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Corporation of London

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Encyclopedia
The City of London Corporation (also known as the Corporation of London)
is the municipal governing body of the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

. It exercises control only over the City (the "Square Mile", so called for its approximate area), and not over Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

. It has three main aims: to promote the city as the world's leading international financial and business centre; to provide local government services; and to provide a range of additional services for the benefit of London, Londoners and the nation.

The City of London Corporation is formally named the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, thus including the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen
Court of Aldermen
The Court of Aldermen is an elected body forming part of the City of London Corporation. The Court of Aldermen is made up of the twenty five Aldermen of the City of London, presided over by the Lord Mayor...

, the Court of Common Council and the Freemen
Freedom of the City
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by some municipalities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, Gibraltar and Rhodesia to esteemed members of its community and to organisations to be honoured, often for service to the community;...

 and Livery
Livery
A livery is a uniform, insignia or symbol adorning, in a non-military context, a person, an object or a vehicle that denotes a relationship between the wearer of the livery and an individual or corporate body. Often, elements of the heraldry relating to the individual or corporate body feature in...

 of the City.

History


In Anglo-Saxon times, communication and consultation between the city's rulers and its citizens took place at the Folkmoot. Administration and judicial processes were conducted at the Court of Husting and the non-legal part of the court's work evolved into the Court of Aldermen.

There is no surviving record of a charter first establishing the corporation as a legal body, but the city is regarded as incorporated by prescription, meaning that the law presumes it to have been incorporated because it has for so long been regarded as such even in the absence of written documentation. The corporation's first recorded royal charter dates from around 1067, when William the Conqueror granted the citizens of London a charter confirming the rights and privileges that they had enjoyed since the time of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

. Numerous subsequent royal charters over the centuries confirmed and extended the citizens' rights.

Around 1189, the city gained the right to have its own mayor, eventually coming to be known as the Lord Mayor of London. Over time, the Court of Aldermen sought increasing help from the city's commoners and this was eventually recognised with commoners being represented by the Court of Common Council, known by that name since at least as far back as 1376.

With growing demands on the corporation and a corresponding need to raise local taxes from the commoners, the Common Council grew in importance and has been the principal governing body of the corporation since the 18th century.

In January 1898, the Common Council gained the full right to collect local rates
Rates (tax)
Rates are a type of property tax system in the United Kingdom, and in places with systems deriving from the British one, the proceeds of which are used to fund local government...

 when the City of London Sewers Act 1897 transferred the powers and duties of the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London to the Corporation. A separate Commission of Sewers was created for the City of London after the Great Fire, and as well as the construction of drains it had responsibility for the prevention of flooding; paving, cleaning and lighting the City of London's streets; and churchyards and burials. The individual commissioners were previously nominated by the Corporation, but it was a separate body. The Corporation had earlier limited rating powers in relation to raising funds for the City of London Police
City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, England, including the Middle and Inner Temple. The service responsible for law enforcement within the rest of Greater London is the Metropolitan Police Service, a separate...

, as well as the militia rate and some rates in relation to the general requirements of the Corporation.

The corporation is unique among UK local authorities for its continuous legal existence over many centuries, and for having the power to alter its own constitution, which is done by an Act of Common Council.

Local authority role


Local government legislation often makes special provision for the City to be treated as a London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

 and for the Common Council to act as a local authority. The Corporation does not have general authority over the Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...

 and the Inner Temple
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...

, two of the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

 adjoining the west of the City which are historic extra-parochial area
Extra-parochial area
In the United Kingdom, an extra-parochial area or extra-parochial place was an area considered to be outside any parish. They were therefore exempt from payment of any poor or church rate and usually tithe...

s, but many statutory functions of the Corporation are extended into these two areas.

The Chief Executive of the administrative side of the Corporation holds the ancient office of Town Clerk of London
Town Clerk of London
The Town Clerk of London is an important position that has existed since the 13th century within the City of London, England. Originally the position was to take the minutes of London council meetings, but over the years the holder has gathered responsibility which requires staff and executive...

.

