A Bulletin from the Lord Mayor

City News

Please see the latest message to the Livery from the Lord Mayor, Alderman William Russell.

18 September 2020

Fellow Liverymen

There is a distinctly back-to-school feel in the air. I have returned to Mansion
House after my summer break and I very much hope that all of you, like me,
were able to find some time for rest and recuperation over August. I trust that
this bulletin finds you safe and well and ready to face the autumn of this
unusual year.

With the ongoing circumstances of the Coronavirus, we have not quite
returned to the fresh slate of a new term. But we in the Corporation are
especially keen to see life in the City return to some semblance of normality
and are focussed on facilitating a return and recovery for the Square Mile’s
businesses and communities. This reflects the Government’s own
determination to have people return to the workplace if it is safe to do so. We
have therefore begun the process of doing this with our own elected Members
and employees, in a way that maintains staff safety, keeps our spaces COVIDsecure, and takes advantage of the flexible ways of working we have embraced so much this year. By doing so, we hope to encourage other City employers to do the same. My virtual engagement programme continues, and what is clear from these conversations with business leaders and investors is that they share our resolve to ensure that London remains resilient and competitive at this testing time.

I know that this is the shared hope of all of us in the Livery too. I have heard
from so many of you that the lockdown and other limitations has not
interrupted your ability to engage with your members, your trades or the
communities you support. In the face of the current restrictions we will need
to continue to look for imaginative ways to do so. The Lady Mayoress and I
have already enjoyed joining virtual events and Zoom banquets. I am sure
these will continue through the autumn but that also in due course we will
begin to see physical events taking place once more, when they can be staged
safely. Please do let me know via email to LMProgOffice@cityoflondon.gov.uk
of how you are doing so. I also remain keen to hear about the charitable and
voluntary activities that Companies and liverymen are undertaking in response
to COVID-19.

City Giving Day 2020, taking place on Tuesday 22 September, presents a
wonderful opportunity to celebrate exactly these community and volunteering
initiatives in the City and Livery. The day is an annual celebration of philanthropy and giving, particularly everything that City organisations are doing for local communities and charities. This year that will be more important than ever, and will give all of us the chance to reflect on the last few months and applaud the way the Livery, businesses and their employees have come together to support each other, their communities and, of course, frontline workers. Last year 424 companies got involved, raising an estimated £500,000, and recruiting around 5,000 volunteers for a host of good causes. This year we have already exceeded the number of companies involved, and we look forward to welcoming businesses from across London and beyond.

This year workers in the Square Mile will be able to take part in online and
offline activities to demonstrate how businesses of all kinds can make a
difference. City Giving Day champions activities – whether corporate social
responsibility, philanthropy, or volunteering initiatives – that companies,
including the Livery, undertake as part of their commitment to supporting
charity, society, the community and the environment in which they work.
I will kick start the day’s activities by virtually opening the London Stock
Exchange. My Lord Mayor’s Appeal team has helped participating firms
develop a programme of exciting events to engage employees and raise
money. Events include the annual Treasure Hunt and City Walk – this year with
an online spin, as City Guides will offer interactive guided walks via Zoom
through the byways and alleys of the City and its rich history.

I am keen to build on the success of last year and get even more businesses
and organisations involved. Many Livery Companies have already registered to
take part, but it is not too late for those that have not yet done so!
Participation is a great way to celebrate the transformational impact that the
Livery makes to charitable causes, particularly this year. It should be huge fun
too. More information can be found here:

To enable even more to get involved, we are encouraging people to sign up
and nominate colleagues, friends and networks to take part in an activity to
raise money for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s partner charities Place2Be, Onside
YouthZones, Samaritans and DofE. I’ll be getting involved – watch out on social
media to see exactly what I get up to! https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/charity-challenge/

As you will be aware, this month also traditionally marks the gathering of the
Livery in Common Hall for the Election of a Lord Mayor for the year ensuing.
The current circumstances, and in particular Government social distancing and
public health requirements, present limitations on the manner in which the
proceedings for the Election might be conducted this year. Careful
consideration has been given to the most appropriate format, and details of
the streamlined event, which will necessitate a smaller number of attendees,
can be found on the Livery Committee’s new website
https://www.liverycommittee.org/ (Incidentally the new website contains a
wealth of additional information and I recommend that you explore it). I am
grateful for the understanding that Livery Companies have shown in this
respect, given the unprecedented situation, and I look forward to what will
nevertheless be a key moment in the Livery calendar.

I hope that despite these present difficulties we will have many other
opportunities to meet, virtually and actually, in the coming months. The Lady
Mayoress and I are anticipating doing so with much enthusiasm. Thank you for
your continued support.

With best wishes from me and Hilary.


Alderman William Russell
The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor