The City Ward Motes are on Wednesday 22nd March at Noon and ours will be in the usual place at St Katharine Cree. This is election year and for all Wards with contested elections, the Poll will be on Thursday 23rd March. However, Aldgate is one of only six Wards, which is not contested (the others being Aldersgate, Bassishaw, Bishopsgate, Broad Street and Tower).
Installation of new President, Trevor Brignall
Trevor was formally elected President at the AGM of the club on Monday, 6th March 2017 and at the dinner afterwards thanked the membership and particularly Immediate Past President, Corinna Edge, for her support.
Photographs from the evening, which was a great success, will be posted on the site soon.
The calendar for Trevor’s year can be found on the events page. To make the image bigger, simply click on it.
The latest club events 2016
Lion Sermon followed by Lunch
A lovely photo of our President, Corinna Edge with Honorary Chaplain, the Rev Oliver Ross, and Paul Carling of Sherborne School, who delivered the Sermon.
This takes place on 13th October at St Katherine Cree church at 1.00pm. For further details, please click on the flyer below and to order lunch, please place your order with Jane no later than October 10th.
Informal members’ evening
Here are just a few of photos of the members enjoying the ‘thank you’ reception:
The Escape Rooms
Well, as you can see, they did! Thanks to Col McLaughlin for organising such a fun event.
This was a resounding success and is best described pictorially! As you can see, it was held in the magnificent setting of Guildhall Crypts and our guest speaker was Sheriff Dr Christine Rigden. To ensure your place at next year’s luncheon, look out for the 2017 calendar of events, which should be published by the end of this year.
Photographs by Peter Holland. If anyone would like a copy of a photo, please contact the Club Secretary.
And finally, hats off to our President, Corinna Edge, for organising such a wonderful, joy-filled afternoon!
Tour of the Fan Museum
One of our members, Brian Lehmann, who attended this event wrote the following about the experience:
We had one of the most surprisingly educational and thoroughly enjoyable afternoons on our tour of The Fan Museum.
Nestling within the stylish back streets of Greenwich, the museum’s home occupies two totally renovated Georgian houses, complete with an Orangery to the rear, overlooking a well kept leafy garden.
Our group had the privilege of being shown around by Mary Kitson, a charming dedicated guide, herself a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, who was able to demonstrate the known origins and history of these wonderful fashion accessories.
The museum currently has over 4,000 items logged and many are displayed on two floors. The ground level introduces the visitor to history, manufacture, types and sources. While the upper floor follows themes, floral, mythology and sports etc., being changed several times a year to maintain changing interests. We had the opportunity to watch a modern fan design being made and invited to join in the process. Our President, Corinna Edge, gleefully accepted the challenge.
We ended our tour with a superb afternoon tea including home made sandwiches, scones and cakes in the Orangery. All agreed this was an experience we were glad not to have missed!
And here’s the photo to prove it!
Tour of Westminster Abbey
There were 18 members amongst the people attending Evensong at Westminster Abbey on the evening of April 15th and after the tourists had left we were given a private tour of the Abbey by blue badge guide Philippa Owen. Comments from the group included “spellbound”, “privileged”, “wonderful evening” “great tour”.
Afterwards we had a lovely meal at the Colosseo Italian restaurant in Victoria. Everyone enjoyed the evening Chris and I would certainly go back there again.
The next day a smaller party had a tour of The Masonic Grand Lodge, which was fascinating, followed by a delicious lunch in Brick Lane.
Alderman Peter Hewitt speaking at the Ward Mote
There are a lot of myths about the City and I thought that I would try and dispel some of those by telling you about the City’s organisation and how it works.
I am sure you all realise that the City is not another local authority, from a technical perspective, it is a Common Law Corporation which also provides local authority services. So, we typically provide some of the services that Southwark or Lambeth provides, such as planning; licensing, highways; children and community services, libraries and open spaces – incidentally, one of our common councilmen, Dhruv Patel is Chairman of the City’s Children’s and Community Services Committee and we will be hearing from him later.
