Meet your Aldersgate councillors

The next Aldersgate Ward surgery is on 16th April in the Barbican Library. There will be two members of the Aldersgate Ward team present on the third Tuesday of every month (apart from August).

No need to book – just turn up!

Cripplegate Election of a Common Councilman

Barbican Association and Golden Lane Residents Association Hustings

On 2nd November there will be an election* for a Common Councilman.

There are four candidates.

Adam HoggArne Mielken
Jan-Marc PetroschkaJacqui Roberts Webster

Brief statements from each of the candidates, details of the election timetable and hustings can be found here.

To enable Cripplegate residents to meet the candidates, hear what candidates have to say and question them, the BA and GLERA will be holding Hustings as follows. Cripplegate residents are welcome to attend either or both hustings.

Barbican Hustings
Wednesday 18 October, 7 pm
St Giles Cripplegate Church
Barbican Hustings
Wednesday 18 October 7 pm
St Giles Cripplegate Church

Voting will take place.

*Barber-Surgeons Hall, Monkwell Square, Wood St, Barbican, London, EC2Y 5BL and
Sir Ralph Perring Centre, Golden Lane Estate, London, EC1Y 0SH
on Thursday 2 November 2023 between the hours of 8.00am and8.00pm.

Cripplegate Ward Deputy Mark Bostock

It is with great regret that I write to let you know that Deputy Mark Bostock has just resigned from the Court of Common Council due to ill health. I’m sure we will all wish him well.

First elected in 2017 Mark became a Deputy at the last election in 2022. He has worked tirelessly for both the Barbican and Golden Lane residents to improve our services.  

He was one of the co-sponsors of the Planning petition which gained over 1000 signatures and aimed at making the City’s planning process more transparent.

A keen supporter of the Barbican Quarter team, pushing for a rethink of the London Wall West site, he has throughout his time strived to get the City of London Corporation to understand the value of an overall masterplan and not ad-hoc plans for small areas, in particular the importance of an overarching plan Smithfield, the Barbican and St Pauls.

The remaining members will continue his fight for a Cultural Strategy for the City and ensure that the Ward meeting he was organising for 18th October will be an opportunity for us all to hear more about ‘Destination City’ and its cultural aims.

Finally, and most importantly for all elected resident councillors he has pushed with me for the repeal of Section 618, a clause which meant that alone in the country City of London councillors cannot vote on housing matters where they have an interest. We have been informed by the Remembrancer that the clause to repeal it has now been accepted into the ‘Levelling Up’ Bill and trust that this will soon be passed into law.

We are currently shuffling some committee memberships to cover for Mark’s absence and make sure we carry on his good work. Expect a by-election in early November with hustings in October.

Alderwoman Sue Pearson

Cripplegate Ward

Planning miscellany

Planned conversion of 45 Beech Street from office to residential use

The BA received a letter recently from HUB which indicated that HUB and Bridges Fund Management have recently purchased 45 Beech Street. We are at the very earliest stages of exploring options to sensitively refurbish and repurpose the building as residential accommodation and so would welcome the opportunity to introduce ourselves properly in the coming weeks. By way of background, HUB is a London-based developer, set up over 10 years ago to deliver residentialled schemes in London and, more recently, cities across the UK……We will be delivering this project through our new investment vehicle, HUBCAP, which was set up specifically to deliver low carbon building reuse schemes. Our aspirations as a business in this regard are closely aligned with that of our partner, Bridges, the UK’s largest social and environmental impact fund, which for 20 years has invested in projects that seek to transition the UK to a more sustainable and inclusive economy.

The full letter can be read here. We are still awaiting confirmation of a date to meet the HUB representatives. In the meantime, this marketing brochure gives details of the building.

You may well have also read about the proposal in the 15th May edition of the Evening Standard in an article headed “£30 million City office block to be converted to ‘low-carbon’ flats”…….45 Beech Street ….set to be transformed into green housing…..” The full article can be read here.

There is also an interesting and detailed thread emerging on BarbicanTalk on this topic which can be viewed here.  

1-8 Long Lane – hotel project still ongoing

By way of background, back in June 2022 the BA and interested parties were invited to meet with the owners and architects involved with the site at 1-8 Long Lane. You may recall that the site at 1-12 Long Lane had already been granted planning permission for the demolition of the site and its replacement with a new office development. However, the changing nature of working practices post the pandemic led the owners to reconsider this proposal and they had come to the conclusion that the site at 1-8 Long Lane would be better converted to a boutique hotel. A meeting was held with interested members of the BA back in June 2022 where these ideas were put forward, with more detailed thoughts and proposals expected by the end of the year.

Nothing has been heard subsequently and an update was therefore requested. Whilst not particularly forthcoming, the response was “Following our meeting last year, the project team has been working with the City Corporation to work through a number of planning issues for the proposals. I believe these issues are almost resolved and so we will be looking to host a full round of public consultation to update everyone on the plans. We hope the be able to conduct this over the next few months”.

So it appears that the plans are still going ahead and that further details should be available in the summer.

The City of London signs up to the LUCI declaration

The City of London has recently announced that it has signed up the LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International) declaration to tackle light pollution. The accompanying release states that “the scheme will….commit the governing body of the Square Mile to use its planning powers to compel developers to cut the use of artificial light and save energy“. The international network of major cities known as LUCI includes 68 cities across the globe alongside City of London, including Paris, Seol and Shanghai.

