We are deeply concerned that City firms are being hit particularly hard in the first central Government revaluation since 2010 with average bills set to rise by 30%. Bills will be sent out in March next year but you can check your draft 2017 valuation now and ask for it to be changed if it’s wrong by providing rental evidence.
Strong demand for commercial property has placed pressure on the supply of office space across the capital which is driving up rents. Generally, though, City rents are still well below those in Westminster.
The City is committed to increasing the supply of accommodation for businesses and we continue to press, in particular, for smaller units to accommodate SMEs with fewer than 50 or 100 staff in space of less than 500 sq metres, which have been diminishing.
Over the years the make-up of the City has changed, with smaller, more agile and flexible businesses now the norm. Following the Brexit vote, London needs to redouble its efforts to maintain its competitive position as a world-leading financial and business centre in attracting all types of firms. A sudden and sharp increase in tax bills for the capital’s businesses is both unwelcome and badly timed given the uncertainties Brexit brings.
We want to see the impact eased through meaningful transitional relief. The Government’s current proposals for transition would see bills increase by up to 42% cent next year which is a huge increase at one go and at short notice.
This is another issue which adds weight to the devolution case for London to decouple London’s business rates system from the rest of the country. This will stop London’s high property values from distorting the national distribution of rates and ease the pressure on the City’s businesses.
You can check your 2017 draft valuation here and ask for it to be amended if it’s wrong.
PS – 2017 City Vote Registration
There are just 2 weeks left now to renew your entitlement to vote or register for the first time. The process has been made even easier and is fully online.
This is an important way to hold the City Corporation to account and to have your say in the way the square mile is run. It’s also a good way to be kept informed about what’s happening in the City and your Ward in which you work or live.
If you’ve not been asked if you’d like to continue on the register, and would like to, please get in touch and we can let you know who is co-ordinating the process for your business. Residential votes are managed separately direct with individual residents.
Alderman Michael Mainelli
Common Councilmen John Bennett (Deputy), John Scott and Chris Hayward
City Giving Day 2016 – Tuesday 27th September #GoRed
City Giving Day is less than a week away. With more than 200 organisations signed up and hearing there plans it is certain to be bigger and better than ever.
As you know City Giving Day, driven by the Lord Mayor’ Appeal, is the once in a year opportunity when collectively the City can unite, celebrate and showcase the fantastic charitable work it does in communities across London and beyond.
On the day itself The Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, Sheriffs, and Aldermen will play their part by visiting some 42 businesses in the Square Mile, West End, and Canary Wharf.
During the day you may well see some red robes walking around the City as they tour from business to business and meet employees seeing first-hand the philanthropic activities on show which are being celebrated.
We have been inundated with stories of what will happen on the day, from Investec’s “Dragon’s Den” style event, during which they’ll give away seed funding to social impact initiatives; The Don’s fundraising Long Long Lunch; to MWR Infosecurity’s cyber security challenge.
To help make City Giving Day more visible this year, businesses’ and employees will be Going Red to show their support and help amplify the message that the City does good. We have heard this could be wearing ties, shoes and dresses, to baking cupcakes and wearing wigs
There are 6 ‘simple’ ways for you to be part of it and support the Lord Mayor and the LMA team
- #GoRed and encourage your organisation to as well
- Join the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs’ and Aldermen kick off the morning with a photo call in Guildhall Yard 8.20-9.00
- Be part of the thunderclap to help make City Giving Day go big –please encourage others to join it too
- Send us photos of any activity that you see
- Tweet about CGD and or follow @LMAppeal and retweet
- Pick up City AM on the morning and more for colleagues and contacts
You are very much part of the City and your support in helping champion the good the City does will be fantastic. For further information – https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/city-giving-day/about/
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Team
0207 332 3177
On 26 July, the Planning & Transportation Committee approved the draft Local Plan Issues and Options for public consultation as the first stage in preparing a new Local Plan which looks forward to 2036. The Plan will set out the City Corporation’s vision, strategy and policies for planning for the next 20 years.
The Issues and Options document identifies a wide range of issues and challenges that face the City. It poses a series of open questions, seeking views from the City’s residents, businesses and other key stakeholders on how the City should develop and maintain its role as a world leading international financial and business centre through to 2036. Although a wide range of questions are posed, no decisions have been taken on future planning policies.
The consultation will begin on 19 September and run for 6 weeks until 31 October. Two public drop in exhibitions have been arranged at the City Centre on Basinghall Street:
Monday, 3 October, between 16:00 and 20:00
Thursday, 13 October, between 08:30 and 12:00
Officers from the Department of the Built Environment will be available at these events to explain the key issues, outline the process of preparing the new plan and answer questions.
The consultation document, and other supporting information, is available on the City Corporation website at: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/cityplan2036
Comments can be made by emailing: email@example.com , or in writing to the Department of the Built Environment at the Guildhall, and will be used to help draft detailed policy wording for further consideration in summer 2017.
