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City Matters 116

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  • February
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CITYMATTERS.LONDON 05 - 18 February 2020 | Page 3 NEWS subscribe to our newsletter at PROPOSALS: the plan is to make the buildings achieve a high level of sustainability, achieving the BREEAM Excellent certification. Designs for new home of London markets revealed THIS is the first look at plans for the relocation of three of London’s historic food markets to east London, writes Rachael Burford, Local Democracy Reporter. The plans for the merger of new Smithfield, Billingsgate and New Spitalfields markets on to a site formerly occupied by Barking power station include harnessing solar power to help run them. Early designs show each market will have its own entrance leading to an atrium, which will provide daylight to the market below and serve as “renewable energy generators” with hundreds of solar panels installed to help power the stalls. A “green corridor” will link the site to nearby roads and the River Thames, which could be used as a more environmentally friendly way to ship goods to and from the markets. The Corporation said each entrance at the new markets will “be unique and identify with the history AN extra 44 police officers will fight crime in the Square Mile after a new raft of government funding, writes Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter. City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson said the total number of officers in his force will rise to about 800, thanks to extra funding from the Home Office. It comes as part of the government’s promise to hire 20,000 police officers across the country, and tradition associated with these markets”. The plan is to also make the buildings achieve a high level of sustainability, achieving the BREEAM Excellent certification. A spokesperson for the Corporation said: “The development will be built with sustainable materials, using the latest environmental technology. The plans will limit the upfront energy during construction and when operational. “Our aim is to create a scheme that places the health and wellbeing of occupants and workers at its heart.” The City of London Corporation bought the 42 acres site near Dagenham Dock for an estimated £100m in 2018 and is moving the markets to free up land for thousands of new inner homes. Plans have also been drawn up to convert Smithfield market into a new “entertainment” destination complete with a food hall and room for concerts Additional police officers on their way to Square Mile streets after roughly the same number of officers had been cut from UK forces since 2010. At a Police Authority Board meeting on January 22, Mr Dyson said: “We were looking at around 700 officers at the end of 2016. “We increased the number of armed officers following the 2017 terror attacks. “We then had some other money from TfL for roads policing. What that led to was an establishment with 736 [police officers]. and pop-up exhibitions. Billingsgate fish market first started on the banks of the Thames in the 16th century and moved to Poplar in 1982, while Spitalfields fruit and veg market was established by Charles I in 1638 and relocated to Leyton in the early 1990s. Smithfield, in Farringdon, is London’s last remaining wholesale market that has operated from the same site for more than 800 years. Last year a preliminary consultation showed 82% of traders were against relocating, with most worrying they will lose customers and the roads would be unable to cope with the extra traffic. However, residents around the markets were more enthusiastic about the businesses relocation to Dagenham and overall 61% of respondents said they supported the new location. The first plans go to consultation today and a planning application is expected to be submitted to Barking and Dagenham council in the Spring. Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “The proposed new home for London’s markets promises to bring a huge economic boost to the borough and our priority will be to make sure that local people have the skills and training to take advantage of the employment opportunities that will arise. “It’s especially important that our residents and local businesses share their knowledge of the area and respond to the consultation to ensure that we can ensure the markets operate smoothly and flourish and grow in their new location.“ “With proposed uplifts of what we think we’re going to get from the Home Office, we are moving to a position where we’re likely to be over 800, which is good for us.” However the influx of local bobbies coincides with a period of budget cuts at the City of London Police. Last month Mr Dyson discussed plans to save £5.7million from his forces budget over the course of 2020/21. This current financial year, the force was given short notice before needing to find £2.2m to commit to increases in pension contributions. An agenda report produced for the meeting shows it faced an “unexpected increase in the employers’ contribution to police officers pension to 31%.” ‘Looking beyond’ during National Apprenticeship Week THIS week marks National Apprenticeship Week and the theme is to ‘Look Beyond’, writes Catherine McGuinness, City of London Corporation Policy Chair. It aims to encourage people to ‘look beyond’ the traditional stereotypes associated with apprenticeships and instead celebrate the diverse opportunities that they bring to the country today. For businesses, apprenticeships can help develop the skills an organisation needs, diversify a workforce, and improve talent. Attracting and keeping that talent is key to the competitiveness of the City and the UK. And accessing the large untapped skills pool in London and beyond is critical for future growth. We want to make sure that the Square Mile’s businesses of all sizes and sectors continue to compete globally. But university degrees don’t always provide the fusion skills firms need. These are often skills which hands-on apprenticeships can easily deliver whilst providing a clear and stable pathway to a career. My message to City firms is simple: there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice. Employers can match their business needs with tailor-made schemes, meaning they work for the organisation and at the same time train a freshly skilled new workforce. We know that more than 90% go on into work or further training, and they can be a win-win for both the employer and the employee. We can certainly vouch for this. In 2018 we took on 102 in just 12 months. We now have 145 apprentices who are placed across our departments, learning new skills in horticulture in our City gardens, in customer service at Tower Bridge, and as animal handlers at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre. They are all paid the London Living Wage and we continue to support them with careers advice after their apprenticeship ends. We offer apprenticeships to City residents and anyone interested in alternative routes into employment. For young people, apprenticeships can be a stepping-stone into the world of work. Apprenticeship programmes empower them to try different jobs, experience a range of sectors, and discover new roles. We want to develop a diverse City which creates jobs and opportunities for people from all backgrounds. That’s why we work closely with leading employers who are ready to take on the right candidates. The apprenticeship levy, introduced by the government in 2017, is paid by employers with an annual turnover of over £3million and can be used to pay for apprentice training and assessment. I have been very encouraged to hear more and more businesses talking about apprenticeships and starting to look at how they can be a key part of the solution to the skills gap. For us, the levy has been a success and provided a great career opportunity for many young adults. We will continue to work hard to improve apprenticeship uptake across London and give new career pathways into jobs for people from all walks of life – and crucially, to help businesses get the skills they need.

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