The area of the Square Mile is divided into 25 wards each of which are represented by a number of Members. Allocation of Members is determined by the size of the electorate and comprises one Alderman, with the remaining allocation made up by Common Councilmen. Click here for a map of the current ward boundaries in the City.
The City of London gave a number of parliamentary undertakings to secure wider electoral reform than was provided for in the City of London (Ward Elections) Act, the legislation promoted by the City of London Corporation to change the City's electoral system.
These included a commitment to review the boundaries of the four residential wards to preserve the residential character of those wards and a further pledge to review the boundaries of the remaining wards.
A ward boundary review was undertaken in 2003, and as part of that process the City of London carried out a reduction in the number of Members.
For further details of the ward boundary review please call the electoral services helpline on 0800 587 5537 or email email@example.com.
All wards in the City also have a ward club. Members of the ward clubs – which were originally formed as ratepayers associations – include Liverymen, Freemen, Common Councilmen, City professionals and residents who look to promote and encourage interest in the City’s affairs and to help maintain the high traditions and prestige of the City.
They also offer support to the Alderman of the Ward, the Deputy and Common Councilmen in carrying out their duties on behalf of the City of London and, in particular, the ward itself. Most clubs hold annual banquets, meetings and dinners for members, as well as charitable contributions. More specific details are available from each club, including information on membership.
Aldgate ward club
Bridge ward club
Vintry and Dowgate wards club
The twenty five Wards of the City elect a suitable person to the ancient office of ‘Ward Beadle’ of which there are twenty nine (the three largest Wards have two or three Beadles).
History of Beadles
The Beadle is an elected officer of the Ward acting on instruction of the Alderman. In the reign of King John, the Beadle was the sole judge and witness of a citizen’s compliance with summonses to "Chief Folk-Moots" (meetings) of which they were three a year. Today these have become 'Common Hall' meetings - one for election of the Lord Mayor, one for election of the sheriffs - and a Ward Mote (ward meeting). Citizens who failed to attend were subject to the fine of £2.00 at a time when a workmen often earned only a penny a week.
Ward Motes were originally meetings of the Freemen (now those on the Ward List) and that the democratic and electoral element of the meetings was a later development. This was because they were essentially the same as a Court Leet/Manorial Court with the Freemen making ‘presentments’ of civil issues and criminal matters with the Alderman punishing miscreants according to law and the Beadle ‘attaching’ such persons as the court’s officer. Even today, ward electors can ask general questions at the Ward Motes which the Alderman, Ward Clerk and Common Councilmen attempt to address.
According to the Liber Albus compiled by the City Secretary John Carpenter at the request of Sir Richard Whittington in 1419, the Beadle as an elected officer actually predates that of the Councilmen as elected representatives.
The Beadles were elected at the Folk-Moot (now the Ward Motes and Common Halls) but whether this was originally an open election by those present or only to choose from those nominated by the Alderman, is unknown.
The Beadles duties were as follows:
- To prepare the list of Freemen of the Ward for the Ward Mote and Folk-Moot and summon them to thes
- To conduct the details of any elections, in regard to the list, held at the Ward Mote with the Ward Clerk.
- To open / close and keep order at the Ward Mote
- To ‘amerce’ non-attendees of the Ward Mote and Folk-Moot and ‘attach’ ie collect the fines for this; the Beadle’s word in regard to summons being delivered to a freeman and his non-compliance was the only evidence required.
The original role of the Beadle was as an Electoral Officer, with the Ward Clerk as Recorder and the Alderman as Returning Officer. Duties 1 and 2 are now performed by the Electoral Services department. Duties 3 are largely ceremonial and are still the preserve of the Beadle. Duties 4 are no longer performed.
The Beadles attend on the Aldermen at ceremonial occasions.
The Ward Beadles of the City of London
Martyn Craddock (Aldersgate)
Alan Clarke (Aldgate)
Frederick Trowman (Bassishaw)
Jim Shrubb (Billingsgate)
Pat Connolly (Bishopsgate)
Joseph Akoto-Mensah (Bishopsgate)
Angus Ross (Bread Street) President
Malcolm Potter (Bridge)
Terry Taylor (Broad Street)
William Bateman (Candlewick)
Geoff Tucker (Castle Baynard)
Phillip Chancellor (Cheap)
Jeremy Brown (Coleman St)
Alan Warman (Cordwainer)
RC Collins (Cornhill)
David Trumble (Cripplegate Within)
Christopher Stoner (Cripplegate)
John Cash (Dowgate)
George Reed (Farringdon Within)
Richard Darby (Farringdon Without)
Roger Davis (Farringdon Without)
Jayne Bain-Stewart (Farringdon Without)
David Boston (Langbourn)
Stephen Kipping (Lime Street)
Stan Brown (Portsoken)
David Keil (Queenhithe)
Anthony White (Tower)
Ellis Pike (Vintry)
Leslie Grout (Walbrook)
Honorary Secretary and Clerk
59 Centre Point
London SE1 5NX
T 020 7394 1271
List revised June 2011