BEING Lord Mayor of London comes with its benefits. Just ask the present mayor Michael Bear, who took a seat in Westminster Abbey last Friday alongside David Beckham, Elton John and David Cameron as a guest at the Royal Wedding.
There is also, of course, the advantage of a grace-and-favour home at Mansion House round the corner from the Bank of England – although the only problem with beautiful Georgian listed buildings is that tenants can’t put in double-glazing. “This makes them very noisy,” a spokesman for the Mayor told The Capitalist. “Especially if they’re in the middle of the City.”
In fact, the noise has become such a headache for the Mayor, who writes a fortnightly column for City A.M. (see page 16), that he has asked Transport for London to move the rubbish collections away from exit seven of Bank station so they don’t disturb his sleep.
He has also resolved noise issues with other neighbours – including the British Arab Commercial Bank, Scottish Provident and Sainsbury’s – in a “dialogue process”.
However, the dispute rumbles on at City favourite 1 Lombard Street, where the noise from early morning deliveries and late-night festivities is so “excessive”, says the Mayor, that he has made seven official complaints and taken out a noise abatement notice banning the restaurant from playing loud music.
Owner Soren Jessen, who worked for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before founding 1 Lombard Street in 1998, is appealing against the notice, which carries a £20k fine if his business is found in breach. “I am sure the Mayor is a nice man, but he certainly likes his sleep,” Jessen said. “I am thinking of buying him some earmuffs.”
THE Royal Wedding media village in Green Park was full of familiar faces, reports Simon Lewis, chief executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, who drew on his spell as the Queen’s former PR adviser to provide live commentary for ITN.
Lewis was joined on the ITN sofa by Spectator chairman Andrew Neil and former tabloid editor Eve Pollard, and later by ITN’s political editor Tom Bradby – who gave Lewis the inside track after he attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey as a friend of the couple.
But the highlight, says Lewis, was his solo slot earlier in the day, when Prince William came out of Clarence House to set off for the Abbey. “That was a bit of a moment,” Lewis told The Capitalist. “If I looked over my shoulder I could see the carriages behind.”
Lewis hasn’t yet watched his TV appearance, which drew 6m viewers, but his brother Will Lewis did manage to catch the action, texting a brief: “Well done.” No time for anything more though – the group general manager of News International was busy stage-managing Rupert Murdoch’s coverage of the wedding from Wapping at the time.