Saturday, 18 January 2014

Reportage from the Court of Common Council - January 2014

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Lord Mayor of London with
with Pageant Master  (Photo credit: James M D Thomson)
MissB Reporting from the Court of Common Council aka CoCo
The 16th day of January 2014

All in full regalia today as in the presence of The Lord Mayor, the City Marshall*, Philip Jordan QPM leading the way. The proceedings are opened by the cry of Oyez, Oyez, Oyez  by the Common Cryer*

The Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf opened the court with New Year wishes. The sentiment was returned by the Chief Commoner*.

The motion that the last two set of minutes were correctly recorded were questioned by a Councilman relating to the granting of the Freedom on 25th November 2013 to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the formal response to this honour was noted but the informal version was not included. The latter being rather amusing and interesting. The request was to record both letters in the official record for historical reasons and prosperity.   It was carried that this would be done.

On the subject of the Freedom it is always interesting reading through the applications before the Court and was pleased to find Lord Rogers of Riverside, Richard George Rogers Architect, on the list. He is supported by Michael Welbank, MBE, Deputy and on the Planning and Transportation Committee, no surprise there then.

The New Year's Honours List this year created last years Lord Mayor a Knight, hence forward to be known as Alderman Sir Roger Gifford. It is quite usual for the outgoing Lord Mayor to be honoured thus.

Deputy Michael Welbank was also honoured with an MBE for his work with open spaces, particularly Hampstead Heath, which he stated was of particular interest to him, as it was his back garden!

The Lord Mayor reported on her first visit outside Europe from which she had returned just that morning. The trip was to Hong Kong, SRA and Taipei City. In brief Lord Mayor attended the 7th Asian Financial Forum where she addressed 2000 people regarding economic reconstruction and growth. The Lord Mayor and delegation met with the President of Taipei to discuss the protectionist and cumbersome banking laws. Also discussed London's diverse products and services. The full report will be available soon.

5. Docquets for the Hospital Seal the comment when this comes up is usually the book is on the table, I must remember to look into this statement at the next meeting.

Number 14 - Planning & Transportation
(A)  Adoption of the West Smithfield Area Enhancement Strategy - A Mr Moony asked if this meant serious consideration would now be given to moving Smithfield meat market out of the City. The strategy is in fact involved with improving the streets and general pedestrian environment, whilst improving access to Smithfield and St Barts. The member for Smithfield got up and said 'did not wish to speak'. Michael Welbank added that Smithfield was here to stay for some time to come. Sigh of relief from MissB and other interested parties.

A bit of banter about Public Library Bye Laws - they do seem a bit weighty as they originate from Whitehall and date back to the 60s, however, joking aside, the Court felt they were moving with the times and offered a good service to the community. An interesting bylaw of old was mentioned, whereby the control of boys in libraries was to be strictly adhered to, but girls could please themselves! It was suggested that not much had changed with regard to the female gender in other areas too. (Tongue in cheek, Im sure)

This was quite a short meeting as strangers were requested to leave the Court by 1.45pm, so they could get on with the more confidential business.

All of these documents bar the confidential can be found on the City of London Corporation web site, with a week or two, however I must add that they are never quite as interesting as actually attending the Court of Common Council personally and enjoying the theatrical process and banter live!

We may not know them but would like to note Deputy Robin Eve (Alderman Cheap Ward) died in the new year. Stella Curry was also remembered.

On a more cheerful note the Cart Marking Ceremony will take place on 15th July 2014.

Next meeting of the Court of Common Council is 16th February 2014 at 1pm at the Guildhall.


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