The City of London Corporation’s Deputy Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Chris Hayward, today addressed the Court of Common Council, the City Corporation’s main decision-making body, to outline a range of steps being taken to support recovery across the Square Mile.
In the first in-person meeting at Guildhall since virtual sessions were introduced in May 2020, he said:
“With the easing of COVID restrictions, we have taken a decisive step towards a more normal way of life.
“We have seen the numbers start to grow on our transport networks and our offices start to come back to life.
“The City is back.
“The City is open.
“The City is back open for business.
“But of course, the pandemic is not quite over and some uncertainty lies ahead of us particularly I suspect as we approach the winter months.
“The Government has been clear that the virus has not gone away, and so, we continue to urge responsible behaviour.
“That includes getting the vaccine as soon as possible and of course, practicing safe social distancing.
“But the Government has also been clear that we must return to our places of work. The economic bounce back has to start now and we, in the City, must lead by example.
“We must support a strong, sustainable recovery. We must be guided by our vision of a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.
“We are providing direct support to businesses in three ways.
“Through our Business Recovery Fund, the deadline for which has been extended to the end of this month with up to £50 million targeted at our SMEs.
“Our COVID Business Accreditation Scheme has also now been expanded to all City companies.
“And through our reopening events and promotional campaign aimed at encouraging workers back to the office.
“In the medium term, our Recovery Taskforce is focused on the future of the City and how we ensure the Square Mile is the world’s most innovative, inclusive and sustainable business eco-system.
“Our focus now is to turn pandemic promises into recovery realities to turbocharge London and the UK’s recovery.
“Over the centuries we have continually re-invented ourselves by our flexibility in responding to the changing needs of business. Today more than ever we need to renew those fundamental strengths proving to the world that once again we are the resilient City of London.
“We are back, we are open, and we will be back stronger and better than ever.”