Wards & Ward Clubs  

The City of London’s unique electoral system pre-dates Parliament and the division of the City, or the”Square Mile” as it is known, into Wards is evident in the earliest written records of the City. The 25 Wards were the military, judicial and administrative units for the area, being the equivalent of the rural hundred elsewhere in England. The boundaries originally approximated to the church parishes, but there have been many alterations to the ward boundaries over the years. In early times, the Wardmote, or Ward Meeting, had a wide jurisdiction for the preservation of the peace and the power to inflict punishments. The development of the City’s Wards has provided each area with its own distinct history and traditions, some of which are still continued to this day.

The Saxon term Wardmote refers to a meeting of the electors held to announce the candidates of an election and then adjourned until after the poll has taken place, usually on the next day. The Wardmote provides an opportunity for the electors to ask the candidates questions and also for the candidates to address the electors present.

The City of London has retained its 25 Wards, all of which are represented on the Court of Common Council by an Alderman and a number of Common Councilmen (NOT Councillors ! )

the number of Common Councilmen for each Ward depending of the size of the electorate in that Ward. Aldermen and Common Councilmen are elected by the elctors of the Ward who are registered to vote on the relevant Ward List. Registration occurs annually when forms are sent to all residents and businesses in the City. The City has a unique demography with a relatively low residential population but an estimated daily working population in excess of 300,000. This is reflected in its electorate: as well as residents, sole traders and equity partners of companies are also able to vote, and in addition, a wide range of City organizations are able to nominate voters from their staff.

The names of the Wards are as follows:

Aldersgate(5), Aldgate(5), Bassishaw(3), Billingsgate(2), Bishopsgate(8), Bread Street(2), Bridge and Bridge Without(2) Broad Street(3), Candlewick(2), Castle Baynard(7), Cheap(2),  Coleman Street(5), Cordwainer(3), Cornhill(2), Cripplegate(9), Dowgate(2), Farringdon Within(8), Farringdon Without(10), Langbourn(2), Lime Street(3), Portsoken(4), Queenhithe(2), Tower(5), Vintry(2), and Walbrook(2)

The figures in brackets indicate the number of Common Councilmen to be elected for that Ward. These numbers may vary from time to time according to the size of the registered electorate.

All the Wards have a Ward Club with memberships comprising, residents,and other electors, Liverymen, Freemen, Common Councilmen, City professionals who have a common interest in the City and its governance and help to 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, and make charitable contributions. It is quite common for the current Lord Mayor to be present at a Ward Club dinner thus indicating the importance placed on the influence of the Ward Clubs in the affairs of the City.

The Ward Clubs usually have a President who is the Ward Alderman and an annually elected Chairman, also an Hon Secretary and a small Committee, who are responsible for the annual programme of events and the finances of the Ward Club which is mainly supported by the subscriptions of the members.

Any person with aspirations as to the City civic would do well to become a member of one of the Ward Clubs as a first step.