An attempt at reform was made, intending to amalgamate the corporation with the local government structures serving the rest of London at the end of the 19th century. A Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London
Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London
The Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London was a royal commission which considered the means for amalgamating the ancient City of London with the County of London, which had been created in 1889. The commission reported in 1894...

 reported a mechanism for this to be achieved in 1894. However, this proposed reform failed. The City also avoided major modernising in the London Government Act 1963
London Government Act 1963
The London Government Act 1963 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which recognised officially the conurbation known as Greater London and created a new local government structure for the capital. The Act significantly reduced the number of local government districts in the area,...

, where it the was the only one of the 33 London local authorities not to be a London Borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

.

Elections


The City of London Corporation was not reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835  – sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales...

, nor by subsequent legislation, and with time has become increasingly anomalous. In 1801 the City had a population of about 130,000, but increasing development of the City as a central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 led to this falling to below 5,000 after the Second World War. It has risen slightly to around 9,000 since, largely due to the development of the Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

.

Therefore the non-residential vote (or business vote), which had been abolished in the rest of the country in 1969, became an increasingly large part of the electorate. The non-residential vote system used disfavoured incorporated companies. The City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002 greatly increased the business franchise, allowing many more businesses to be represented. In 2009 the business vote was about 24,000, greatly exceeding residential voters.

Voters


Eligible voters must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, a European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 country, or a Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 country, and either:
  • A resident
  • A sole trader
    Sole proprietorship
    A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader or simply a proprietorship, is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one individual and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner receives all profits and has unlimited responsibility for...

     or a partner in an unlimited partnership
    Partnership
    A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.Since humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and varied combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace...

     or
  • An appointee of a qualifying body.


Each body or organisation, whether unincorporated or incorporated, whose premises are within the City of London may appoint a number of voters based on the number of workers it employs. Limited liability partnerships fall into this category.

Bodies employing fewer than ten workers may appoint one voter, those employing ten to fifty workers may appoint one voter for every five; those employing more than fifty workers may appoint ten voters and one additional voter for every fifty workers beyond the first fifty.

Though workers count as part of a workforce regardless of nationality, only certain individuals may be appointed as voters. Under section 5 of the City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002, the following are eligible to be appointed as voters (the qualifying date is September 1 of the year of the election):
  • Those who have worked for the body for the past year at premises in the City
  • Those who have served on the body's board of directors
    Board of directors
    A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

     for the past year at premises in the City
  • Those who have worked in the City for the body for an aggregate total of five years
  • Those who have worked for in the City for a total of ten years


Qualified voters can vote twice, once at local government elections in the City and once at local government elections in the district where their home address is situated. Residents of the City can only vote once.

Wards



The City of London is divided into twenty-five wards, each of which is an electoral division, electing one Alderman
Alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

 and a number of Councilmen based on the size of the electorate. The numbers below reflect the changes caused by the City of London (Ward Elections) Act.
WardCommon Councilmen
Aldersgate
Aldersgate
Aldersgate was a gate in the London Wall in the City of London, which has given its name to a ward and Aldersgate Street, a road leading north from the site of the gate, towards Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington.-History:...

5
Aldgate
Aldgate
Aldgate was the eastern most gateway through London Wall leading from the City of London to Whitechapel and the east end of London. Aldgate gives its name to a ward of the City...

5
Bassishaw
Bassishaw
Bassishaw is a ward in the City of London. This small ward is bounded on the east by Coleman Street ward, to the south by Cheap ward, to the north by Cripplegate ward, and on the west by Aldersgate ward...

3
Billingsgate
Billingsgate
Billingsgate is a small ward in the south-east of the City of London, lying on the north bank of the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge...

2
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate is a road and ward in the northeast part of the City of London, extending north from Gracechurch Street to Norton Folgate. It is named after one of the original seven gates in London Wall...

8
Bread Street
Bread Street
Bread Street is a ward of the City of London and is named from its principal street, which was anciently the bread market; for by the records it appears that in 1302, the bakers of London were ordered to sell no bread at their houses but in the open market...

