Trading Standards

City of London Corporation Trading Standards Service and City of London Police visited 20 premises in a day of action that focused on premises in the Square Mile offering high risk ’investment’ products. There have been concerns right across the world about the growth in binary options trading. Trading Standards have been carrying out work to ensure that rogue binary options traders aren’t exploiting the reputation of the City. Analysis carried out by Action Fraud shows that since 2012, victims have reported losing £60m to binary option fraud. However, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg with under reporting of this type of crime. The day of action was an opportunity to engage with this specialist sector and give reassurance that fraudulent businesses will not be tolerated. One business that was due to be inspected disappeared overnight, despite having just paid a considerable amount of rent money for their office rental. The day of action received widespread media attention and Trading Standards Manager Steve Playle was interviewed for BBC Radio 4 and there were a number of press articles in the financial press including the Financial Times.

Heart of the City

Heart of the City, a charity funded by the City of London Corporation and City Bridge Trust, is offering 60 FREE places on their Newcomers programme for London based SMEs that want to develop corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The Newcomers programme (Jan-Dec 2018) provides organisations with the tools, knowledge and access to its network of supporters which will help members develop a formal CSR strategy and a culture of responsible behaviour. Applications to join the Newcomers Programme close on 1 December and businesses can register their interest to apply via the Heart of the City website.

Gigabit WiFi Network Launch

UK’s fastest free Wi-Fi network, now live across the Square Mile! The City of London Corporation’s new, world leading gigabit Wi-Fi network is now live across the Square Mile offering individual users speeds of 50-100+ megabits per second, something never been seen before in London. The network is advertised as “O2 Wi-Fi” and requires a one-time login. At these upgraded speeds, users can download a film (700 megabytes) in less than two minutes whereas a standard broadband line (10 megabits per second) would download the same film in around 12 minutes. Over 120 access points are now live across the City with a further 30 access points coming forward between October and November. A map of locations can be found below. Download the City of London Wi-Fi Network map 2017 (296 KB) Users are asked to provide feedback, comments or service issues to wireless-concession (at)

City of London Freemen’s School

Celebrating Imaginative Learning Freemen’s set up the Free Minds programme to support their students to learn for learning’s sake. With the move away from AS qualifications and a return to linear A levels, the Freemen’s Leadership Team wanted to create a programme of study that would inspire their students to learn for the sake of learning and engage their whole minds in a wide range of subjects. Additionally, they wanted to take advantage of the hitherto untapped academic strengths of their teaching staff who between them hold over 100 different degrees. Free Minds is structured around the small seminar/tutorial format which leads to a different engagement with both teacher and content. The point is to prepare students for the environment and grading system that many of them will experience at University. Courses are deliberately varied too, ranging from Dickens’ Women to more current topics such as The EU and the Referendum. It is early days for Free Minds; the programme will grow and develop as time goes on. Just short of 80% of Freemen’s year 12 students took up over 25 courses and the feedback has been promising. Most interesting of all will be to watch what impact this programme has on the university applications for the first year of Free Minds graduates. Read the full article featured in Conference and Common Room here.

City Bridge Trust “Bridge to Work” Launch

The Trust formally launched its Bridge to Work programme supporting young disabled Londoners into employment at an event held at Speaker’s House on the 19 October. The event was attended by the charity partners involved in delivering the programme, which include Action on Disability, Inclusion London, National Autistic Society, and Muscular Dystrophy UK, along with private sector employers interested in taking part in the scheme which will break down the barriers to employment for disabled people through practical support and guidance for both employers and those seeking work. Also announced at the event was a £350,000 bursary scheme to be operated on behalf of the Trust by Leonard Cheshire Disability. This will award bursaries of up to £4,000 per person to small and medium sized companies and charities across London to provide paid work experience to young disabled Londoners.