5 January 2017
Dear Mr Davis and Mr Mitchell,
Re: Garden Bridge Trust
I write on behalf of my constituents, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple together with numerous individual residents of the Temple, and barristers practising within the area, to express concern about your decisions taken under executive authority on 21 December 2016 in relation to the Garden Bridge proposal. I have read and agree with the letter sent to you by my fellow ward councilman, Mr Edward Lord OBE, JP dated 3 January 2016. Until yesterday I was unaware of the decision having been taken. I suspect that many of my constituents will also be unaware of the decision. It has not been the subject of wide publicity and it has been taken just before the City headed into the Christmas break, yet is one which has an obvious impact upon the residents and workers in my ward.
My constituents have raised legitimate questions about the need for such a structure in that location and its viability and financial sustainability. As Mr Lord points out, the City of London Corporation has declined to support the Garden Bridge Trust’s proposals both in its capacity as a local authority and as trustee of the Bridge House Estate, for similar reasons.
The use of these particularly the powers under s.227 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) powers are particularly draconian involving a form of compulsory acquisition. It is something which requires a compelling case in the public interest. It will also involve the expenditure of significant sums of money by way of compensation as well as other professional expert and legal fees. Yet major issues still remain to be resolved over whether the proposed “Garden Bridge” represents a compelling case in the public interest as well as whether it is value for money. As you are aware the London Mayor has commissioned a review into the funding arrangements.That review has yet to report.
Given the ongoing concern about the viability of the Garden Bridge and the absence of guaranteed financial support to bring the project to fruition, it is with the greatest of respect, both premature and imprudent for the City of Westminster to take the decisions which were put before you in such an expedited manner just before the Christmas break.
Finally, it appears to me that the December decisions are legally flawed. The decisions listed are for the “appropriation” and “disposal” of land rather than a decision for the “proposed appropriation or disposal” Significantly, the City of Westminster has by this decision decided to appropriate and disposal of the lands regardless of the outcome of the consultation process rather than being minded so to do subject to the outcome of consideration of any objections. However, as the report acknowledges, there must be advertisement, consultation and consideration of objections into the proposed appropriation/disposal. Given that the City of Westminster has already resolved to appropriate and dispose of the various lands in question the consultation exercise is inherently flawed. (See e.g. R (Moseley) v Haringey LBC  1 WLR 394). I would respectfully ask that this letter also be regarded as an objection to the acquisition and disposal of the lands subject to the decision of 21 December, 2017. In addition, can you confirm whether the consultation exercises have set out the alternatives considered and rejected by the City of Westminster (R (Moseley) v Haringey LBC  1 WLR 394).
Accordingly, whilst I would join Mr Lord in inviting you to review your decisions and/or encourage their call-in by your colleagues so that they may be properly scrutinised, given its unlawfulness I request that the Council revokes the decision and start the matter afresh.
I would also ask to be updated upon what action you decide to take.
Gregory Jones, QC, CC
c.c. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Jules Pipe CBE, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Greater London Authority
Val Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Greater London Authority
Cllr The Baroness Couttie, Leader, Westminster City Council
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader Designate, Westminster City Council
Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of the Opposition, Westminster City Council
Cllr Ian Adams, Chairman, Environment and Customer Services Policy & Scrutiny
Committee, Westminster City Council
Cllr Brian Connell, Chairman, Housing, Finance and Corporate Services Policy
and Scrutiny Committee, Westminster City Council
Charlie Parker, Chief Executive, Westminster City Council
Christopher Hayward CC, Chairman, Planning & Transportation Committee
City of London Corporation
John Barradell OBE, Town Clerk & Chief Executive, City of London Corporation
Guy Perricone, Under Treasurer & Chief Executive, Middle Temple
Patrick Maddams, Sub Treasurer, Inner Temple
To celebrate my birthday this week I was encouraged by fellow Councilman George Abrahams to have a bangers and mash party. An early morning trip to Smithfield Market secured me an excellent array of fine pork (leak & apple) and beef sausages at a very good price. The photograph shows me with my expert ‘sausage advisers’ meat traders and fellow ward councillors, Greg Lawrence and Paul Martinelli. The market sells to retail as well as to the trade and is very good value I recommend it to all!
I have written a two part article. Entitled “Uncommon Counsel” the first part published in the January 2017 edition of Counsel Magazine can be viewed at https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/uncommon-counsel-1-barristers-and-the-city . it addresses the role of barristers on the City of London’s Common Council. The second part will be published in the February edition of Counsel magazine and is a short history of Farringdon Without. This is the ward which houses the Temple and legal core of the City. It is the ward where I work and which I represent as a Common Councilman. This week I also announced my intention to stand as Alderman for the ward of Farringdon Without at the election to be held on 8 February, 2017.
|WARD OF FARRINGDON WITHOUT|
|The Temple – Chancery Lane – Holborn – Smithfield|
Christmas Special 2016
|Editor: GREGORY JONES QC CC|
Farringdon Without Equal
Gregory Jones QC, Common Councilman
Based on an article originally published in December’s edition of the Smithfield Gazette
There are 25 wards in the City of London but what makes our ward so special? Farringdon Without has many undoubted qualities but for me it’s the fact that it contains so many historic trades which still thrive. Our ward is the largest in the City and includes occupations ranging from ground breaking doctors in the world-famous St Barts. Hospital to the traders of the silver vaults below the streets of Chancery Lane. Sadly, the last two journalists working in Fleet Street moved out over the summer, but the offices opened by Winston Churchill of D. C. Thomson & Co the publishers of The Beano remains very active on Fleet Street. Originally, in the middle-ages both lawyers and butchers were cheek to cheek working along the old Fleet Street before the Smithfield Meat market was established. But happily, we have remained in the same ward.
