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CITYMATTERS.LONDON 16

CITYMATTERS.LONDON 16 June - 13 July 2021 | Page 3 NEWS subscribe to our newsletter at citymatters.london Corporation asked to cover costs of Lord Mayor’s Show IT’S barely missed a show in over eight hundred years but the pandemic put a temporary halt to the Lord Mayor’s Show which attracts millions of viewers, writes Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter. The annual event involves 7,000 participants from city workers, liveries and charities, 140 floats and 20 marching bands and is held in November. It traces its origins back to 1215 when King John gave the City the right to choose the Mayor, provided they pledged allegiance to the monarch at Westminster. The journey from the City to Westminster grew into a civic procession by the fourteenth century. By the early sixteenth century it had become a day of public celebration and entertainment. It was cancelled in the seventeenth century because of the Plague and last year due to COVID-19. The Show has entertained Londoners for over 800 years. It attracts half a million spectators as the ornate Lord Mayor’s State Coach decorated with gold leaf travels the three miles from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand and back. Two million people watch it from home on BBC television. Last year it lost £210,000 because of the pandemic. Organisers planned in the hope that the annual event would go on last November. According to a report by the City Remembrancer Paul Double: “Given the long history of the Show in continuing to take place despite disruption caused by war or other social concerns, the view was taken last year to continue to plan and prepare for a Show in 2020 for as long as possible.” But as a worsening public health seemed to loom last autumn, they cancelled the show in September. It meant they lost income from the show and had to dip into reserves which had built up to cover all its costs. The City Corporation has been asked to fund the costs from its Contingency Fund in case the show has to be cancelled again. It has been asked to underwrite the Lord Mayor’s Show costs so this year’s show can go on. Once £30,000 reserves are built up again it will be paid the surplus income and the costs the Corporation shoulders to stage the event. The show normally earns its income from the fees participants pay, which normally cover the costs and make a small surplus. However it does not cover the costs of services such as street cleaning, road closures, stewarding and security as well as providing the splendid eighteenth century Lord Mayor’s Coach, which is usually displayed at the Museum of London. It costs the highways department alone £99,000. The extra attractions including an Illuminated River installation, evening event at Tower Bridge, and fireworks display are not likely to happen this year, which will also affect income. The Corporation’s policy and resources committee, finance committee and general purposes aldermen committee will discuss the options. “We must remain vigilant as City of London reopens” WHEN zero COVID-19 deaths were reported last week, it was a stark reminder of how far we have come in tackling this pandemic, writes Catherine McGuinness, City of London Corporation Policy Chair. And we are soon set to reach stage four of the Roadmap. If the Government decides to go ahead it will mean the relaxing of all major restrictions on 21 June. In other words, we get to invite into our homes as many friends and family as we like; a freedom that we have all been waiting for, for a long time. However, we must remember that COVID-19 will remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Hands, face, space and fresh air must become second nature to us all. And we may still have to wear masks in some places but that will surely feel like the smallest of infringements on our liberty compared to what we have all endured over the past year. It is also important that businesses, who may see an increase in staff coming back to offices over the coming weeks, continue to adhere to the rules to protect their employees and prevent outbreaks of the virus. Anybody who walks around the Square Mile will know that visitors flock to heritage sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, The Monument, and Tower Bridge. Indeed, prior to the pandemic, there were 7.4 million annual visits to the City’s creative and heritage attractions. COVID-19 has clearly had a devastating impact on the whole capital’s tourism and cultural sectors. But we will make sure that the City builds back better and remains a vibrant and buzzing destination for residents, workers and visitors alike. That’s why we have extended the deadline for submissions to our COVID Business Recovery Fund to 30 June 2021. It offers up to £50 million of support for SMEs which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and which directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents. This pandemic has been a hugely challenging time for us all, so taking this next step safely is important. We must remember to keep up the good work for a little while longer and continue to follow the rules in order to keep control of the virus. To help us tackle coronavirus in all City communities we are seeking volunteers to help us share all the latest public health messages. To get involved, please call 0207 241 4443 to join our team of City Public Health Community Champions. It is important to remember to get tested if you have symptoms and to test twice weekly if you must go out to work. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are told to self-isolate, but you are not able to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating, you may be eligible for a £500 payment. You can call the City Corporation on 020 7332 3937 to find out more. We have a community pharmacy vaccination site at Boots, 120 Fleet Street – the Square Mile’s dedicated vaccination site. Visit the NHS website or call 119 for the current eligibility criteria, and information on how to book.

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