Bulletin from the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor
1 May 2020 Read the full bulletin (PDF) here
An abridged version is below:
I hope that you all remain safe and well as I send this bulletin. I have been very grateful to have your responses to my earlier letter, updating me on how you and your Companies are approaching this unusual period. I have been saddened to learn that some Companies have lost members to the Coronavirus. The Lady Mayoress and I send our sincerest condolences to all who have been affected, and I know that our sadness will be shared by all members of the Livery family to which we all belong.
But I have been heartened too to hear about the operational adaptations you are making to the daily lives of your own Companies and the ways in which you are seeking to support others, especially the most vulnerable, in imaginative and inspiring ways. I hope that as Lord Mayor I can be a channel for the sharing of such stories and as well as the concerns or challenges with which many of us are wrestling. Thank you for the positive responses so far – further replies can be sent via my office by email to LMProgOffice@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Since I last wrote to you at Easter you will have heard that the decision has been taken, subject to some formal procedures in the autumn, to extend my Mayoralty for an additional year, so that my term of office will conclude in November 2021.
There will be several implications of this extended Mayoralty, and some of you may be wondering what it, as well the broader COVID-19 situation, may mean for annual activities like the Lord Mayor’s Show. As I will need to renew my
oath to HM The Queen at the start of my second year there will still be the opportunity for a Show if we are permitted to hold one. To that end, I am working with the Pageantmaster and the Board of Lord Mayor’s Show Ltd to ensure that we have a Show prepared and ready to go on Saturday 14 November. None of us knows how the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will develop and what restrictions may or may not be in place by then. We will need to be mindful of the mood of the nation. It may be a welcome chance for us to demonstrate our gratitude to those key workers from the NHS and all other critical sectors who have kept the country going during this difficult time. I feel it would be a lost opportunity if we were not able to take to the streets in November to show our appreciation. I would welcome your thoughts.
Among the responses you have sent to my earlier bulletins have been some fantastic insights into the ways in which you are contributing to the battle against COVID-19, many of which will have a direct impact on the front line. To mention a small selection, you may have seen in the media the news that an industry consortium coordinated by the Engineers Company is fulfilling an order for 10,000 ventilators for the NHS. Members of the Broderers Company are making medical scrubs for hospital staff, while firms associated with the Upholders Company are producing the foam to be used in face-masks. These activities, small and large alike, will be making such a difference.
One project that I am delighted to share with you in more detail is the NHS Livery Kitchen initiative. This brilliant scheme brings together the Drapers, Grocers, and Merchant Taylors Companies, as well as volunteers from the City caterer Party Ingredients, to provide nutritious individually-packed meals, prepared in livery hall kitchens, to NHS staff at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, part of the Barts Health NHS Trust. Members of the Hackney Carriage Drivers Company are also driving chefs to work so that they can avoid using public transport. I would like to pay tribute to the sixteen Livery companies and individuals who have so generously contributed considerable sums to ensure the project’s successful launch and sustainability. This has become a truly pan-livery team effort.
The Livery Kitchen meals, as well as being delicious, have enabled staff no longer to worry about how they will feed themselves during exhausting 12-hour shifts when they have so many other demands on their time.
Finally, I am sure I am not alone in being moved by the public’s generous response to the fundraising appeal launched by Captain Tom Moore. His simple determination to make a difference has clearly inspired the nation and this was reflected in the outpouring of congratulations he received on his 100th birthday yesterday. You may be pleased to know that the City of London will recognise his amazing achievement later this month, when Captain Tom will receive the Freedom of the City in a virtual ceremony. These remain worrying times. But I have been impressed by the spirit that is being shown throughout the Livery. This is our opportunity to re-affirm our commitment to civil society and to our traditions of support for the vulnerable and needy. I know that together we can meet head-on the challenge that is facing us. Please keep in touch with me and with each other as we do so.
With continued good wishes from me and the Lady Mayoress.
Alderman William Russell
The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor