The whole Tower ward team were saddened to learn of the death of Sir Paul Judge, our Alderman. Sir Paul passed away peacefully surrounded by his close family in the early hours of 21 May 2017 following a brief illness.
There will shortly be a family funeral but a more public memorial service in celebration of his life will be arranged at a later date. Details concerning this memorial service will be posted on our Ward of Tower site.
26 new Common Councilmen were elected to the Court of Common Council, the governing body of the City of London, on 23 March. In Tower Ward, Roger Chadwick, Marianne Fredericks, James Tumbridge and I were delighted to be re-elected to serve for the 4 years ahead.
As we weren’t contested this year we were formally reappointed at the wardmote in St Olave’s Church. Here’s the Alderman’s Beadle, Spike Abbott, formally closing proceedings carrying the Tower mace dating from the period of Charles II.
The excitement of the elections across the City was muted by the attack in Westminster on Wednesday 22 March and we remembered those who died and were injured on Friday 25 March in Guildhall Yard.
I was greatly reassured by the presence of the City Police and the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday night, their work and that of the other emergency services, shows what true public service is.
As we reconvene again I am looking forward to working with Common Councilmen old and new as we work together to ensure the City is ready for the 4 years ahead. Speaking to voters in the run up to the election Brexit, congestion and air quality are top of the list of priorities. Do please get in touch with your thoughts and questions over the next 4 years.
A feature of City life is the sheer variety of things that happen, often in one evening!
Tower ward residents, the Clothworkers’ Company invited me to the Masters’ and Clerks’ dinner on Tuesday. I finally learnt about the links between the Company and their role in founding my University in Leeds. Given I studied politics I didn’t come across their support for the textiles sector at the time but I certainly remembered the Hall there, even if my lectures were mainly confined 1960s buildings made of blocks of concrete.
In addition to learning about the history of the Company and their work today I also had the pleasure of listening to the Pipes and Drums of the First Battalion Scots Guards – my Scottish half was very happy!
The highlight was a speech from the Lord Lieutenant for Greater London Ken Olisa who explained about how he used his role to ensure that we all focus on including all Londoners in our shared future. He highlighted that at a time of potential division it was every more important to bring those who feel excluded from the mainstream in.
It was a pleasure to hear this focus on bringing people in rather than excluding them. It wasn’t so long ago that the institutions of the City felt distance to me and my life. I see a very different picture now I’m directly involved and I’m determined to spend the next 4 years bringing many more people in.
It’s been a busy start to 2017 in the City. In addition to attending Committee meetings in the Guildhall, I have also been meeting businesses in Tower ward hearing how they are preparing for the Brexit negotiations which are due to start in March. Here are some the other highlights from the last month.
In January I visited our Library and Community Centre on Artizan Street which has everything from toddler groups to pilates and life drawing happening at the centre. It’s just outside Tower Ward on the other side of Aldgate. Later in the month I visited the City Information Centre by St Paul’s, a great resource for visitors and workers alike. They have a range of London souvenirs which are well worth checking out. The City of London Corporation certainly supports a very wide range of resources for residents, workers and visitors.
I attended the reception to mark the re-opening of Tower Bridge with fellow Tower Common Councilmen James Tumbridge and Marianne Fredericks. Chairman of Planning and Transportation Chris Hayward thanked all those involved with the essential maintenance works which were completed a week ahead of schedule in December. Thanks to residents and local businesses for your understanding during this time.
At the end of January it was great to see so many residents and workers in Tower Ward at our annual reception, kindly hosted by Reignwood Investments Ltd and the Four Seasons Hotel. Deputy Roger Chadwick, Marianne Fredericks, James Tumbridge and I really value these informal opportunities to keep in touch with old friends and welcome new comers to Tower Ward.
You can sign up for regular updates on the closure here.
Do let me know if you have any issues with the closure of this bridge. The bridge is closed to vehicles until 31 December 2016. Tower Bridge remains open to visitors.
We are all aiming to achieve the best possible Brexit for Britain, and that means making sure the voices of businesses in the City are heard. 2.2 million jobs, two thirds of which are outside of London and £66 billion in tax take is caught up with the financial and professional services sector. These services are our best export and one we should be proud of. I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure that we preserve our successful sector whilst the country goes through a significant and demanding change.
Please find below some useful sources of information and an update on what I and the City of London Corporation has been doing:
- The Corporation’s Brexit pages outline our approach. Mark Boleat, the Policy Chairman at the City of London gave an update to our full Council meeting, known as the Court of Common Council, on 16 October, which you can read here: 161013-policy-statement-brexit.
- I attended the City of London Corporation’s annual reception and dinner in Brussels on 10 October. This was a vital opportunity to build bridges with others in Brussels to ensure they understand the role the City of London plays in financing projects, and corporations across Europe. Mark Hoban, Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group gave a speech which laid out our priorities in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
- The City of London has produced a report with PWC on how a regional visa system could work. Access to talent is a major concern to businesses I speak to across the City.
- Oliver Wyman have produced a significant report for The City UK regarding the impact of Brexit on UK based financial services. This fact-base will help inform discussions with Governments across Europe.
- I have met with the Association of British Insurers who are based in Tower ward. Insurance is a key sector in Tower ward and I have their priorities at the fore front of my mind when inputting into the City of London Corporation’s Brexit work. I am also speaking to wholesale insurers in Tower ward and reading the inputs from the London Market Group. Our insurance specialisms in the City are unique and need to be catered for in any Brexit agreement.
The City of London has adapted to change over the centuries and will continue to do so. Since 24 June 2016 Brexit has dominated my work on the City of London Corporation as well as my day job at Nationwide Building Society.
Please do drop me a line and share your business’s perspective on these negotiations – hearing insights into real world impacts and opportunities is vital if we are to get the best settlement for Britain and the rest of Europe.
It was a real privilege to attend the freedom ceremony for Jane Barker CBE today. She has worked in the City throughout her life and is currently Chair of Marsh UK, based in Tower ward. She has had a successful and inspirational career, it’s great to see women leading in financial services companies. Many congratulations to Jane.
I attended a beautiful service at St Olave’s to mark the rededication of the churchyard. St Olave’s is one of the two churches in Tower Ward. The churchyard has been replanted with beautiful herbs inspired by William Turner, an expert in apothecary in Tudor times who is buried in the churchyard. He studied across Europe and is known as the father of English botany. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, lead the ceremony which was accompanied with music and dance.
Do pop by the church yard if you have a chance. The City of London Corporation works closely with the Church of England to ensure that green spaces in the City thrive.
One of the best things about the City is all the many networks of people you can meet and their very varied interests.
Today I drank wine and are cheese and chocolate as part of my plan to meet more City workers (it was a hard task but one I thought I could just about fulfil!).
The Fairtrade Foundation has its offices in Tower Ward and City Fairtrade organises events to promote fair trade in the City. Do take a look and get involved: http://www.cityfairtrade.co.uk/
Tonight I learnt about the work of the Aldgate Partnership which is working with businesses, churches residents and galleries on the improvement of a wide area which covers off all of Tower Ward. Do let me know if you want to get involved, more information can be read here: http://www.thealdgatepartnership.co.uk/