The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the City of London, distinct from the Greater London Authority. Historically, it is the ancient core from which the rest of London developed. Today it is the central location of the United Kingdom’s financial sector and supports a thriving economy.
Regular elections are held to determine who runs the City of London Corporation and the City is divided into 25 wards. Both businesses and individual residents of each ward are entitled to vote for their Common Councillors and an Alderman. The Corporation is responsible for supporting the financial services industry and representing their interests. The City is treated as a London Borough and the Common Council acts as a local authority due to local government legislation. The structure includes the Lord Mayor, the Court of Alderman, the Court of Common Council, and the Freeman and Livery of the City. The high Officer and Departments of the Corporation are:
- The Chief Executive of the administrative side of the Corporation holds the ancient office title of Town Clerk of London.
- The Chamberlain, the City Treasurer and Finance Officer.
- The City Remembrancer, who is responsible for protocol, ceremonial, security issues as well as legislative matters that may affect the Corporation and is legally qualified (usually a Barrister).
- The City Surveyor, who is responsible for the City of London commercial property portfolio.
- The Comptroller and City Solicitor; legal officer.
- The Recorder of London, the senior judge at the Central Criminal Court (‘Old Bailey’) who is technically a member of the Court of Aldermen; but without precedence, he processes between the senior Aldermen, i.e. former Lord Mayors, and the junior Aldermen.
- The Common Serjeant, the second senior judge at the Central Criminal Court, technically the legal adviser to the Common Council (i.e., Serjeant at Law to the Commoners).
Other officers of the Corporation are:
- The three Esquires at the Mansion House: The City Marshall, the Sword Bearer and the Mace Bearer (who is properly called ‘the Common Cryer and Sergeant-at-Arms’); these officers run the Lord Mayor’s official residence, the office, and accompany him on all occasions (usually senior military officers with diplomatic experience).
- The Chief Commoner who is elected by the Common Councilmen alone and serves for one year; until recently chaired all of the Bridge House Estates and property matters committees but is now honorific.
- The Ward Beadles; responsible to a specific Ward from which they are elected, largely ceremonial support to their respective Aldermen, and also perform a formal role at Ward Motes.