City of London
The City of London, often referred to as just the City or as the 'Square Mile' (from its area) forms the historic and financial centre of Greater London.
|City of London|
|Ethnicity:||85% white, 4% bangla,|
2% indian, 2% chinese
Islington, Tower Hamlets,
|Stations:||Liverpool St, Fenchurch St Bank|
|GLA:||City and East London|
The City of London is administered by the Corporation of London (headed by the Lord Mayor of London) and has its own independent police force, the City of London Police, unlike the rest of Greater London which is policed by the London Metropolitan Police, based at Scotland Yard). It is also unusual in that businesses are allowed to vote in the local government elections. The City is a ceremonial county and has its own Lord-Lieutenant.
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It has been administered separately since 886 when Alfred the Great appointed his son-in-law Ethelred Governor of London. Alfred made sure there was suitable accomodation for merchants from north west Europe, which were then extended to traders from the Baltic and Italy.
The City developed its own code of law for the mercantile classes, developing such an autonomy that Sir Laurence Gomme regarded the City as a separate Kingdom making its own laws. In the tenth century Athelstan permitted eight mints to be established as against six in his capital, Winchester, indicating the wealth of the city. The City was composed of wards governed by Aldermen, who chaired the Wardmotes. There was a folkmoot for the whole of the city held in the shadows of St Paul's Cathedral.
Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched on London. However he did not want to destroy one of the greatest assets in the Kingdom he had just won on the field of battle. Rather than a frontal assault he isolated the town until Edgar Atheling, Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamstead. By 1075 William granted the citizens of London a charter.
In 1132 Henry I recognised full County status for the city and by 1141 the whole body of the citizenry was considered to constitute a single community. This was the origin of the Corporation of London.
The City of London (Ward Elections) Bill, which will reform the current voting system for electing Members to the Corporation of London, passed its final hurdle by getting approval from the House of Lords at the end of October 2002.
Under the new system, the business vote will be increased by 16,000 to 32,000. Previously disenfranchised firms will be entitled to nominate voters, in addition to those already included in the business vote, and will be required to choose these voters in a representative fashion. The Bill will also remove other anomalies that have developed over time within the current system, which has been unchanged since the 1850s.