These trades form the bedrock upon which this great City was built. Known sometimes as the ward of the “Butchers and Barristers”, these two occupations have more in common than one might think. The death of the bar and the closure of the City meat markets have both been frequently predicted by some. However, by employing innovation and flexibility these old professions have survived and prospered.
Located on the edge of the City outside the old city walls (hence the name “Without” meaning “outside”) those working in Farringdon Without have, I think, always had an open mind. The Bar and meat trade have prospered because we have embraced not only the international market place but also the regional and national ones too. Some would also say that both the law and butchery are a bloody business. I could not possibly comment, but as barrister myself I do have two cousins who are qualified master butchers so it may be in the blood after all.
But at the heart of why we are successful is a belief in quality of service arising from investment in training and education. The new Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley, has put quality apprenticeships at the forefront of his year. Pupillages in the Temple and apprenticeships in Smithfield are centuries old. We can offer the Lord Mayor much by way of example. The headquarters of the City and Guilds is in the ward nearby Smithfield market.
We also have the highest number of ward Councilman who actually work in the ward they represent. That is very important. We have a close feeling on what really matters for the residents and workers of the ward. Most recently we saw the benefits of this in action with the battle to stop the City restricting the Tudor street entrance to the Temple. The barristers and judges of the Temple were very grateful to the ward members from Smithfield who supported the Temple in its successful battle over Tudor Street. As Churchill quipped, “we must all hang together, or we’ll all hang alone.” May all trades ancient and modern continue to thrive together in the ward!
Wishing a Happy Christmas to everyone in the Ward of Farringdon Without
For services times for in churches within our ward over Christmas see:
Temple Church: http://www.templechurch.com/
St. Andrew Holborn: http://standrewholborn.org.uk/church-life/calendar/
St. Bartholomew the Great: http://www.greatstbarts.com/
St. Dunstan’s in the West: http://standrewholborn.org.uk/church-life/calendar/
St Sepulchres: http://stsepulchres.org/services/
GREG JONES QC CC Candidate for Alderman of the Ward of Farringdon Without The Temple | Chancery Lane | Holborn | Smithfield Francis Taylor Building, Temple, London EC4Y 7BY Tel: 020 7353 8415 | Email: email@example.com www.gregoryjonescc.net
|Editor: GREGORY JONES QC CC|
PLANNING THE FUTURE CITY OF LONDON
The City of London Corporation is reviewing the its Local Plan, which sets out the Corporation’s vision, strategy and objectives for planning for the next 20 years, together with policies that will guide future decisions on planning applications. This review therefore has the potential to impact on everyone who lives and works in the Square Mile.
The first stage of the review is a public consultation seeking views on key issues, such as:
TUDOR STREET TRAFFIC UPDATE
After concerns expressed by Temple residents, chambers, and the Inns themselves, Farringdon Without’s Ward representatives led the charge to overturn a Sub-Committee decision to close the junction of Tudor Street and New Bridge Street.
Using a little known procedural provision, Ward councillor Edward Lord, supported by Greg Jones, Wendy Mead, Emma Price, and Paul Martinelli, moved that the decision be reversed by the full Common Council due to insufficient consultation and failure to consider the impact of the closure.
Since then, Greg Jones, now a member of the City’s Streets & Walkways Sub-Committee, has been working with colleagues to find a long-term solution. Recently, the Sub-Committee Chairman, Chris Hayward, announced that agreement in principle had been reached between Transport for London, the Inns and the City to change the new arrangements so that in future the vehicles would be able to egress from Tudor Street controlled by traffic lights turning left and right onto New Bridge Street. Bridewell Place is to be returned to one way with ingress from New Bridge Street.
Oliver Sells QC, a bencher and resident of the Inner Temple welcomed the progress, saying that “this represents a great victory for the Ward and the Temple.”
Many constituents have raised a concern about the City losing its premier internal arbitration status to rivals across the world. Greg Jones is planning to set up a working party to advise the City Corporation on what can be done to promote this aspect of the City. Contact Greg if you have views or wish to participate.
WENDY MEAD ELECTED AS THE CITY’S ‘CHIEF COMMONER’ 2017-18
Longstanding Farringdon Without Ward councillor and former City Sheriff, Wendy Mead OBE, has been elected to serve as Chief Commoner for 2017-18, an office first established in 1444.
‘The Chief’ is the highest civic office to which a Common Councilman can be elected and is regarded as the conscience of the Court of Common Council, as well as being responsible for overseeing many of the City’s ceremonial and hospitality responsibilities.
Wendy was first elected to the City Corporation in 1997, having led the campaign to save St Bartholomew’s Hospital. She is currently chairman of the Port Health & Environmental Services Committee and the Health & Social Care Scrutiny Committee. She also serves on the powerful Policy & Resources Committee and the Boards of the Barbican Centre and City Bridge Trust.
PROPOSED FLEET STREET WORKS
Recent consultation on proposed works to narrow parts of Fleet Street caused deep consternation to local traders, barristers’ chambers, and the Inns. Greg Jones raised these concerns with the Chairman of the City’s Planning Committee and, as matters currently stand, the proposals are now not going forward.
CITY FREEDOM ATTRACTS WORLD-CLASS (SHEEP) DRIVER!
If there’s one thing most of us think we know about the Freedom of the City of London it the right to drive sheep across London Bridge. It’s not quite true, but all freeman can partake in a charity sheep drive organized by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen. This year ex-Formula 1 champion Nigel Mansell CBE led the sheep drive, followed by 600 other freemen of the City.