2
Bridge
Bridge (ward)
Bridge is a small ward of the City of London and is named from its propinquity to London Bridge. Bridge ward is found within the boundary formed by the River Thames, Swan Lane, Arthur Street, Fish Street Hill, Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street, Rood Lane, Lovat Lane and Lower Thames Street.The...

2
Broad Street
Broad Street (ward)
Broad Street is one of the 25 ancient wards in the City of London.In mediaeval times it was divided into ten precincts and contained six churches, of which only two, St Margaret Lothbury and All Hallows-on-the-Wall now survive: St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange was demolished in 1840, St Benet Fink...

3
Candlewick
Candlewick
Candlewick is a small ward, one of the 25 ancient wards in the City of London.Its northern boundary runs along Lombard Street the boundary with Langbourn Ward, then east down Gracechurch Street the division with Bridge Ward to the Monument, erected to commemorate the place where the Great Fire abated...

2
Castle Baynard
Castle Baynard
Castle Baynard is one of the 25 wards of the City of London, the historic core of the English capital. It covers an irregular shaped area, somewhat akin to a tuning fork bounded on the east by the wards of Queenhithe and Bread Street, the River Thames to the south and Farringdon Without to the...

7
Cheap
Cheap (ward)
Cheap is a small ward of the City of London. It stretches west to east from King End Street, the border with Farringdon Within to Old Jewry, which adjoins Walbrook and north to south from Gresham Street, the border with Aldersgate and Bassishaw to Cheapside, the boundary with Cordwainer.The...

2
Coleman Street
Coleman Street
Coleman Street is a street and one of the 25 ancient wards in the City of London.- The Ward :Warren Stormes Hale, Lord Mayor of London in 1864, was the Ward’s most notable civic dignitary...

5
Cordwainer
Cordwainer (ward)
Cordwainer is a small ward in the City of London, England. It is named after the Cordwainers, the professional shoemakers who historically lived and worked in this particular area of London; there is a City livery company for the trade — the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers...

3
Cornhill 2
Cripplegate
Cripplegate
Cripplegate was a city gate in the London Wall and a name for the region of the City of London outside the gate. The area was almost entirely destroyed by bombing in World War II and today is the site of the Barbican Estate and Barbican Centre...

9
Dowgate
Dowgate
Dowgate is a small ward of the City of London. The ward is bounded by Swan Lane, the River Thames, Cousin Lane and Cannon Street. Dowgate is where the Walbrook watercourse entered the Thames....

2
Farringdon Within
Farringdon Within
Farringdon Within is a ward in the City of London, England.The ward covers an area from Blackfriars, in the south, to Barbican station, in the north....

8
Farringdon Without
Farringdon Without
Farringdon Without is a Ward in the City of London, England. The Ward covers the western fringes of the City, including the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Smithfield Market and St Bartholomew's Hospital, as well as the area east of Chancery Lane...

10
Langbourn
Langbourn
Langbourn is one of the 25 ancient wards in the City of London. It reputably is named after a supposed buried stream in the vicinity.It is a small ward; a long thin area, in shape similar to a left pointing arrow...

2
Lime Street
Lime Street (ward)
Lime Street is one of the 25 ancient wards in the City of London.It is divided into four precincts; and it is worthy a remark that, though the ward includes parts of several parishes, there is not even a whole street in it. John Noorthhouck...

3
Portsoken
Portsoken
Portsoken is a historical district in the City of London, located outside the former London Wall, on the eastern part of the City, near Aldgate. It is one of the 25 wards of the City....

4
Queenhithe
Queenhithe
Queenhithe is a small ward of the City of London, situated on the River Thames and to the south of St Paul's Cathedral. The Millennium Bridge crosses into the City at Queenhithe....

2
Tower
Tower (ward)
Tower is a ward of the City of London and is named from its propinquity to the Tower of London. The ward covers the area of the City that is closest to the Tower....

5
Vintry
Vintry
Vintry is a ward of the City of London, within the boundary formed by Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Queenhithe and Cousin Lane....

2
Walbrook
Walbrook
Walbrook is the name of a ward, a street and a subterranean river in the City of London.-Underground river:The river played a key role in the Roman settlement of Londinium, the city now known as London. It is thought that the river was named because it ran through or under the London Wall; another...

