Green Party votes to work for abolition of the City of London Corporation

12 September 2011

The Green Party's autumn conference has voted to work for the abolition of the City of London Corporation.

This would include the special statuses the City of London Corporation enjoys, including its special status under freedom of information legislation, [1] and its right to demand meetings with democratic institutions and the monarchy. [2]

Green Party policy now calls for the City of London to be brought under the control of the Greater London Authority, in the same manner as is applied to the boroughs of London.

Currently, the 9,000 residents of the City each have one vote, but businesses have between them 32,000 votes, reflecting their number of employees, but with no requirement to consult with employees in any way on use of the votes.

Under the reform, residents of the City of London would have the same democratic rights as those in London boroughs enjoy. The form this would take would be decided through consultation with those residents.

Finally, control of the funds held by the Corporation, particularly the City Cash, will be given to the Mayor of London. [3]

Jenny Jones, Green candidate for Mayor of London in 2012, said:

"The City of London Corporation is a medieval institution. It plays a key role in protecting offshore business that drains billions out of developing countries each year. What we have is a divided capital, and we need to abolish that division, and make the City of London more open and democratic."

Notes

1. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to the City of London only as a local authority, police authority and port health authority. No other aspects of its work are covered by the FOI Act.

2. Currently, the Prime Minister has to meet with the City within ten days if it asks for it, while the Queen has to meet the city within a week if so requested.

3. The City says the City Cash fund is "a private fund built up over the last eight centuries" that earns income from "property supplemented by investment earnings." It has been estimated that its income amounts to well over £100m a year. It is known to own the Conduit Estate, covering some of the most valuable parts of the West End around Regent and Oxford Streets, and property in Wall Street, Hong Kong and Sydney.

4. In 1996, Labour replaced its pledge to abolish the corporation with a promise merely to "reform" it.

 






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