The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness set out a range of steps being taken to support recovery across the Square Mile.
In a statement to the Court of Common Council, the City Corporation’s main decision-making body, she said:
“The delay to step four on the Government’s roadmap obviously comes as a disappointment to many – not least those City businesses who worked so hard to reopen safely.
“While it is right to follow the data, and take the action necessary to suppress the virus and protect the NHS, the City Corporation continues to urge policymakers to keep this under review.
“The vaccine is critical to us getting back to normal. We will continue to encourage workers and residents to get this as soon as they are eligible and to get their second vaccination on time.
“Our focus is on supporting a strong, sustainable recovery here in the City.
“This includes how we can support those business who have struggled over the past year, and encourage the safe return of both workers and visitors to Square Mile.
“In my statement last month, I updated this Honourable Court on the COVID Business Recovery Fund which this Court agreed.
“The fund of up to £50 million launched in April to provide critical support to those City businesses which contribute to the City’s vibrancy at street level and directly provide services to returning City workers and residents.
“The deadline for applications has already been extended to the end of June to enable even more businesses to benefit.
“And despite the burden involved in administering the scheme I think we should look at whether we can manage a further extension is called for given the delay in the roadmap.
“We also continue a range of work promoting a safe return to the City.
“This includes reopening events across the Square Mile.
“It also includes the Recovery Promotional Campaign aimed at encouraging workers back to the office, in line with government guidance, highlighting all the City has to offer.
“And we will be focussing on what we need to do to implement the five-year plan set out in our recent report, The Square Mile: Future City.
“There is no denying that this delay is disappointing for all of us. But we can be confident in a strong recovery for the City, supported by our enduring fundamental strengths, and I am sure we will all be working together towards this.”