First time at the Court of Common Council
Thank you for electing me as a resident councillor and a Labour candidate. Natasha, Frances, and I are now part of the “Cripplegate Eight” and we are committed to working together for residents. I am delighted that we will be holding resident surgeries in the Golden Lane Community Centre on the first Thursday of every month (except the Bank Holiday on 2nd June – the date for June is Thursday 9th).
Our first Common Council on 21st April, 2022 was when we were presented to the Lord Mayor of London in the Guildhall as the “newbies” – there are thirty-eight new Common Councillors, we are told (unofficially) that the new council has more women and more people from Black, Asian minority ethnic groups. Unfortunately, the City of London does not profile the twenty-five Alderman and one hundred Common Councillors, so we don’t know for sure how the make-up of the Council has changed. However, we know that the majority of those elected are businesspeople who work mostly in finance, insurance, and law.
My first impressions of the Common Council were mostly positive, and I enjoyed the day which included a rehearsal in the morning, a church service and lunch followed by the Court at 1pm and then afternoon tea. I was not able to attend on the morning due to work commitments, but I was well-directed by Natasha, Mark and Sue who guided me into the right places for the Court in the afternoon. During the afternoon I met new and established councillors who were friendly and interested in the Golden Lane Estate. We need to keep our estate issues live and make sure that the business councillors continue to listen to residents’ concerns.
At the Court of Common Council, Mark and Sue spoke clearly and forcefully about resident representation. Natasha also petitioned the Court to consider substitutions for places on committees when a resident councillor is unable to attend and vote. The Cripplegate voice was loud and clear!
The political system in the City of London is loaded in favour of business and this came across clearly. Without doubt the Court was dominated by the voices of an established cohort of men (and a few women) and it was a challenge for the new people to follow proceedings. It was like a mix of a formal legal court and a council meeting!
I hope the newly elected councillors in residential wards will have influence and help modernise the system for the benefit of the people who live in the city. If you have time, I urge you to attend the next Court of Common Council on 19th May 2022 at 1pm and the various committees – the dates are available on the City of London website.
Please contact me if you have any questions about this blog
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