Each Ward has nominated places on these committees for it’s Common Councilmen – this means each Ward is represented on every major on every major committee, which of course means that Aldgate’s interests are looked out for.
The City Corporation collects council tax from the residents and the “business rate” from businesses but because our council tax take is so small – with only some 9,000 residents – we keep less than 10% of our revenue, with the remaining 90% going to central government. The Government then pays back to us enough in revenue support grant which it judges that we need in order to fund these varying services.
So the differences are that, we are the only local authority to own and run the building which houses a high court, namely the Old Bailey; like some other cities, we have a cathedral, St Pauls; but unlike any other local authority we have our own Police Force in the City of London Police, which is the national lead force for tackling economic crime.
Similarly, we also have 2 sets of funds that sit outside of the ‘Council Tax Fund’. The first is the Bridge House Estates, a charitable fund which dates from the 11th century and was set up initially to finance and build a new stone Bridge and to collect the tolls from users of the Bridge. After some 900 years, this fund had become very substantial and in 1996 it was decided that we had more than enough funds to look after our bridges so we obtained Parliament’s approval to widen the remit of the Charity to enable charitable grants to be given. This is the City Bridge Trust and we disburse some £1.5 million pounds per month to charities across all 32 London boroughs via a structured grants scheme and of course, we still maintain 5 of the London Bridges.
The other fund is called, rather unfortunately in my view, City’s Cash but perhaps more accurately should be the ‘City’s Endowment Fund’. This is the City’s private fund and has about £2.0 billion of assets, with a significant amount in property and again this has built up over nearly 1,000 years of donation, gifts and good governance – it is totally separate to any public funds.
The income from this fund enables us to finance a number of activities for the public benefit as well as some of the more ‘glossy’ side of the City, including all the Ceremonial work; the Mansion House and the overseas visits; promotion of the whole of UK financial services by the Lord Mayor; the State Banquets; and the ceremonies such as Lady Thatcher’s funeral. We also have an Economic Development Office – which by the way has offices in China, India and Brussels. The City is the prime mover and funder of the International Regulatory Strategy Group in Brussels which works jointly with The CityUK on regulatory issues both in London and internationally.
All of this reinforces the core role of the City – which is to support business in both the City and the UK at a very little cost to the tax payer.
The City Corporation also owns and runs Epping Forest; Hampstead Heath; Burnham Beeches; Ashtead Common and other open spaces – in all some 11,000 acres of open spaces – again – at virtually no cost to the tax payer.
We are the third largest donor to the Arts in the Country after the BBC, largely through the Barbican Centre, The Museum of London, The Guildhall Art Gallery and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
The role of the City of London Corporation is to promote not only London as the world’s leading international financial and business centre but also the whole of the UK as a place to do business. Typically, the Lord Mayor can expect to deliver some 900 speeches; travel to 30 plus countries and spend 100 days abroad in his or her year.
Turning to democracy and the governance of the City and a few facts: the City is a square mile with only some 9,000 residents but over 360,000 daily commuters. It is divided into 25 wards with on average, 4 common councilmen per ward, who are elected for a term of 4 years, plus one Alderman who is elected for a term of 6 years. So in all there are 125 elected members.
We are all elected by the voters on the electoral role and are subject to just the same election laws as local authority councillors or indeed, Members of Parliament.
So moving onto the difference between the roles of the Common Councilmen and the Alderman; the role of the Court of Common Council which also includes the Court of Aldermen, is to oversee all the decisions of the City Corporation by sitting on the various committees. The Aldermen also sit on the committees but our principal role is to provide the pool of future Lord Mayors, together with other duties including the appointment of high officers.
The City is the oldest democratically elected civic body in the world and is arguably the purest form of democracy as we have no party political groups – therefore no whips. Of course some members have political allegiances and are affiliated with a range of different Parties, but all are elected as, and sit as, independents – with one exception.
We are the only councillors in the UK that are unpaid and we are proud of this as, being outside of party politics allows us to focus on the prime concern of the City, namely developing trade and investment for the City and the UK, as well as providing top notch services for residents and workers both in the Square Mile and across London.
