As we are approaching the Christmas holidays we would like to wish you, your family and loved ones a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.
For many of us this has no doubt been a challenging year – both on a professional and personal level.
As your elected representatives for the Ward of Cheap we have seen the impact on businesses in the City. Unfortunately our engagement had to be mainly virtual, but we have continued our work (face to face where possible) as Alderman and Common Councillors to ensure the City of London will emerge from the pandemic with renewed energy and determination.
Together we have worked hard to:
- Increase support for SMEs, including City Corporation tenants. More information on support is available here: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/supporting-businesses/business-support-and-advice/supporting-small-businesses
- Make roads and streets in the City a safe Covid-19 environment, and advocate for the Waterloo and City Line to reopen as soon as possible
- Reduce rough sleeping in the Square Mile during the pandemic and secure a £11.4m investment in a new assessment centre and accommodation for homeless people
- Help keep our schools open, both in the City, and our wider group of Academies across London, securing investment from the City Corporation for a summer catch up supporting our most disadvantaged students
In the New Year we will share more details in our annual report and publish feedback we received from you to our survey.
London’s move up into Tier 3 is extremely disappointing, but with rising cases and hospital admission rates we understand the reasons for increased vigilance.
However, we urge policymakers to keep the decision under close review, based on evidence, so that the capital can move back into Tier 2 and gain a semblance of normality as soon as possible. We fully support the Lord Mayor’s initiative to plan a ‘back to work’ week in the Spring to revive the Square Mile.
In the meantime it is vital that businesses and hospitality and cultural enterprises, which will suffer particularly from these restrictions at a critical time, are given adequate support. The City of London Corporation will continue to make a strong case for this.
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to a fantastic initiative from the Cheapside Business Alliance and others for launching the City Gift Card, a new scheme to help you shop local not only in Cheapside, but across the City of London.
To get your hands on a City Gift Card as a present for family, friends or colleagues visit: https://townandcitygiftcards.com/product/city-gift-card/
No doubt there will be further challenges on the road ahead, but with the roll out of vaccines we can all look forward to 2021 with hope.
In the meantime stay safe, and have a joyful Christmas break.
Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney
Deputy Alastair Moss
Nick Bensted-Smith JP CC
Tijs Broeke CC