2
Total 100

Livery companies


There are over one hundred livery companies
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

in London. The companies were originally guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s or trade associations; in modern times, much of their role is ceremonial. The senior members of the livery companies, known as liverymen, form a special electorate known as Common Hall. Common Hall is the body that chooses the Lord Mayor of the City, the sheriffs and certain other officers.

The Court of Aldermen



Wards originally elected aldermen
Alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

 for life, but the term is now only six years. The alderman may, if he chooses, submit to an election before the six-year period ends. In any case, an election must be held no later than six years after the previous election. The sole qualification for the office is that Aldermen must be Freemen of the City
Freedom of the City
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by some municipalities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, Gibraltar and Rhodesia to esteemed members of its community and to organisations to be honoured, often for service to the community;...

.

Aldermen are ex officio Justices of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

. All Aldermen also serve in the Court of Common Council.

The Court of Common Council



The Court of Common Council, also known as the Common Council of the City of London, is formally referred to as the mayor, aldermen, and commons of the City of London in common council assembled.

Each ward may choose a number of common councilmen. A Common Councilman must be a registered voter in a City ward, own a freehold or lease land in the City, or reside in the City for the year prior to the election. He must also be over 21; a Freeman of the City; and a British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizen. Common Council elections are held every four years, most recently in March 2009. Common Councilmen may use the initials CC after their names.

The Common Council is the police authority
Police authority
A police authority in the United Kingdom, is a body charged with securing efficient and effective policing of a police area served by a territorial police force or the area and/or activity policed by a special police force...

 for the City of London, a police area
Police area
A police area is the area for which a territorial police force in the United Kingdom is responsible for policing.Every location in the United Kingdom has a designated territorial police force with statutory responsibility for providing policing services and enforcing criminal law, which is set out...

 that covers the City including the Inner Temple
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...

 & Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...

 and which has its own police force — the City of London Police
City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, England, including the Middle and Inner Temple. The service responsible for law enforcement within the rest of Greater London is the Metropolitan Police Service, a separate...

 — separate to the Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan police
Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

, which polices the remainder of Greater London.

The Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs


The Lord Mayor of London
Lord Mayor of London
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

 and the two Sheriffs are chosen by liverymen meeting in Common Hall. Sheriffs, who serve as assistants to the Lord Mayor, are chosen on Midsummer Day. The Lord Mayor, who must have previously been a Sheriff, is chosen on Michaelmas
Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

. Both the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs are chosen for terms of one year.

The Lord Mayor fulfills several roles:
  • Chairs the Court of Alderman and the Common Council
  • Represents the City to foreign dignitaries
  • Heads the Commission of Lieutenancy
    Lord Lieutenant
    The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post...

     of the City
  • Chief Magistrate
    Magistrate
    A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

     of the City
  • Admiral of the Port of London
    Port of London
    The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

  • Chancellor of the City University
    City University, London
    City University London , is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute and became a university in 1966, when it adopted its present name....

  • President of Gresham College
    Gresham College
    Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Barnard's Inn Hall off Holborn in central London, England. It was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham and today it hosts over 140 free public lectures every year within the City of London.-History:Sir Thomas Gresham,...

  • Trustee of Saint Paul's Cathedral


The ancient and continuing office of Lord Mayor of London (with responsibility for the City of London) should not be confused with the office of Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

 (responsible for the whole of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 and created in 2000).

Ceremonies and traditions


The City of London has a strong collection of ceremonies. Its policy head says "it is undoubtedly the case that we have more tradition and pageantry than most", for example the yearly Lord Mayor's Show.

