Bishop & Sewell

You’ll maybe surprised to hear that I’m not much a follower of the Twitterati, I’m more  TikTok man myself, but Twitter really caught my eye recently, writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department.

Twitter spat about the amount of money that was the budget for the NHS Test and Trace scheme, £37 billion.

Tom London tweeted, “People don’t realise the difference between a million and a billion.

“1 million seconds equal 11 *DAYS*
“1 billion seconds equal 31 *YEARS*

“I do not believe it is even possible to legitimately spend £37 *BILLION* on Test & Trace.

“Where has £ gone? Suspect CORRUPTION on a HUGE scale.”

His words, not mine.

If you dig a little deeper the Full Facts blog helpfully points out the actual budget was £37 billion for its first two years, but around £29.5 billion was actually spent.

By my reckoning that’s at least £4,400 for every adult and child in the UK, (which still didn’t prevent 180,000 Covid related deaths.) Still, I’m sure the Government will assure us that it was money well utilised.

On a lighter note my eye was drawn to another number, 8.

That was the number of locations from the UK and beyond who bid to become our newest cities, as part of a Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition.

Each potential city was required to demonstrate royal associations, cultural heritage, and why their community deserved city status. For the first time, the competition was open to applicants from Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, with the Falklands’ Stanley and Douglas in the Isle of Man among the winners:

Bangor, Northern Ireland

Colchester, England

Doncaster, England

Douglas, Isle of Man

Dunfermline, Scotland

Milton Keynes, England

Stanley, Falkland Islands

Wrexham, Wales

According to the report here the competition for city status has taken place in each of the last three jubilee years, with previous winners including Chelmsford, Lisburn and Newport.

Winning city status can provide a boost to local communities. Research shows that Perth, which was granted city status in 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, experienced a 12 per cent expansion in the local economy in the decade it was granted city status.

City status is officially granted by “Letters Patent” – meaning a document that is officially issued by the monarch.

What the article doesn’t expand upon is that if city status grants a location a 10%+ uplift in their economy perhaps we can all expect increased rail and flights to the cities concerned?

Perhaps not until after the strikes have cleared…?

Contact our Corporate & Commercial Team

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB325 on either 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 27 June 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog | Date: 27th Jun 2022

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