Ward of Cheap

The Ward of Cheap is a pivotal location within the City and I am constantly reminded both of its heritage and the contribution that each individual within it makes through their work and daily endeavours.

At the heart of it City, it contains within its boundaries some of the most iconic buildings in London - a small part of the Guildhall buildings (the main entrance and the main hall itself) and the approaches to Guildhall, two churches, the Corporation Church of St Lawrence Jewry and the Church of St Vedast alias Foster, and the Livery Halls of the Mercers, Goldsmiths, Wax Chandlers, and Saddlers Companies. Among its famous sons it numbers Thomas á Becket and Sir Thomas More, both of whom were born in the Ward.

It's an illustrious heritage to uphold, but the Ward continues to thrive and deliver ever greater contributions to our collective world.

A personal connection with the Ward of Cheap

I have long had an affiliation with the Ward of Cheap itself. I started work just off Cheapside, my Livery Company, the Haberdashers, has its roots in Gresham Street going back to 1458, and I am Patron of the Ward of Cheap Club.

Following the combination of Rathbones and Investec Wealth & Investment UK this year, we will have our office here in the Ward at 30 Gresham Street. Therefore, it will be a particular pleasure to work and vote within the Ward I represent.

This part of the City is not just somewhere that I have a daily connection with, but so does my wife, Elspeth, who is a member of The Goldsmiths' Company, based in The Ward of Cheap.

All of this makes it a joy to serve as the Alderman of this particular Ward.

The history of the Ward of Cheap

Mindful that we are merely the custodians of the City for the time in which we are privileged to be here, I am always interested in the history of the area as part of an ongoing thread of continuity. The Ward of Cheap takes its name from the medieval market once held here, 'Cheap' being the old English word for 'market'. Although subjected to boundary changes over the centuries, throughout the City's history it has lain on the great East-West route connecting the Tower - a symbol of Royal power, with the Guildhall -the seat of civic government, as well as St Paul's Cathedral - the City's oldest place of worship.

The purpose of the City's Wards

The City's Wards were established in medieval times for the purpose of government, a role they continue to participate in today - instrumental to the governance of the City through the election of the City's Aldermen and Common Councillors.

There are 25 Wards, and each is represented on the Court of Aldermen and the Court of Common Council, by one Alderman and a number of Common Councillors (the number ranging between two and 10, depending on the size of the Ward).

One of the Common Councilmen will be designated as the Alderman's Deputy. Currently the Ward of Cheap is represented by three Common Councilmen, and candidates, men or women, must be Freemen of the City as well as on the electoral roll of the City of London.

How the Wards work

Wardmotes (meetings of the inhabitants of a ward) take place annually, in the second week of March, chaired by the relevant Alderman. Outside election years, voters meet their elected representatives to raise concerns and ask questions of them. The elected members also give an update to voters regarding the work they have undertaken during the previous 12 months, on issues affecting the City in general and the Ward in particular.

Aldermen and Common Councillors are elected by the electors of the Ward who are registered to vote on the Ward List. Registration occurs annually, when forms are sent to all residents and businesses in the Ward. Since 2013, elections for Common Councillors have been held every four years on either the third or fourth Wednesday in March, although in certain rare circumstances ordinary elections are instead held on another date to be determined by the Town Clerk in consultation with the Lord Mayor.

The recent Aldermanic election

By convention, Aldermen undertake to return to the electorate every six years. I won the election on 5th July 2018 in one of the most competitive elections, with seven candidates standing. I was honoured to be re-elected in early 2024 for a second term of six years.

If you would like to learn more about the City Wards and the organization and function of the City of London Corporation, you can visit their website at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk. Additionally, if you are a registered voter, you can also access the postal vote application here.

Please return completed forms to:
Electoral Services
Town Clerk's Dept
London EC2V 7HH

The latest civic, ward news and and my opinions