Last week the annual Ward of Cheap Wardmote – meeting of citizens – took place in the Goldsmiths’ Hall. Over 50 local City workers and residents attended to discuss key issues with the Alderman and three local Councillors.
There were questions about road safety at Ludgate Circus, access for black cabs to Bank Junction, congestion, air quality, the Corporation’s gender identity survey and the tradition of the City’s political independence. In addition, the meeting debated and adopted two resolutions on one on rough sleeping and one regarding diversity.
As a team we cover different policy areas such as planning and transportation, policing, education, rough sleeping, environment, culture, investment and economic crime. At the meeting Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney, Deputy Alastair Moss, Nick Bensted-Smith and Tijs Broeke updated voters on their priorities and work over the past year.
Transport and road safety
As Deputy Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee Alastair Moss responded to several questions relating to transport on access for black cabs to Bank Junction, dangerous conditions at Ludgate Circus and need to address congestion and air quality. Alastair also responded to a question about the importance of the tradition of political independence in the City Corporation.
One of the local residents tabled an important resolution to ask the Corporation to update the Ward on what action has been taken and is being planned to address increasing issue of rough sleeping in London. Tijs Broeke as deputy chair of a recently formed sub-committee looking at coordinating and improving action around homelessness and rough sleeping responded on behalf of the team.
During the debate it was noted that in last months of 2018 individual rough sleepers increased significantly by 99 people to 212, indicating an increase if 87%. This compared with only 6% across London and is well above that of all other comparative local authorities according to a recent report from the Director of Children’s Services.
The Wardmote welcomed the creating of a new homelessness and rough sleeping sub committee, and supports its members to call upon the City of London Corporation to take urgent action to address the complex issues linked to rough sleeping and homelessness. Something we fully support as a team.
Diversity and social mobility
Another City worker tabled a resolution on the importance of actions to enhance the diversity of the Court of Common Council to better represent its wider constituency was supported.
It was noted during the debate that only 23% of the current Court of Common Council are women and only 10% are from BAME background. This sits uncomfortable low against for example a target of 30% of women in political representation set by the Commonwealth. The Corporation was therefore asked in a resolution adopted at the meeting what targets and actions have been agreed to enhance the diversity of the Court of Common Council.
As a team we fully support the resolution – increasing diversity and inclusion is a priority for us. Clear focus needed to look at strengthening women and BAME representation, but also important to look at wider issues such as social mobility into the City. This is why Tijs joined a working group to recommend a series of actions for the Corporation and Councillors to take to enhance our democratic representation and better reflect the City we serve.
Both resulutions will be directed to Court of Common Council who will debate issues raised at the Wardmote and officially respond to City workers and residents in Cheap.