Sadly it looks as if the concluding headlines for 2021 will, like those for 2020, be dominated by COVID and its variants.
Despite this depressing turn of events, 2021 has been a year of significant progress for the City of London and in turn for its built environment, and the Forum has followed this trend as your Committee has against the odds pleasingly been able to ‘host’ a combination of physical and virtual events. Our virtual events have shaped some great online debates which exemplify, in my mind, the diversity of the Forum and its membership whilst the essential oxygen of face-to-face encounters and building inspections which we have all craved proved hugely popular. For me the highlight of the year was to be able to hold our Annual Dinner again and for us to be blessed with two wonderful speakers in Professor Sadie Morgan OBE and Juliemma McLoughlin from the City of London Corporation. We were indeed treated to two quite contrasting speeches but significantly both of which were quite specific in setting out the challenges which the built environment faces in the coming years. The ever changing dynamics of COVID throughout the year has meant that as we focussed on keeping the Forum alive and relevant we did not get to properly celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Forum but I would hope that with luck we will during 2022 in addition to hosting a challenging programme of events also be able find time for a suitable opportunity for an anniversary party. Watch this space… Before I sign off my heartfelt thanks to you all for your continued support of the Forum in these trying times and of course my thanks to the Committee ;we truly do have a great group of people who keep coming up with great ideas - long may this last. I’m also pleased to have been able to welcome two new Committee Members this year in Dima Zogheib from Arup and JJ Sarralde from The Townscape Consultancy. With best wishes for the Festive Season and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. Andrew Andrew Reynolds Forum Chair