Page 2 | 16 - 29 October 2019 News Matters AWHAT’S INSIDE city_matters CITYMATTERS.LONDON CALL FOR TORIES TO AVOID DAMAGING EU DIVORCE City policy chief fires no-deal Brexit warning 8 16 Assembly blasts new Uber license What’s on in & around the City Luxury winter resort in Austria London firm tackles inequality head on 4 20 THE City of London Corporation has called on the Conservative Party to “fight tooth and nail” to avoid a crash out of the EU without a deal, writes Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter. With less than one month until the Brexit deadline, Catherine McGuinness, the Corporation’s policy chair, warned of “economic damage” that “no amount of preparation” could stop. She said London’s “success story” would continue whatever the outcome, but urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work with the EU and MPs to “avoid a disorderly exit”. Ms McGuinness, a councillor in the Square Mile since 1997, said: “In order to give ourselves the best possible start post- Brexit, the government must fight toothand-nail to avoid a no-deal. Clarity “We are urging the Conservative Party to do all that they can to avoid a disorderly exit, working with their fellow parliamentarians and the EU, so that the industry can have both clarity and security as soon as possible.” Speaking on behalf of the huge banks and multinational companies in the City, she added: “As time passes, the uncertainty holding business hostage remains, leaving companies unable to make everyday decisions. “Big institutions have been preparing since day one, but no amount of preparation can mitigate some of the remaining cliffedges.” On 30 September, Ms McGuinness hosted a roundtable at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, focusing on the future of UK financial services after Brexit. She was joined by Tory treasury minister John Glen MP. Police will share footage with Facebook to counter terrorism LONDON police will work with the social media giant Facebook to combat the live-streaming of terrorist attacks, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. From December, the Metropolitan Police will share footage from body-worn cameras used during training by its firearms unit. Facebook will use this video to develop artificial intelligence that can identify live-streamed gun attacks. Footage from the London force will be used alongside video from law enforcement in the USA. In March, Facebook was criticised after a Mosque attack in New Zealand, which left 51 people dead, was live-streamed on its platform. The video from the Christchurch shooting was viewed fewer than 200 times live, and 4,000 times in total before it was taken down. Facebook says the new footage from the Met could help alert police faster in the time ticking away: the countdown to Brexit on 31 October is well and truly on case of a future attack. Stephanie McCourt, Facebook’s UK law enforcement lead said the Met would play an important role in improving the technology. She said: “Facebook’s work tackling threats from terrorism and extremism never stops. “We invest heavily in people and technology to keep people safe on our platforms. But we can’t do it alone. Harmful “This partnership with the Met Police will help train our AI systems with the volume of data needed to identify these incidents – and we will remain committed to improving our detection abilities and keeping harmful content off Facebook.” City Matters was founded in 2016 and built on the foundation of four strategic pillars: To provide Quality Content to readers. Be a platform to Facilitate Change. Foster and deliver Innovation. To deliver an Impeccable Service. City Matters is proud to be a registered social enterprise & a member of Social Enterprise UK. To learn more about our social remit or read our latest Transparency Report, go online to citymatters.london Editoral Director: Tom Oxtoby Lifestyle Editor: Andrew Zuccala [email protected] Managing Director: Nick Chapman [email protected] [email protected] 020 7481 0223 / 07818 075 270 Production: Steve Muscroft Published on behalf of City Publishing Ltd, 12 Pinchin Street, London E1 1SA CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS The editorial team at City Matters strives to ensure all information printed is true and correct at the time of publication. If you notice a story has been printed with an error or omission, please contact us through our website and we will be happy to amend as appropriate.
CITYMATTERS.LONDON citymatters 16 - 29 October 2019 | Page 3 News Matters CHANGES DESIGNED TO ‘PRESERVE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE’ THE City of London Corporation’s standards committee has simplified its policy on allowing councillors to speak and vote on residential issues in which they have a financial interest. The Localism Act 2011 requires a councillor with a financial interest in a matter not to speak and vote on that matter without being granted permission to do so – known as a dispensation. The changes will make the process of granting dispensations quicker, easier, and more efficient, giving elected councillors the maximum opportunity to represent their constituents effectively under the law. In March, following extensive consultation, the City Corporation adopted a new policy giving councillors with a financial conflict of interest individual dispensations to speak and vote where it is appropriate under the Act. Following a six month review of the policy, the City Corporation’s standards committee has acted to further simplify the rules, speed up the decision making process and ensure elected members have the optimum opportunity to represent their constituents. The changes include new, more efficient simplified process: the City of London Corporation has implemented a string of changes Corp streamlines its dispensations policy measures put in place to ensure dispensations to speak and vote are granted more quickly. This includes the introduction of regular meetings to consider dispensations; new enhanced support and guidance for councillors when deciding if they have a conflict of interest on an issue; and the introduction of deadlines for dispensation applications. Dispensations forms will be shortened and simplified to take steps to seek the repeal of s.618 of the Housing Act 1985, which only applies to City Corporation councillors. Voting This law prohibits councillors living in or leasing a property owned by the City Corporation from voting on housing matters where it affects their own property. The decision invites the City Corporation’s policy and resources committee, children and community services committee and Barbican residential committee to consider the proposal, which could allow councillors with a financial interest in a matter to obtain a dispensation to speak on any issue affecting their Mobile doctors to assist the City’s homeless population A MOBILE GP service will take healthcare to rough sleepers in the Square Mile, writes Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter. The City of London Corporation is teaming up with human rights charity Doctors of the World to run a three-month pilot to make sure hard to reach people get the healthcare they need. Doctors will take their fully kitted-out vehicle to the City and will run a weekly clinic at community sites and places where the City’s homeless meet or feel safe. The pilot is aimed to make sure they get the health care they need. The charity pioneered its first mobile clinic at migrant support centres in London last year. A volunteer doctor or nurse, together with a support worker and clinic supervisor will provide basic on-the-spot support. Those with more complex health issues will get referred to other places for help. The move is also designed to get evidence to prove to health bosses that there is a need to fund a more long term service. The City of London had 441 people sleeping rough last year, putting it in the top five of boroughs with the highest numbers of street homeless, behind Westminster, Newham, and Camden. (Southwark was in fifth place). Marianne Fredericks, who chairs the City’s homelessness and rough sleeping sub committee constituents, lasting their whole term of office. The current rules mean that councillors must apply for dispensations to speak on separate residential issues in which they have a financial conflict of interest. Plans will be brought back to the standards committee early next year. Ann Holmes, chair of the City of London Corporation’s standards committee, said: “We seek to ensure the highest ethical standards of behaviour from our councillors and to maintain public confidence in our decision making. “And we are determined to ensure that elected councillors continue to have the maximum opportunity to represent their constituents effectively under the law. “Like local authorities, we have sought to balance the need for effective, democratic representation with the requirement to preserve public confidence in our decisions, and that financial conflicts of interest are properly managed. “I believe these changes do just that, and I am fully confident with the system and policy which we have in place.” said: “It is incredibly difficult for someone who is homeless to traipse halfway across the city to find care.” In the first three months of this year 63% of rough sleepers in the City got support for mental health problems, with 55% needing help for problems with alcohol, and 46% getting help for drugs problems. She said she wanted to see a permanent solution. Councillor Mary Durcan lent her support to the move. She said: “It seems exactly the sort of thing that we should be doing, even for mundane things like chiropody. This is an answer for a really serious problem.” Simon Cribbens from the City’s community and children’s services department explained that the pilot will help “demonstrate a primary care model to the CCG”. He said health needs can include illnesses such as drug-resistant TB. LET’S TALK CITY: City of London Corporation policy chair, Catherine McGuinness, says tackling the suicide stigma and talking about the issue is helping people in the City each and every day Suicide is preventable & we all have our role EVERY four minutes – the average time you’d expect to wait for the Tube – someone attempts suicide in the UK. In 2017, the number of people in London who died by suicide was almost 57 times more than the number of cyclists who died in collisions in the Capital. And this public health crisis is on the increase – ONS data shows that suicide rates in the UK recently rose for the first time in five years, including an increase among young people and the highest suicide rates on record for women under 25 years old. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK and the highest suicide rate is among men aged 45 to 49. Men who are less well-off are up to ten times more likely to die by suicide than their more well-off counterparts. While suicide is the most severe manifestation of mental ill-health, it can be preventable and the earlier that warning signs are spotted and interventions are made, the more likely it is that an individual’s life is saved. Struggling One of the biggest myths surrounding suicide is that talking about it will give someone who is at crisis point when it comes to their mental health the idea to take their own life. This is simply not true and in fact, the reverse is often the case. By being direct and talking openly with someone who is struggling with their mental health – whether it is a family member, friend, colleague, or stranger you encounter on the street – you could save their life. Over the past few years, we have made great strides as a society to tackle stigma related to mental health – particularly within a workplace setting. This helps people every single day. By expanding those efforts to incorporate the de-stigmatisation of suicide, we can help even more people feel less alone and encourage and empower them to get the support that they need. Raising awareness of the signs that someone may be at particular risk of suicide, for example if they are self-harming, or if they themselves have been bereaved by suicide, is crucial to this, as is providing people with the tools to look after their own mental wellbeing and being able to signpost others to support services. The City of London Corporation has taken a collaborative approach to tackling suicide locally, working with key partners such as the City of London Police, Samaritans, Thrive LDN, the RNLI, local mental health specialist services and the local business community. As well as providing support to those who are at crisis point, helping our resident, worker, student and rough sleeper populations who are experiencing common mental health conditions such as stress, depression and anxiety, is another priority, as is promoting and fostering positive mental wellbeing. Prevention is key. Local initiatives such as upskilling our barber and hairdresser community to talk about suicide and help clients who are at-risk, providing a space for people to release the pressure at Dragon Café in the City and supporting national efforts such as the newly-launched ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign, are some examples of the work being done to ensure it is a healthy and happy place to live, work and visit. cityoflondon.gov.uk/releasethepressure
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