April 21st was the first Court of Common Council following the elections. It is always preceded by a service which took place this year at St Margaret Lothbury. Traditionally the preacher is the senior Sheriff’s chaplain and so it was my Chaplain, Canon Flora Winfield this year. The members of Common Council then gather in Great Hall for the 1pm start. If you have not attended Common Council I can thoroughly recommend the experience with the Lord Mayor arriving in State and the business of the agenda being very engaging (the next meeting is on 19th May at 1pm). 38 new members were introduced and each robed in a blue gown which is only used on formal occasions.
After the introductions the main business of the meeting included electing people onto committees for the new year, approving papers to do with the Bridge House Estates Board and Barbican Podium Works and dealing with questions. A resolution had also been proposed to look at Bank Junction where the traffic modes are restricted during the working day. In essence it centred on the ability of the London black taxi cabs to be able to use the junction from which they are currently excluded at daytime. It is fair to say that the Court was vocal and divided. But sense prevailed with a compromise reached before the meeting that meant the traffic orders across the City will all be reviewed in the next few months including that relating to Bank Junction. The report of this in City Matters is here: https://www.citymatters.london/city-corporation-to-survey-traffic-orders-across-the-square-mile/?utm_source=mailpoet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=survey+traffic+orders
News from the Old Bailey
As some of you will know the Sheriffs traditionally have a small apartment each at the Old Bailey. The apartments were in need of a major refurbishment this year and Nick and I have worked only from an office at the Old Bailey. The nine month construction works are nearing an end and so it was fun to view the state of the rooms and start to think about moving in.
I have enjoyed many special events at the Bailey including a visit by my Ward Club – Vintry and Dowgate. They have been great supporters to me in my role as Alderman and Sheriff and it was great to show them inside. Our Chair, Chris Holehouse, is a former Met Police Officer and so filled us in on a few stories about the place.
My themes for the year -property philanthropy and purposed finance
In pursuing my themes for the year I was keen to host an event at the Old Bailey that spoke to the criminal justice system and the role that civil society can play in conjunction with the Courts to make a difference to people’s lives. I wrote a blog on the City Bridge Trust website.
Green jobs for a sustainable skyline - I am pleased to mention that I have joined the construction skills taskforce that will look at growing the green skills base needed to create better greener commercial buildings. This blends my interest in real estate and construction as well as my wish to open up the diversity of the workforce.
I am a Trustee of the Samuel Wilson Loan Trust that celebrates 250 years this year. It provides loans to start up entrepreneurs. In the celebrations the City brought together the Institute of Directors and the Company of Entrepreneurs to show support to start up and new businesses. The Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal spoke alongside other panels of alumni and aspiring business people. I reconnected with Marisa Battrick who is the founder of Truthpaste – a natural toothpaste for gum health. https://truthpaste.co.uk/ She has won many awards and I am pleased to have played a small part in approving her original loan with Samuel Wilson.
The Lady Mayoress’ Sleep Out in Guildhall Yard raised over £120,000. Thank you to all who donated and especially for my modest contribution of £1,681. Money goes to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and Spitalfields Crypt Trust. https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/news-and-events/latest-news/1099/sleep-out-at-guildhall-yard/
Financing the green transition in emerging markets was the title to an engaging discussion hosted by the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange with a panel of the High Commissioner of South Africa, HE Nomatemba Tambo, Chris Allen the GC of Standard Chartered and myself. These discussions are both effective and driving the understanding and actions needed on an international scale.
A continuing interest of mine is in road safety and I Chair the London Road Safety Council. I will leave you to decide the view that I took on the traffic issue raised at Common Council. I was given 24 hours’ notice to stand in for a speaker at the Carmen’s Livery banquet and was pleased to talk to representatives of the logistics and transport industry about road safety issues – a topic close to their hearts. I dusted down my two road related jokes. One borrowed from Tommy Cooper about returning to my car to find a complimentary note on the windscreen – Parking:Fine. I am pictured with Carl Lomas and Sir John Hayes both from the Institute of Couriers.