The City and the boroughs of London are intimately connected. Not only do around 400,000 Londoners travel to work in the City every day, but many also come to visit the Square Mile’s bars, shops, museums and galleries throughout the week.
On Thursday, 100 of the top figures in London government, including the mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe and London mayor Boris Johnson, who will be speaking at the event, will be “on our patch”, so to speak, when they attend the annual London Government Dinner at the Mansion House. It’s an important opportunity to renew old contacts, make new ones, and support each other in the challenges that we all face.
London is one of the foremost global cities – only New York can rival it – and we need to keep it that way. Our education system has improved hugely – so much so that London schools are among the best in the country. The City has made its own contribution, sponsoring four academies in Hackney, Southwark, and Islington.
We must not rest on our laurels, however: there is more to do if we are to ensure that London continues to dominate in the global market. We need to make sure that young Londoners are job ready and job hungry in the employment market, and must work to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills that businesses across the country need.
We need to improve broadband connectivity, expand airport capacity – something the government must commit to if it is to have any credibility on infrastructure – and we have to do something about the high cost of housing. This will be a top issue in the mayoral campaign, and high on the agenda of whoever is elected.
Although there are few houses in the City itself, the people who come to the City need housing and transport links to get them there. If skilled workers can’t get to City jobs, those jobs will eventually cease to exist and will move elsewhere.
That’s why the City of London Corporation is playing its part in increasing housing supply by committing to projects such as the 3,700 new homes we plan to build over the next decade. It’s also why we work so closely with the 32 London boroughs, with London MPs, and with organisations such as Central London Forward and London & Partners.
We also need more devolution to London and within London so that the politicians best placed to make decisions about the capital’s future have the power to do so. These are all issues the City cares deeply about, and the City of London will continue to play its very full part in and for the whole of London. We must work together to ensure our city’s future success.