Five years ago, the Temple and Farringdon Together team promised that we would work hard on behalf of the people who live and work in this diverse area on the western edge of the City. We have kept our promise and delivered where we can, to ensure the Ward of Farringdon Without remains a thriving and exciting place to be.
A core pledge in 2017 was to ensure that access was kept open throughout the Ward, especially around the Temple where Tudor Street had been under threat from Transport for London projects to the east and south. On his election to the Council, Oliver Sells QC joined and became chairman of the Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee and set a clear priority that streets must be kept open but should also be cleaner and greener.
New Courts and Police Headquarters
Another key commitment in 2017 was to see an upgrade of Court facilities in the City. The refurbishment of the Old Bailey is well under way with vastly improved heating and cooling systems installed. Most significantly, the brand new City of London Law Courts are being constructed on Fleet Street near the Temple, and will encompass five magistrates’ court rooms, five civil courts, and eight Crown Courts, specialising in major fraud and cyber crime. The new Courts should open in 2026, along with a new headquarters for the City of London Police on the same site.
Promoting Barts as a centre of healthcare excellence
We are proud to have St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the Ward of Farringdon Without and have successfully pressed to ensure that essential facilities are added to the site, including the all important Heart Attack Centre. We continue to press for extension of working hours at the minor injuries unit and the eventual addition of an Urgent Care Centre. In the meantime, Wendy Mead OBE and the whole Together team are campaigning hard to protect the Barts name in its affiliation to Queen Mary’s medical school.
Supporting local businesses
The Covid pandemic has hit businesses hard, especially SMEs in our area. Throughout the lockdown, the Together team has attempted to maintain contact with business in the Ward and strongly supported the backbench members initiative last year which drew down £50 million of the Corporation’s private reserves to establish a recovery fund to help SMEs in the retail, hospitality, and health and personal services sectors to re-open when they were permitted to do so.
Moving forward, the Together team has supported the establishment of the Fleet Street Business Improvement District which will see much needed investment into the famous thoroughfare in the west of the City of London, and the streets that run off it.
Whilst many people think of Farringdon Without as primarily being the legal quarter of the City providing a hub for over 60 barristers’ chambers and many law firms, it is also home to over 500 residents, in flats and apartments dispersed all over the Ward. The Together team is committed to ensuring that the City Corporation provides first class public services to support our residents and as Chair of the Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Sayed provides leadership across that portfolio of services. Another important facet of local services is led by Caroline Addy who chairs the Professional Standards and Integrity Committee for the City of London Police.
Culture, Heritage, and Environment
As Chairman of the Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, Oliver Sells QC, along with committee member Wendy Mead OBE have been active in seeking to preserve and enhance the green spaces in the Ward. We have seen the re-opening of the improved gardens at St Andrew’s Holborn and the decision to protect Inner Temple Gardens from a temporary structure during the Project Pegasus development. In the same period, improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians have been developed and work has been done to reduce pollution in the Square Mile, which is down by 40%.
The Museum of London’s move to Smithfield, which had just been announced in 2017, is progressing apace with much of the heavy restoration of the old General Market building now almost complete. Overseeing the work is a project board on which Edward Lord OBE sits, reporting to the Museum’s Board of Governors of which Paul Martinelli is a member.
In the south of the ward, the Together team is supporting the Temple Church to become a centre of community education, including a significant bid to the City’s Community Infrastructure Levy fund.