Local man is Chief Commoner

THE LORD Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, who was born and brought up in St Andrews, and the Chief Commoner, former Carnoustie man George Gillon, will return to their Scottish roots today (Friday).

They will meet with key figures from leading Scottish businesses and arts organisations in Perth, Dundee and St Andrews.

The visit will focus on strengthening links with the business community, featuring meetings with leading financial services firms in Perth and Dundee.

Civic links will also be highlighted in meetings with the Provost of Perth and the Lord Provost of Dundee, along with a reception with the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee.

The Lord Mayor will also celebrate Scotland’s rich heritage in arts and education with a briefing on the new V&A Dundee development and a dinner and concert hosted by the vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, where his father was a professor for over 40 years.

Chief Commoner George Gillon, who took over the office last month, commented: “I am delighted to be returning to my Scottish roots on my first trip as Chief Commoner supporting the Lord Mayor. Scotland is close to my heart and its partnership with the City of London is a major asset for the UK financial services industry.”

The office of Chief Commoner, first established in 1444, is unique in that it is the only role now directly elected by the whole Court of Common Council and serves to recognise the contribution the office holder is likely to have made to the City Corporation over a number of years.

The Chief Commoner is, therefore, the foremost representative of the elected Members with regard to their rights and privileges - but equally, seeks to uphold the discipline and integrity of the Court.

He or she acts as a counsellor when required and takes the lead in relation to the scrutiny of training and development opportunities offered to Members. The Chief Commoner actively promotes the aims, values and responsibilities of the City of London Corporation internally - and externally in support of the Lord Mayor, the civic team and the policy chairman.

He or she holds office for a one year term and also takes the lead in relation to all matters of City Corporation hospitality.