The seven objectives of the Declaration support the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which supports the Square Mile as a whole to reach net zero by 2040. These include:

1.        Embracing Net Zero Lighting 

2.        Minimising light pollution

3.        Supporting health and well-being

4.         Progressing through public-private dialogue

5.         Increasing public engagement in development projects

6.         Integrating more light art into the public realm

7.         Greater consideration for lighting across urban planning policies

The City Corporation recently consulted on its Lighting Supplementary Planning Document, which will require developers to submit a detailed strategy for how buildings are lit. The City Corporation’s Considerate Lighting Charter will also ask existing property owners and occupants to make a commitment to turn lights off when not in use. A campaign to encourage local businesses to sign up to the charter will be launched in the coming months.

Let us hope that these words translate into firm actions!

The full press release can be read here.

Election for Cripplegate Alderman Hustings

Election for Alderman Cripplegate Ward on the 15th of September.

Your chance to meet and question the Candidates

The Barbican Association and Golden Lane Residents Association have arranged for Hustings on Thursday

25th of August at 7.30pm in the Golden Lane Community Centre and

Thursday 1st of September at 7.00pm in St Giles Church Barbican

All are welcome to attend either meeting

City of London’s treatment of its social tenants

CITY OF LONDON TENANTS DUE A WATER CHARGE REFUND
Public call for the City of London Corporation to respect the law
We, the City councillors named below, call on the City Corporation to pay its social housing tenants a full refund of a profit that it (and a number of other local authorities) made on “water reselling” from 2001 to 2019 following a ruling by the courts that this profit was unlawful.
The City Corporation should have taken the lead in paying a full refund, because it:
– prides itself on upholding the rule of law,
– is the wealthiest local authority in the country, and
– has the smallest number of social housing tenants. 
But it hasn’t done that. While many other local authorities – including Kensington and Chelsea (https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/housing/rent-employment-and-financial-support/water-charges-rebate), Southwark (https://www.southwark.gov.uk/housing/water-refunds) and Lambeth (https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/housing/council-tenants/overpayment-thames-water-charges/how-credit-calculated) – have been paying full refunds plus interest for some time, the City has yet to make any announcement about what it will (or, it seems, won’t) do. 
The issue of water charge refunds appeared in the agendas of the meetings of threeCity committees over the last nine months: the Housing Sub-Committee in May, the Community and Children’s Services Committee in September and the governing Policy and Resources Committee in November. Although each committee discussed the issue, no announcement has yet been made. The issue is expected to appear again in the agenda of the meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee on 20 January. All the discussions have been held behind closed doors – wrongly, in our view. Why should complying with the law be discussed in secret? Why should it be discussed at all? 
The public can deduce that most members of the three committees that have discussed the issue have been reluctant to agree to a full refund, otherwise an announcement would have been made by now. The Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee effectively confirmed this deduction when she mentioned, in answer to a public question after the meetings of the first two committees, that the issue had “reputational” implications. That must mean most members of the Community and Children’s Services Committee had wanted to avoid making a full refund, since otherwise there would be no “reputational” implications.
An officer recently stated in answer to a public question that provision had been made for water charge refunds in the relevant City accounts following a committee decision going back only six years. That would cover the period from 2013 to 2019, but not from 2001 to 2013. 
The Chair of the Housing Sub-Committee wrote in her newsletter to local Labour Party members that she thought the issue was “complicated”. We don’t think there’s anything “complicated” about the Corporation complying with the law.
We call on the City Corporation to stop procrastinating behind closed doors. At a time when many of its social housing tenants are suffering from a reduction in universal credit and increasing energy bills, the Corporation must cease holding on to money that rightfully belongs to its tenants. The Corporation should immediately announce that it will pay a full refund, plus interest, then make the repayments promptly. 

Sue Pearson (Cripplegate)
Marianne Fredericks (Tower)
Jason Pritchard (Portsoken)
Munsur Ali (Portsoken)
Graeme Harrower (Bassishaw)

GUILDHALL ELECTIONS MARCH 2022

Have YOU registered to vote?

The elections for Common Councillors, which include Cripplegate and Aldersgate wards, will be held next March to decide who will represent Barbican residents for the next three years.

Every vote counts as the elections are your way of ensuring your voice is heard and your priorities help shape the Barbican’s future.

Preliminary Ward Lists show that in some Barbican blocks over 33% of residents haven’t registered.

DEADLINE DAY FOR REGISTERING IS THURSDAY 16 DECEMBER

You must be registered to vote.

You can now register to vote online and should have received a letter in the post with a link and individual password. If you don’t have this information, request a vote or find out more at: www.speakforthecity.com

Petition for a new and improved Zero Emission Zone around the Barbican

Beech_Street_Tunnel

The Barbican Association is supporting the following petition:

The City of London should, as soon as legally possible, engage with local residents, through the Barbican Association (BA), to promote the evaluation of a more extensive and better designed ZEZ around the Barbican.

Why is this important?

The BA, representing Barbican residents, is committed to the improved air quality, reduced traffic noise, and improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists, that a ZEZ will bring to the area. (see the BA’s submission to the City’s Streets and Walkway’s Sub-committee). The failure of the City of London to engage with residents has meant that the existing experiment was badly designed and implemented and has failed in its objectives of evaluating the impact of a zero-emission scheme around the Barbican.


In addition, the unlawful actions of the City (see the Judgement of the High Court) means that most of the infrastructure associated with the scheme will be dismantled with no clear date for its reinstallation.