Last week was a busy week with several Committee meetings and a full Council meeting. At the meeting of our Port Health & Environmental Services Committee I had a chance to quiz officers about the City’s efforts to keep streets and pavements clear from snow during the recent weather conditions. And at the meeting of the Court of Common Council I pressed the Policy Chairman (Leader of the Council) on what the City is doing to ensure businesses are able to continue to retain and attract the people they need after Brexit. Alderman and Sheriff Timothy Hailes also asked an important question about Bank Junction and accessibility of the City for disabled people.
An open and global Britain
Last month the City Corporation published data which revealed how vital European workers are to the Square Mile: With 18 per cent of the City’s entire workforce coming from other EU states.
I am one of those immigrants. Born in the Netherlands I made London my home, and two years ago I had the honour not only to be admitted to the Freedom of this great City, but also to become a British citizen.
An open and global Britain is therefore a concept that is close to my heart. More importantly it is a concept that greatly matters to electors and businesses I represent in the Ward of Cheap.
The City of London has long been one of the world’s leading financial and professional services centres. But we cannot take our position for granted. One of the reasons for the success of our City -throughout the centuries – has been its ability to attract people from all over the globe to live and work here.
As the City’s Policy Chairman said when the data on European workers was published: “securing a good trade deal without a sound immigration policy would be a hollow victory, so it’s vital this is addressed sooner rather than later.”
At the Council meeting the Policy Chairman set out what actions the City is taking to ensure London is still able to attract the talent it needs post-Brexit focussing on the three T’s of Transition, Trade and Talent.
This is why the City Corporation following my question demands urgent clarity from the Government about how our future immigration system will support a truly global Britain and ensure that London remains open to the world and open for business.
Snow and the City
Earlier in the week I used the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee meeting to quiz officers about performance in clearing the City’s roads and pavements such as Cheapside during recent heavy snow and cold weather. I stressed the importance of clearing pavements as well as main roads.
Officers explained how the Winter Service Operations Plan was activated and clarified the sequencing of clearing roads and pavements. 150 tonnes of grit were deployed during the week. A huge thanks to all involved with efforts.
During the full Council meeting Alderman and Sheriff Timothy Hailes asked an important question about impact of Bank Junction trial on accessibility of the City. The Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee committed to an impact assessment as part of final decision on redesign of Bank Junction.
In addition, the development of a new Transport Strategy is an important opportunity to look carefully at accessibility in the City for disabled people.
To help, the City is inviting views from residents, City workers and visitors on streets and transport in the Square Mile.
Please take a moment to complete this survey which closes on Tuesday 3 April 2018.