Policy Chairman: City must become more resilient and robust to weather economic storm
The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chairman today set out steps taken during his first 100 days in office to enhance the competitiveness, attractiveness and vibrancy of the Square Mile.
In a statement to the Court of Common Council – the City Corporation’s main decision-making body – Policy Chairman Chris Hayward underlined the need for the City to ‘become more resilient and robust’ in the face of a challenging economic outlook.
“Today, immense economic storms have gathered, and a difficult winter lies ahead with dramatic cost-of-living and energy increases – it will be especially difficult for our residents and SMEs in the City of London.
“The Prime Minister has just this morning announced a package of measures at the House of Commons to help households and businesses, which I very much hope will alleviate some of the worry and hardship.
“Such difficulties make our mission securing the Square Mile’s future even more challenging, but it is precisely why the City must become more resilient and robust.
“In May, I challenged us to ‘remain fiercely competitive’.
“Today we are striving to ensure we have the best City for residents, the best capital for workers, and the best country for financial and professional services. This ethos should underpin all we do.
“For example, our ground-breaking State of the Sector Report – published in partnership with the Treasury – received a significantly positive reception.
“But it also challenged the sector to enhance market access and create a new investment culture to strengthen our position.
“Our efforts to bolster the sector will continue with the potentially transformative Financial Services and Markets Bill – probably the most progressive and important financial services legislation in twenty years.
“At the forthcoming party conference season, we will advocate on issues critical to the sector’s success including this Bill’s secondary competitiveness objective for regulators.
“Within competitiveness, I outlined three priorities – Destination City, green City, and tech City – to help secure our future.
“In May, I announced Destination City as a flagship policy for our post-pandemic recovery to help footfall lost during the pandemic which has so damaged our SMEs.
“Since then, we have committed two-and-a-half million pounds annually to this initiative and appointed a Destination City Director and Curator to transform our vision into reality.
“Planning is well-developed for our launch event on Saturday 15th October – an extravaganza inspired by the mythologies and hidden tales of the Square Mile.
“In May, I argued that our climate work should be ‘innovative, inclusive, and investment-driven’.
“Today, our green City net zero ambitions are moving from commitment to delivery. Our Climate Action Strategy is working, with the City Corporation’s annual carbon emissions and overall annual energy consumption cut by 31 per cent and 21 per cent respectively since 2018.
“We have also published the first-of-its-kind Climate Action Dashboard, a website full of independently verified data, giving a transparent, public account of our progress.
“We are taking climate action local by working with the Business Improvement Districts, Heart of the City and with the Livery climate action group to support businesses making the net zero transition.
“We have also launched the Skills for a Sustainable Skyline taskforce, creating a pipeline of professionals to overhaul our carbon-saturated built environment.
“Our next focus is building towards COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November, where I will press the case that financial commitments in Glasgow are translated into delivery.
“In May, I argued that infrastructure investments such as 5G would ‘boost productivity and boost competitiveness.’
“By November, 10 best-in-class 5G columns will have been installed along Queen Victoria Street. Subject to a successful trial and committee approval, 220 installations will provide City-wide coverage by the end of 2023.
“Such transformative projects – alongside our pursuit to attract tech businesses – are part of a cutting-edge vision for the Square Mile as a tech City. A place supported by world-leading technologies, strengthened by world-leading transport, and safeguarding our world-leading financial, insurance, and professional services.
“One of the primary beneficiaries of these initiatives will be our residents.
“In May, I implored that ‘we must do a better job of engaging with our residents’, for they ‘provide the foundations of our democratic legitimacy’.
“Having visited all three City housing estates within the Square Mile, I remain steadfast in improving relations and continuing to lead personally on this initiative.
“I will increase the number of meetings with residents, including visiting residents in different parts of the City and on our estates in London boroughs.”
Notes to editors
About the City of London Corporation
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. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
About Chris Hayward
Throughout his career Chris Hayward has worked in the construction, aviation, infrastructure and global events management sectors.
He is currently a Director at leading communications agency JBP, a Consultant at professional services consulting firm WSP, and also of Keltbray Limited and Director of Hayward Properties Limited.
He is a former Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire and Dorset County Councils.
As Policy Chairman, he effectively operates as the political Leader of the City Corporation.