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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): COL/CC/ITP

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1853-1968

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 14.2 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The concept of the Court of Common Council grew from the ancient custom of the Folkmoot, when the assent of the citizens to important acts was obtained. This custom was continued by the Mayor who consulted the Commons several times during the 13th century. From 1376 the assembly began to meet regularly and was referred to as the Common Council. It was decided that the Council should be made up of persons elected from each Ward. By 1384 a permanent Common Council chosen by the citizens was established for all time. The Council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers, confirmed by Charters of 1377 and 1383. The Council has often used these powers to amend the civic constitution, regulate the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amend the functions of the City courts. The Council was judged so successful in the conduct of its duties that it was the only Corporation unreformed by Parliament following the Municipal Corporations Commission report of 1837, while the Corporation Inquiry Commission of 1854 suggested only minor reforms. The work of the Council is conducted by a number of committees, while the whole Council has the right to approve policy, confirm major decisions and sanction expenditure. The committees handle many aspects of the running of the City including land and estates, finance and valuation, open spaces, street improvement and town planning, public health, police, Port of London, civil defence, airports, libraries, markets, education, and law. The Town Clerk has held responsibility for recording the minutes of the Council and its committees since 1274.

The Commissioners of Sewers organised improvements work through various ad-hoc sub committees until 1827, when the General Purposes Committee was formed to handle improvement and maintenance works. In 1850 a Special Improvements Committee was formed but shared minute and report books with the General Purposes Committee until 1853 when it became a separate Committee. In 1866 it changed to the Finance and Improvements Committee. In 1897, when the Commissioners of Sewers were abolished, it became a separate Committee of the Court of Common Council called the Improvements and Finance Committee. In 1930 the financial responsibilities were transferred to the Rates Finance Committee and the name changed back to the Improvements Committee. In 1941 it became the Improvements and Town Planning Committee under the Public Health Department. In 1968 the functions of the Committee were transferred to the Planning and Communications Committee.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Improvements and Town Planning Committee, Commissioners of Sewers / Public Health Department, including minute books, 1853-1898, of the Improvement Committee of the Commissioners of Sewers (1853-1866), later the Finance and Improvements Committee (1866-1897); minute books of the Improvements and Finance Committee (1897-1930), later the Improvements Committee (1930-1941) and later the Improvements and Town Planning Committee (1941-1968), 1898-1968; committee papers, 1915-1964; papers relating to post-war reconstruction, 1941-1945 and report books, 1853-1947.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright City of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For records of the Corporation of London relating to public health, including the provision of welfare and housing services, see: CLA/006: City of London Commissioners of Sewers, COL/CC/FCC: Food Control Committee, COL/CC/GWC: Gas/Gas and Water Committee, COL/CC/HEB: City of London Board of Health, COL/CC/HEC: Health Committee, COL/CC/HGC: Housing Committee, COL/CC/ITP: Joint (Public Health Department) Committee, COL/CC/LAC: Litter Act Committee, COL/CC/LFC: Local Food Control Committee, COL/CC/MIN: Committees, COL/CC/PBC: Public Health Committee, COL/CC/PHC: Port and City of London Health Committee, COL/CC/PHE: Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, COL/CC/PHS: Port and City of London Health and Social Services Committee, COL/CC/PLH: Port of London Health Committee, COL/CC/SHC: Special Housing Committee, COL/CC/SIC: Select and Special Committees, COL/CC/SSC: Social Services Committee, COL/CC/STS: Streets Committee, COL/CC/WCD: Whole Court (Public Health Department) Committee, COL/ESD: Environmental Services Department, COL/PL: Plans, the papers of the Community Services Department (COL/CSD), the papers of the Public Health Department (COL/PHD), the papers of the Planning Department (COL/PLD), the papers of the Surveyor's Department (COL/SVD) and the papers of the Technical Services Department (COL/TSD).

For records of the Corporation of London relating to building construction and improvements work, see COL/CC/BBB: Blackfriars Bridge (Building) Committee, COL/CC/BBR: Blackfriars Bridge (Repairing) Committee, COL/CC/BRC: Barbican Centre Committee, COL/CC/CLSB: City of London School Building Committee, COL/CC/CRE: Central Criminal Court (Extension) Committee, COL/CC/GHI: Guildhall Improvement Committee, COL/CC/GHY: Guildhall Yard East Building Committee, COL/CC/IMP: Improvements Committee (Corporation), COL/CC/LBI: London Bridge Improvements Committee, COL/CC/MRI: Markets Improvement Committee, COL/CC/SGC: Special (Guildhall Reconstruction) Committee, COL/CC/WAC: Works Advisory Committee, COL/CHD/IM: Chamberlain's Department: Improvements, COL/MH/MSH: The Mansion House, COL/PL: Plans, the papers of the Planning Department (COL/PLD), the papers of the Surveyor's Department (COL/SVD) and the papers of the Technical Services Department (COL/TSD).

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Building construction | Building operations | Construction engineering
Health policy | Health
Maintenance | Engineering
Public health | Health
Sanitation | Environmental engineering
Urban planning | Urban development
Public health x Health policy
Town and country planning

Personal names

Corporate names
Improvements and Finance Committee | Court of Common Council x Improvements Committee
Improvements and Town Planning Committee | Public Health Department | Corporation of London
Special Improvements Committee | Commissioners of Sewers | Corporation of London x Finance and Improvements Committee

City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe