London Local Government Dinner – Thursday 17 January 2013

Guests at the London Local Government Dinner on Thursday last were most appreciative of Mansion House hospitality arranged in the splendid surroundings of the Egyptian Room.  Although Boris Johnson didn’t disappoint an expectant audience with an articulate mix of both the serious and his usual hair ruffling repartee, he took nothing away from My Lord Mayor of London Alderman Roger Gifford or Jules Pipe, Elected Mayor and Chair of Hackney Council for whom the Olympiad memory and the legacy of local development was much in evidence.

As a banker the Lord Mayor of London knows only too well that for London Local Government the prospects of advancement be it in jobs, quality of life, or the benefits of regenerative development within our communities is in many respects, dependent upon the successes initiated by those within the square mile. 

Whilst Alderman Gifford rightly praised the on-going contributions made by the City, Mayor Johnson had before him on his shuffled A4, two major themes with the first designed to put heart into the need for the nation to be consulted as to what we have signed up to as Europeans.  Whether or not Boris will be given an `on your bike’ response from the Prime minister will be a wait see experience for us all, but no doubt a clear decision on a referendum will be critical as the 2015 General Election draws ever and more uncomfortably closer.

Secondly, and for my ears there was a welcomed plea from Mayor Johnson to the London boroughs in respect of an enhancement of a working relationships that used to be called joined up thinking.  Call it what you will but for those London boroughs who got a prompted mention Lambeth included, the formula for achieving together as complementary neighbours was well worth waiting for especially at  this level of endorsement; combining their individual strengths is comprehensively preferable to single minded self enterprise and something that I have long advocated.

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