Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, will give a speech at the London Government Dinner at The Mansion House (16 January)

Addressing an audience of senior figures from London Government, he will speak alongside the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and Cllr Peter John, Chair of London Councils.

An extract from the Lord Mayor’s speech is found below. Please check against delivery.

“We all know London’s strengths, the fundamentals that makes this place – unquestionably – the greatest city on Earth. Our history, rule of law, professionalism, access to global markets, openness to global talent, our culture. All these assets make London the international business powerhouse, respected across the world.

“And while those fundamentals aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, it is incumbent – on us all – that we not only believe in the product we sell, but we continue to invest in it, too.

“Our industries, our legal system, our cultural institutions, our schools, our environment – every single part of London must get the right support it needs to ensure these fundamentals remain strong. And that relies on all of us, working towards the same goal: a strong and prosperous capital.

“In fact, I consider it a great privilege to travel across the capital and see the positive change that the City of London Corporation is making to the lives of Londoners.

“Whether that’s our schools in Hackney, Islington, Newham, and Southwark. Our management of sixteen square miles of open spaces across the capital – in Hampstead, Newham and Brent among others. The work of the City Bridge Trust, which spent over £23 million pounds last year supporting isolated youths, older people, refugees and people with disabilities.

“Or our work to make London’s air cleaner. The City has history here – implementing the Clean Air Act in 1952 before anyone else, and banning coal fires, and we continue to build on this heritage.

And I am pleased to say – thanks to a partnership between the City Corporation and the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund – plans are underway for the UK’s first 24/7 zero-emissions street – right here in the City! Beech Street, which runs throughout the Barbican Estate will be restricted to zero emission vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians by the Spring.

“And I am delighted that we are tackling the issue of idling cars. Through our work with Camden Council, we now have 32 London authorities joining forces in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions from parked cars with their engines running. And I hope – through our monitoring of air quality – our work together will pave the road for future sustainable initiatives across London and the UK.

“As we look out on a new decade, let us start as we mean to go on. By building on our historical partnership and, through creativity and friendship, continue to make London the best place to live and work.”

Notes to editors

The City Corporation is taking a number of bold and radical steps in our fight against toxic air:

  • We are working hard to combat harmful vehicle emissions. We’ve banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from our own fleet where there is a clean market alternative – and plan to turn parts of the Square Mile into zero-emissions zones by 2022.
  • The City of London’s Beech Street set to become UK’s first 24/7 zero emission street, and we are leading a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling, alongside London’s boroughs.
  • We have brought in new emissions-based charges for on-street parking, targeting high polluting transport with higher charges, while rewarding drivers of low emission vehicles with lower tariffs.
  • We aim to become the first authority in the UK to run a fully electric fleet of Refuse Collection Vehicles. And over 30,000 Londoners are using our CityAir app, which gives users low pollution travel routes across the capital.
  • Our new air quality strategy strengthens this work and aims for 90% of the City to meet World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide by 2025.
  • We work with businesses on air quality through our City Air programme and our procurement rules have brought in tight restrictions on harmful emissions from bulldozers and generators.
  • We have introduced an Emissions Reduction Bill to give London’s local authorities tough new powers to tackle air pollution caused by boilers, construction machinery and diesel generators.
  • Our Transport Strategy, adopted in May 2019, outlined radical and ambitious policies including: prioritising the needs of pedestrians, reducing deliveries and the number of vehicles on the City’s streets, the planned introduction of a City-wide 15mph speed limit, and improving air quality through the switch to zero emission capable vehicles.

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.