Letter: City body will benefit London

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The Independent Online
THE REPORT on the possible extension of the Bridge House Trust was mean and extremely ill-informed ('Corporation is attacked over charity secrecy', 12 December). Thanks to good management, the historic trust fund administered by the Corporation of London to maintain the City's four bridges now has more money than it needs for this purpose.

We have discussed with the Charity Commission how best to channel the funds for the benefit of London. The result is likely to be a new source of charitable funding for good works in London as a whole. That surely is an objective for support, not carping criticism.

It is totally untrue that these charitable funds will be maintained for the 'well-off areas of the capital'. Over the years the City Corporation has provided London with services and amenities at no cost to the people of London or the nation. Examples include Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches and Hampstead Heath, and the wholesale food markets etc.

The article also criticised the corporation for avoiding local authority reform. It is not the corporation that has avoided local government reform but successive governments that have seen our running of the Square Mile as a model entirely suited to the City.

You criticise our democratic processes, yet it is ironic that everywhere else in the country local authorities are in place for four years, wheareas here in the City the councillors are all up for re-election every single year.

C Douglas Woodward

Chief Commoner

Corporation of London

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