Tax journalist Nicholas Shaxson
Nicholas Shaxson
Nicholas Shaxson is a British author, journalist, and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House . He is best known for his investigative books Poisoned Wells and Treasure Islands...

 said: "Whenever the Queen makes a state entry to the City, she meets a red cord raised by City police at Temple Bar, and then engages in a col­ourful ceremony involving the lord mayor, his sword, assorted aldermen and sheriffs, and a character called the Remembrancer. In this ceremony, the lord mayor recognises the Queen's authority, but the relationship is complex: as the corporation itself says: "The right of the City to run its own affairs was gradually won as concessions were gained from the Crown.""Nicholas Shaxson, http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/02/london-corporation-city

Conservation areas and green spaces


The City of London Corporation maintains around 10000 acres (40.5 km²) of public green spaces - mainly conservation areas / nature reserves - in Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 and the surrounding counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

. The most well-known of the conservation areas are Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

 and Epping Forest
Epping Forest
Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation....

. Other areas include Ashtead Common
Ashtead Common
Ashtead Common is a wooded area to the north of the village of Ashtead in England which is open to the public. It is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation at no cost to the public. There are 180.5 ha of this common in the National Nature Reserve...

, Burnham Beeches
Burnham Beeches
Burnham Beeches is an area of 220 hectares of ancient woodland, located close to Farnham Common, Burnham and Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire. It is approximately 25 miles to the west of London, England.-Preservation:...

, Highgate Wood
Highgate Wood
Highgate Wood is a 28 hectare area of ancient woodland in North London, lying between East Finchley, Highgate Village, and Muswell Hill. It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book...

 and the South London Commons (six commons on the southern fringe of London).

Unusually, the Corporation also runs the unheated Parliament Hill Lido
Parliament Hill Lido
Parliament Hill Lido, Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Road, Hampstead Heath, North London, is next to Gospel Oak railway station. The lido, also known as Hampstead Heath Lido, is a public unheated open air swimming pool, open for 12 months a year...

, as it is part of Hampstead Heath inherited from the London Residuary Body
London Residuary Body
The London Residuary Body was a body set up in 1985 to dispose of the assets of the Greater London Council after the council's abolition in 1986. Similar residuary bodies were set up for the metropolitan counties. After the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority, the LRB took control of...

 in 1989.

The City also owns and manages two traditional city parks: Queen's Park and West Ham Park
West Ham Park
West Ham Park is a public park in the London Borough of Newham. Spanning , the park has been managed by the City of London Corporation since 1874. Previously it was the grounds of Ham House, owned by the Gurney family and demolished in 1872...

 as well as over 150 smaller public green spaces.

Education


The City of London has only one directly-maintained primary school. The school is called the Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School (ages 4 to 11). The school is the only voluntary-aided Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 primary school in the City of London. The school is maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.

City of London residents may send their children to schools in neighbouring Local Education Authorities
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

 (LEAs).

For secondary schools children enroll in schools in neighbouring LEAs, such as Islington
London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...

, Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

, Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 and Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

. Children who have permanent residence in the city of London are eligible for transfer to the City of London Academy
City of London Academy
The City of London Academy is the name given to four city academies established in inner London with the support of the Corporation of London. The academies are in the London boroughs of Camden, Southwark, Islington and Hackney...

, an independent secondary school sponsored by the City of London that is located in Southwark.

The City of London controls three other independent schools — the City of London School for Boys, the City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls is a girls' independent school located in the City of London, United Kingdom. It is sister school of the City of London School and the City of London Freemen's School .-History:The school was founded by William Ward in 1894...

, and the co-educational City of London Freemen's School
City of London Freemen's School
City of London Freemen's School is a coeducational independent school for day and boarding pupils, located at Ashtead Park in Surrey, England. It is the sister school of the City of London School and the City of London School for Girls, which are both independent single-sex schools located within...

. The Lord Mayor also holds the posts of Chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

 of City University
City University, London
City University London , is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute and became a university in 1966, when it adopted its present name....

 and President of Gresham College
Gresham College
Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Barnard's Inn Hall off Holborn in central London, England. It was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham and today it hosts over 140 free public lectures every year within the City of London.-History:Sir Thomas Gresham,...

, an institute of advanced study.

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts.-History:...

 is owned and funded by the Corporation.

Criticism


The City of London Corporation has been criticised for being undemocratic and a privileged haven for banks, financial institutions and big businesses. Critics see it as an old boys' network. Its electoral system has been branded "plutocratic", it has been branded a tax haven
Tax haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate....

