City of London Wards
The City of London's main decision making body is the Court of Common Council. This is made up of Members from the City's Wards who are elected on a non-party political basis. The City has 25 Wards. Each elects an Alderman and a number of Members to the Court of Common Council.
Court of Common Council
The Court of the Common Council is the main decision-making body through which the City operates and is headed by the Lord Mayor. The Council, which is made up of Aldermen and Common Councilmen, sits every four weeks in Guildhall and works through issues arising from the City's various committees. Its main business focuses on the reports of committees as well as Members' questions and motions.
The personnel that make up the Court of the Common Council are appointed by the wards they stand for and not by the Council itself. Members could be colloquially termed ‘councillors’ like most local authorities, but their rather unfamiliar names serve both a historical purpose and as a distinction between Council Members and their nationwide counterparts. Although Aldermen and Common Councilmen serve their respective wards like conventional councillors, unlike other local authority councillors in the UK, national political affiliations are not represented by any members of the Court of the Common Council, with all members remaining independent.
Court of Aldermen
As well as sitting on the Court of Common Council, the 25 Aldermen still sit on the Court of Aldermen. This court was originally responsible for the entire administration of the City, but was diminished with the development of the Court of Common Council in the fourteenth century. Meeting nine times a year in the Aldermens Court Room at Guildhall, the Court of Aldermen is also summoned and presided over by the Lord Mayor.
The work undertaken at the meetings of the Court is varied and includes approving certain applications from individuals for the Freedom of the City, through to approving the formation of new livery companies. The Court also has responsibilities for overseeing the management of Mansion House - through the Private Secretary to the Lord Mayor - and can also make nominations to the Court of Common Council for the appointment of Aldermen on Corporation committees.