A question was raised as follows -
Bookings at the Guildhall Club
A Member asked a question regarding the controls in place for hire of the Guildhall Club. This question was prompted following a recent private event organised by a livery company in the Aldermen’s Dining Room where a few controversial high-profile guests were in attendance. This was later reported on in the press. The Member specifically asked the Sub-Committee to review the reduction in costs that livery companies benefit from, as well as the appropriateness of the contractors of the Guildhall Club, the Cook and Butler, being the only check on the events held in certain areas of the Guildhall complex.
The question caused much debate amongst Members and the following points were made:
· The charging for events by the Guildhall Club is a matter for the House Committee of the Guildhall Club (and for wider Guildhall events, it is a matter for the Hospitality Working Party;
· The event was a private event and was not intended to be political, nor to provide a platform to a controversial political figure;
· On this occasion, the booking was not made free of charge as the livery company paid for food and the room hire was covered as part of this cost;
· The manager of the Cook and Butler should liaise with the Chairman of the House Committee of the Guildhall Club on this issue;
· It would be very difficult for the City Corporation to vet guest lists for external bookings;
· Comparisons were made with room bookings at Parliament;
· One suggested solution was to enforce that a Member act as sponsor to external events at the Guildhall Club;
· Another suggested approach was that the Remembrancers Office assist in consider further arrangements for room bookings.
· A further discussion be held in the confidential part of the meeting.