So that pretty much gives you an overview of the City and its governance.
Now a few commercials:
Firstly the Aldgate Business Forum…………..
Secondly the Aldgate Ward Club President Corinna Edge
And thirdly the City Giving Day; City Giving Day is on 27th September 2016. This will be an opportunity for your companies to celebrate the volunteering and philanthropy of the members and staff. Last year over 200 firms participated and we suspect that 2016 will see a huge increase in those numbers. There is a possibility that on the day, the LM to visit on that day to share your celebrations? Do a google search
What I would like to do now is to let each of your common councilmen speak and for them to report very briefly on their activities. So first to go is Deputy Doug Barrow.
Let me now tell you in general terms, what your City and your elected member are doing:
The City Corporation facilitates a number of employment initiatives including paid work placements in City businesses; encouraging City businesses to recruit locally; helping City business employee volunteers to share skills with local communities; and using the City’s charitable funds to support employment programmes across London.
For example, the City Bridge Trust, has awarded £1 million each year over the next decade to help The Prince’s Trust tackle youth unemployment in London.
Further CBT grants of £100,000 to each of the 32 boroughs are enabling each of London’s local authorities to work with the voluntary sector to support NEETs into work, apprenticeships and vocational training.
The City Corporation also sponsors one primary academy, one secondary academy in Southwark and co-sponsors two further secondary academies in Islington and Hackney. The Government has approved the City Corporation to act as sole sponsor for two new primary academies – the City of London Primary Academy in Islington and Galleywall Primary in Southwark.
Recently, our Academies in Islington and Hackney received national recognition for the strong progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results at primary school and their GCSE results at age 16.
We also fund over £2m worth of scholarships and bursaries in our independent schools, and contribute over £350,000 per annum to support education for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in independent boarding schools.
Now we can’t forget about Europe………..
As we all know, an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union will be held on 23 June. London is Europe’s international financial and business centre, and a gateway to Europe for international businesses.
The City UK’s 2015 survey of business leaders showed that 84% wanted Britain to remain a member of the EU and that the same number said EU membership was important for the UK’s future competitiveness; 10% favoured leaving the EU but remaining in the Single Market.
After a vigorous debate at Common Council the other week, it was agreed that the City would publicise its view and that view would be, unsurprisingly for the UK to remain in Europe.
So in conclusion, the corporation is doing well with the possible exception of the Aldgate road system! But the burning issue for the City is undoubtedly Europe and the result of the referendum will have a huge impact on our City for many years to come.
2016 Installation Dinner
The club’s AGM and Installation Dinner held at Guildhall on the 2nd February was a fantastic success. A report to follow soon. In the meantime here’s a selection of images from the evening.
Photography: Chris Edge
Jill Bradford retires (almost)
AWC had been informed that Jill Bradford, PA to Baltic CEO, Jeremy Penn was retiring at Christmas. The club presented Jill with a wonderful bouquet of flowers. Jill responded with a lovley letter:
Further to our conversation on Monday, I just wanted to thank you and the Aldgate Ward Club for the beautiful gift and your very kind wishes. As you now know, I am not retiring until the summer when Jeremy goes. The gift is much appreciated and looks beautiful.
I hope to see you in the new year.
Please thank all at the Aldgate Ward Club for their thoughtfulness.
Dennis Severs’ House
Everyone agreed that they enjoyed the visit to Dennis Severs’ house in November; in the evening light with lit fires, candlelight and suitable acoustics, the house gave a great impression on what it would have been like to live in those surroundings. It really is a rather special and immersive experience.
Photography is strictly forbidden and rightly so, but here a some pictures taken by the team at the House.