, and its City Cash and Remembrancer have been criticised.

Business votes


The City has come under criticism for the determining role of business votes over the residential vote: businesses in the City have around 24,000 votes, dwarfing the residents' 8,000 votes. Tax justice campaigner Nicholas Shaxson
Nicholas Shaxson
Nicholas Shaxson is a British author, journalist, and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House . He is best known for his investigative books Poisoned Wells and Treasure Islands...

 said: "Voting would reflect the wishes not of the City's 300,000 workers, but of corporate managements. So Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 and the People's Bank of China
People's Bank of China
The People's Bank of China is the central bank of the People's Republic of China with the power to control monetary policy and regulate financial institutions in mainland China...

 would get to vote". Journalist George Monbiot complained: "It's not the workers who decide how the votes are cast, but the bosses, who "appoint" the voters. Plutocracy, pure and simple."

Old boys' network


"Nowadays, with its Lord Mayor, its Beadles, Sheriffs and Aldermen, its separate police force and its select electorate of freemen and liverymen, the City of London is an anachronism
Anachronism
An anachronism—from the Greek ανά and χρόνος — is an inconsistency in some chronological arrangement, especially a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other...

 of the worst kind. The Corporation, which runs the City like a one-party mini-state, is an unreconstructed old boys' network whose medievalist pageantry camouflages the very real power and wealth which it holds." - pp110, Rough Guide to England
Rough Guides
Rough Guides Ltd is a travel guidebook and reference publisher, owned by Pearson PLC. Their travel titles cover more than 200 destinations, and are distributed worldwide through the Penguin Group...

, 2006

"The corporation is a group of hangers-on, who create what is known as the best dining club in the City ... a rotten borough
Rotten borough
A "rotten", "decayed" or pocket borough was a parliamentary borough or constituency in the United Kingdom that had a very small electorate and could be used by a patron to gain undue and unrepresentative influence within Parliament....

." - John McDonnell
John McDonnell (politician)
John Martin McDonnell is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington since 1997; he serves as Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Labour Representation Committee, and the "Public Services Not Private Profit Group"...

, during the debates on the Ward Elections Act.

City Cash


The Corporation has been criticised for its secrecy due to it being exempt from freedom of information
Freedom of information
Freedom of information refers to the protection of the right to freedom of expression with regards to the Internet and information technology . Freedom of information may also concern censorship in an information technology context, i.e...

 legislation, for example relating to its opaque private fund, the City Cash. Shaxson alleges that the fund "helps buy off dissent" and Monbiot claims that "it can spend as it wishes, without democratic oversight. As well as expanding its enormous property portfolio, it uses this money to lobby on behalf of the banks".

Further criticism of the Corporation was raised during the Occupy London
Occupy London
Occupy London is an ongoing peaceful protest and demonstration against economic inequality, the lack of affordability of housing in the United Kingdom, social injustice, corporate greed and the influence of companies and lobbyists on government taking place in London, United Kingdom, which started...

 protests in that area in 2011, in which journalist George Monbiot claimed that the City of London is "the only part of Britain over which Parliament has no authority" and that the Mayor of London's mandate stops "at the boundaries of the Square Mile". These claims were robustly denied by the head of policy at the Corporation.

Remembrancer


Campaigner Nicholas Shaxson calls the Remembrancer the City's "official lobbyist in parliament"; the Remembrancer is privileged to sit opposite the Speaker in the House of Commons. However, his official role is to "maintain and enhance the City's status and ensure that its established rights are safeguarded".

See also

  • City of London#Governance
  • City status in the United Kingdom
    City status in the United Kingdom
    City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

  • Lord Mayor of London
    Lord Mayor of London
    The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

  • List of Lord Mayors of London
  • Livery Company
    Livery Company
    The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

  • City of London School
    City of London School
    The City of London School is a boys' independent day school on the banks of the River Thames in the City of London, England. It is the brother school of the City of London School for Girls and the co-educational City of London Freemen's School...

  • List of parks and open spaces managed by the City of London Corporation

External links