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Time for City of London to be more transparent about its City Cash accounts – New Year’s resolution?

 

Occupy London has just received an early Christmas present: Fr. William Taylor, has this morning published the City of London Corporation City Cash accounts from 2007 on his blog ‘Hackney Preacher‘. [1]

Occupy London is grateful to see people willing to come forward and contribute to the much needed dialogue and debate around social and economic justice.

One of the key requests that Occupy London had asked of the City of London Corporation was that it make its City Cash accounts fully available to public scrutiny. [2] As with all our three requests, this was ignored by the Corporation, but it is hugely encouraging to see that individuals do respect our wishes for transparency and have acted on their own initiative.

This action is the result of Fr Taylor’s concern that a public body is spending millions of its ‘private money’ lobbying for the interests of finance. The influence on government by corporate lobbying has been a key focus of the Occupy movement, underlining the fact that profits have been put before people for way too long. [3] [4]

In the words of one of our witnesses jn the High Court case for eviction brought by the City Of London Corporation, which the judge has said there will be no judgement on until at least 11 January, the “Government does not represent the people, Occupy does”.

The fact that Fr Taylor has chosen this time to release the cash records sheds a telling light on the current urgency of the Corporation to evict the camp as soon as possible, so that business as usual can continue.

Fr. William Taylor was a Common Councillor in the City of London Corporation from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2008. As such he had access to the City’s private ‘City’s Cash’ accounts. He has this morning published the accounts from 2007 on his blog ‘Hackney preacher’.

There is also a guest blog post on Reclaim the City’s website which provides further background details to the City Cash accounts. [5] In this blog entry are excerpts from the minutes of the City Corporation full council meeting from Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09. The excerpts relate to the matter of the City’s Cash. As a councillor, Fr William Taylor had been asking questions in Common Council that relate to its ownership and the City’s accountability.

In the interests of transparency and clarity, Occupy London would like it noted that shortly after the end of 2011, it will be publishing details of its own accounts online.

Notes
[1] The Nativity of Our Lord
http://hackneypreacher.com/2011/12/the-nativity-of-our-lord/
[2] Occupy London responds to Corporation of London proposal http://occupylsx.org/?p=941
[3] The best influence money can buy – the 10 Worst Corporate Lobbyists http://www.newint.org/features/2011/01/01/10-worst-corporate-lobbyists/
[4] Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/caught-on-camera-top-lobbyists-boasting-how-they-influence-the-pm-6272760.html
[5] Guest post: City Cash by Fr. William Taylor http://www.reclaimthecity.org/1/post/2011/12/guest-post-city-cash-by-fr-william-taylor.html

 
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