Lord Mayor elect Alderman Lord Mountevans
Aldgate Ward Club extends hearty congratulations to Lord Mountevans. Here is a brief and by no mean exhaustive resume’ which serves to illustrate his extensive Maritime connections.
|Trustee, Seafarers UK (King George’s Fund for Sailors)|
|Director and Trustee of the White Ensign Association|
|Almoner and Director of Christ’s Hospital|
|Trustee, St Paul’s Chorister Trust|
|Trustee, Mansion House Scholarship Scheme|
|President (not a Trustee) of the City of London Sea Cadets|
|Patron, Ward of Cheap Club|
|Liveryman of the Shipwrights, Goldsmiths, World Traders, Wheelwrights and Security Professionals Companies|
|Member, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers|
|Younger Brother, Trinity House|
|Chairman, Maritime UK|
|Chairman Maritime London|
|Currently chairing the government’s “Maritime Growth Study: keeping the UK competitive”|
Maritime trading City – A guided walk
In September the club enjoyed a fantastic guided walk on the theme of the Cities long history as a maritime trading City. Meeting at Monument and embarking on a fact-filled gem-packed, and at times beautiful journey to St. Katherine’s Dock and Lunch.
Thanks go to our excellent guide, John Steel.
CIVIC LUNCHEON 2015 PHOTOS
Members can obtain the full 150+ photoset from the amazing 2015 Aldgate Ward Club Civic Luncheon for free!
Contact Hon. Membership Secretary for details. Here is a small selection from the set.
Photography: Peter Holland.
Jazz Cruise with Sunday Lunch
Sunday 19th July
A truly wonderful Sunday lunchtime spent on the Thames, with fine food and soothing, melodic Jazz music. Add to the mix fantastic company (as always) and gorgeous sunshine to boot!
Luncheon with Derek Prentis
In March Past President and Honorary Secretary Emeritus, Derek Prentis celebrated his 90th birthday.
To say it would have been remiss for the club not to have in some way marked this occasion, would probably have to be the understatement of the century.
These extracts from President Valerie Boake’s toast to Derek go a long way to explaining the reason why.
” Ladies and Gentlemen,
Whilst Derek’s birthday was on Saturday 21st March, I am delighted that we -the Aldgate Ward Club – are able to contribute to the many celebrations being held for Derek’s 90th birthday by hosting this luncheon. “
” Derek joined Aldgate Ward Club in 1962 and became President in 1991. With his encyclopedic knowledge of the shipping industry and involvement in The Baltic, it was not surprising he was asked to become Hon Secretary in June 1992. He continued in this role until the 2013 Civic Luncheon when, to recognize his exceptional service to the Club, he was made Officer Emeritus. “
” …His tireless support over 70 years of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for which he organized the City Appeal. This was recognized in 1996 when he received his MBE for service to the Legion.
In all his work and interests he was supported by his wife Margaret who also took over as Social Secretary of the Ward Club in 1992 and is well remembered by Club Members.
Derek keeps active following the shipping markets and generally taking an interest in everything that goes on. The City benefits from this wealth of experience still available to it. ”
” Derek: Past President, Officer Emeritus we wish you continued health and happiness and ongoing zest for life! “
Valerie Boakes – President Aldgate Ward Club
The City – June 2015
Very few of us knew our President, Valerie Boakes, is also a Churchill Fellow. Her Fellowship was awarded for studying Cereals Marketing in Europe where she spent three months touring the continent on her own in a “mini”, collecting information on both the marketing of cereals and the effects of the ‘agricultural finance system’. On her return she was interviewed on BBC’s ‘Farming Today’ and was the Key Note speaker at the Market Research Society’s Annual Conference.
As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations marking Churchill’s death and the setting up of the Trust, Her Majesty The Queen kindly hosted a reception at Buckingham Place on 18 March 2015.
In May, members of Aldgate Ward Club visited the Royal College of Physicians, Physic Garden with a tour guide and a delicious finger buffett!
April saw members enjoying a tour of Lloyd’s of London, a special thanks to Brian Leaman who has worked in Lloyd’s for many years, for his assistance and support on the day.
In March the Club visited the Bank of England, The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
The Installation Dinner was held in that most splendid of the City’s venues, Guildhall.
At the AGM in January, Past President Michael Rudd congratulated the new President Valerie Boakes