This morning was the Wardmote, before the election tomorrow. All four candidates were given exactly 3 minutes to speak, followed by Q&A from the assembled voters.
For those who missed it, below is my set piece:
“With the few minutes assigned for me to speak, there isn’t time enough to get into the details of my campaign. Instead, I chose to talk a bit about myself and some of the key elements that have driven me to stand in this by-election. Like any half-decent Councilman, being asked to speak about myself, should come relatively easily.
In the past, I have been elected to the committee of an Indian cultural society for three terms, and elected for two terms to the National Executive Committee for the Hindu Forum of Britain, representing the interests of this ethnic minority group at a Westminster level. I have also been appointed a lay member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for West London, operating out of the City of London Magistrates Court. All these roles have given me experience of working in committees and cooperating with interest groups to ensure the best outcome, to often complex and sensitive issues.
My career is anything but related to politics. I started work in an investment bank, only a few streets away from here. In 1999 I joined our family firm, involved in trade finance for oilfield services. I have been involved in the energy sector ever since, on pretty much every Continent. My work in trade finance and structuring international contracts has kept me dealing with major law firms, banks and consultants. Nowhere internationally, have I found the same level of execution skill, as we have in The Square Mile.
It’s one of my key drivers, that we maintain the skills and grow the diversity of business in The City, to further secure our position as the leading financial market in the World.
Closer to home, I’m very active with the Livery companies. I’m in my second term as a Charity Trustee for the Fuellers Company, which supports many worthy causes. Topics like Fuel Poverty and energy security figure highly on our agenda and we have members from most of the energy utility suppliers.
Ensuring that The City has cutting edge technology and utilities, enabling your businesses, large and small to function, is another key aspect I want to highlight, should you choose to elect me.
Over the last few weeks my daily step count has been phenomenal, as I focused on meeting voters- multinational banks, independent retailers and residents alike, to better understand matters that effect you.
The positive campaigns my fellow candidates and I have been promoting, means that we can all focus on these issues, offering you a genuine choice in this by-election.
To highlight some of the major concerns that I have been addressing, which you can ask me about during the questions session to follow:
Homelessness- how we can further help the people sleeping rough on our streets?
Policing- Bishopsgate has the highest levels of reported crime in the City, This must remain a focus for the City police.
Transportation- with Crossrail starting later this year and many thousands more commuters coming through Liverpool Street, how does this impact the local area?
Environment- What can we do to reduce motor traffic without negatively impacting the businesses that rely on it? How can we eliminate the use of single use plastics? How do we put in safer cycling routes?
I thank you for taking time out of your day to come here and I hope that you will vote for me in tomorrow’s by-election, so that I can work to further improve our ward.”