We are keen to keep you updated on the important work we are doing on Brexit, particularly in light of the huge political change we have seen recently. We want to represent your views, ideas and concerns and feed them directly in to the City’s work on influencing the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU.
There is a critical need for us to understand the position of City businesses and to help to shape and reflect those positions to policymakers. Likewise we are focussing on understanding where political and regulatory policy makers are coming from and influencing them.
Our aim is to seek to minimise any loss of business from the City by ensuring that there is a full understanding of the implications of various options and, with others, making the appropriate policy representations. We also seek to explore and promote compensatory policy and other measures to take advantage of opportunities to increase business for the City, London and the UK as a whole.
The City Corporation is working closely with TheCityUK and the International Regulatory Strategy Group. We are also fully engaged in the various industry fora.
The following questions are pertinent. Please let us have your views on these, or any other aspect:
- What can we do to minimise business moving away from the City as a result of the current uncertainty?
- What can we do to attract more new business into the City?
- Are there any specific areas that we should be seeking to promote (Fintech and green finance are obvious examples, where we are already very active)?
- What form does continued access to the Single Market need to take?
- How do we ensure that industry continues to have access to the skilled workers from EU member states it requires?
- How do we achieve stability in the regulatory environment – no major changes?
- How can we best increase business with non EU countries – noting that additional resources have been agreed to fund this work?
- What contribution can we make to counter the view outside London that London generally and the City specifically are not seen as benefitting the rest of the economy?
What can we do to counter the small but significant element of xenophobia that has been experienced in recent weeks?
A substantial increase in the Corporation’s budget to cover representational work has also been agreed, as referenced above, which will predominantly be used to:
- Build Future Products and Services: providing a stronger focus on innovative policy development to respond to new challenges and to secure the position of the City as a premier financial services centre for the future.
- Strengthen the Regulatory Framework: providing strong leadership for the City on strategic policy and regulatory issues affecting London as a financial services centre.
- Promote Exports and Investment: developing a new approach to provide attractive customer service for businesses served by the Corporation’s trade and investment work.
Please do contact the Members with any suggestions or concerns.
Alderman Michael Mainelli
Common Councilmen John Bennett, John Scott and Chris Hayward.
As your elected representatives we want to ensure that the City Corporation plays a full and proactive role in securing the best exit terms possible, representing the interests of all of London’s stakeholders, including yours. Please contact us if there are any specific aspects that you would like us to put forward on your behalf. The City’s position:
“The City of London has thrived as a financial and trading centre for more than a thousand years and will continue to do so.
“There will be no mass exit of banks and financial institutions from the Square Mile.
“While there will be uncertainty as Brexit negotiations go on we are still the financial centre of the fifth-largest economy in the world.
“The task now is to respect the will of the British people and secure the best deal we can in the negotiations that will follow this vote.
“Financial services contribute £66.5bn in taxes to the Treasury – 11% of total government receipts – and City businesses we have consulted believe they must be allowed access to the single market without discrimination.
“Financial and professional services account for 2.1million jobs in the UK – 7.2% of workers – and City businesses I have consulted believe we must be allowed to trade with passporting rights with the 27 member states of the EU.
“The Government should now engage in a period of consultation to ensure we can keep creating jobs both in London and throughout the country.
“The general view of the City is that the Government should push for the UK to retain our access to the Single Market.
“Any other option will fail to provide proper arrangements for financial services and risks damaging this vital industry.
“There is also a clear view in the City of London that our labour market must be kept flexible. European nations have provided much of the highly-skilled talent we need to succeed and this level of support given to the British economy must continue.
“For our part the City of London Corporation will continue to engage with EU policy makers and continue to promote London as Europe’s international financial and business centre.
“We have had a thorough, open and democratic debate.
“All sides of this debate must now put aside their differences to do what is in the best interests of ensuring the UK remains a success on the international stage.”
We are working with other stakeholders to preserve the City’s position. The Chairman of Policy, Mark Boleat, has chaired meetings of the major trade associations and spoken with the Mayor of London and the Treasury. Further meetings are being arranged. There is common agreement on the need to maintain access to the single market. Our own Common Councilman, Chris Hayward, as Chairman of the Corporation’s Planning Committee, is meeting with the development community to reassure them and to secure continued investment in City wide projects.
The referendum decision will have significant implications for the City’s work in a number of areas.
Best wishes, Alderman Michael Mainelli, Deputy John Bennett and Common Councilmen John Scott and Chris Hayward
Forty members of Broad Street Ward gathered for a convivial hour sharing thoughts on the Ward future on a sunny afternoon. The agenda for the evening, Ward-Might 11 May 2016 – Agenda, was followed almost to the letter.
We had a warm introduction from Joost Röselaers, Predikant (Minister) of the Nederlandse Kerk, supported by Rein Roos, Koster (Verger). Joost referred to an old Dutch proverb, „Beter een goede buur dan een verre vriend“ – “Better a good neighbour than a far-off friend” – which was a lovely reminder of the cosmopolitan nature of our community.
Our President, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli then opened the Ward-Might, noting the agenda and a few items of news, not least the new “Broad Street Ward Business Cards” avaiiable to all.
Russell Taylor, co-creator of the Alex cartoon, told us all about “the most famous living resident of this ward that you’ve never seen“. Russell kindly brought copies of the Alex cartoon book 2015 which helped everyone visualise things. His presentation led to a discussion between Russell & Michael and the audience about their proposal for an Alex Statue in the Ward.
There were many comments and suggestions, such as:
- Alex was the “iconic stereotype” (words of one audience member) of trading in the ward and a show of hands gave universal support to the proposal;
- how could we ensure the statue was humorous – beer in hand by pub? smoking a cigar near smokers’ corners? blocking the footpath while on a mobile telephone (sadly shot down by Christopher Hayward CC, recently elected as Chairman of Planning & Transportation)? helping people take a selfie?
- location – could we site the statue at the Dutch Church itself? could we use phoneboxes in the ward? could we use ‘CityScape’ to model it in potential locations?
- could 3D printing have a role?
- could we sell maquettes of the statue?
- could we learn from other examples of cartoon character statues such as Paddington Bear, Peter Pan, and Andy Capp statues elsewhere?
We then moved on to a round-robin of ward futures. John Bennett, Deputy, had given his apologies due to an operation and we wished him a speedy recovery. John Scott CC asked everyone to be missionaries for the rich cultural and historic offerings (most of them free) of the City. Christopher Hayward CC described his new role in Planning & Transportation and affirmed his desire to continue to improve the built environment across the City, but certainly in Broad Street Ward.
Rein and Joost highlighted their forthcoming events. Reverend Prebendary Jeremy Crossley spoke about the work ahead for the Tower at St Margaret Lothbury, and also reminded members of the wonderful and long-standing Thursday organ concerts from 13:10 to 14:00 (except August).
Jonny Westbrooke, Clerk of the Furniture makers, spoke about their newly refurbished venue hire facilities. Rosa Morgan-Baker of the ward charity The Brokerage Citylink explained their work to members and offered to involve members in their work at no cost – facilities and staff time are the inputs needed.
As ever, the event ended promptly but even more convivially as we had an hour’s wine reception kindly sponsored by Broad Street Ward Club and the Dutch Centre. Our Honorary Secretary of Broad Street Ward Club, Judith Rich, was, as ever, a most wonderful hostess (though she did seem to be slipping some application forms to non-members through the evening). The Dutch Church team were particularly attentive. As ever, the desire to continue socialising seems to have led to a hostelry (in the ward, see map!).
We are delighted to announce that the Wardmight is open to all interested in Broad Street Ward and has the following agenda:
7 Austin Friars, London EC2N 2HA
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
17:00 – 18:00 followed by quick drink
wardmight [ˈwɔːdmt] n (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Brit an assembly of the citizens or liverymen of a ward for the purpose of discussing possibilities.
[see ward, moot, mote]
Wardmights are short meetings for Broad Street electors and club members to have informal discussions about issues involving the future of the ward. Formal matters are handled either directly with elected members or at a Wardmote.
1. Introductions & Purpose
• Alex Statue Proposal – Russell Taylor
3. Ward Round-Robin (if present)
• City of London members
• Dutch Church, St Margaret Lothbury
• Blackrock, Deutsche Bank, ING, KBC, etc.
• Drapers, Carpenters, Furniture Makers, International Bankers, Arts Scholars, Educators, Clockmakers, Plumbers
• The Brokerage Citylink – Rosa Morgan-Baker – www.thebrokerage.org.uk
4. City Round-Robin
5. Possible Ward ‘Mights’ – www.broadstreetward.org.uk
• Freedom of the City
• Ward Club membership
• Corporate ‘presentations’
6. Next Steps (if any)
The members, in conjunction with the Broad Street Ward Club, commissioned business cards available to anyone who wants them. The front side features the City of London Corporation, a map of the ward in orange celebrating our long links with the Dutch community, and an outline of a black cat commemorating one of the ward’s most famous members, Dick Whittington.
On the reverse we affirm our very strong links with Broad Street Ward Club:
On Tuesday 5 April, John Scott CC, as Chairman of the Markets Committee, was delighted to welcome the High Commissioner of Malawi on an official visit to Billingsgate Market. While Malawi is a land-locked country, Lake Malawi has an estimated 1,000 species of fish and the fishing industry accounts for 4% of GDP and employs 300,000 people. In terms of exports this is a largely untapped resource and the High Commissioner is keen to explore opportunities, including the sale of tropical fish for aquariums.