[a more formal version of what follows may be down-loaded here, together with the Committee’s Terms of Reference]
The constitution of the Livery committee is as follows:
2 x aldermen
6 x common councilmen
6 x liverymen
6 x clerks
Details of the current members are at this link.
Terms of office are for three years, and a maximum of two terms (i.e. Six years in total, but there is now special dispensation for chairman and deputy).
The formal election of all members of the Committee (by the livery) takes place at Common Hall on Midsummer Day on 24th June. In practice each of the nominating bodies will have already decided on their chosen representative candidates as follows (see also below Election to the Committee):
2 x aldermen - nominated by the Court of Aldermen, usually one senior, and one junior
6 x common councilmen - elected by the Court of Common Council, as for other committees.
6 x liverymen – the three clerks' associations will nominate liverymen, one Great 12, one Association, and four Fellowship
6 x clerks – the three clerks' associations will nominate two clerks each
Note: The clerks of the 110 livery companies divide themselves into three groups: The Great 12; the Association of Clerks, representing all companies that have their own hall (other than the Great 12); and the Fellowship of Clerks, which all clerks are eligible to join, though it acts mainly on behalf of those whose companies do not have halls. It is these three groups who nominate the liverymen and clerks above.
The Committee meet at Guildhall three times each year, on the second Wednesday in February, June and September, and also on Misummer Day (24th June, for the Election of Sheriffs) and Michalemas Day (29th September, for the Election of the Lord Mayor).
Election to the Committee
Each of the constituencies listed above select and nominate their representatives, who are then formally elected by the Livery in Common Hall on Midsummer Day (24th June). When a vacancy is due to occur, the Town Clerk will write to the Secretary of the relevant Clerks' association (for liverymen and clerk vacancies) in February. The Secretary to the Fellowship (who have the greatest number of allocated liverymen places, four) will then seek nominations from the Fellowship clerks (ie those without halls). A selection process may then take place. The Great 12 and Association clerks make similar arrangements. The Court of Common Council elect their six representatives as for all other Guildhall committees.
The preferred candidates are likely to be senior liverymen (ie who have passed the chair) and who have a broad knowledge of livery companies and the civic City beyond their own company. They should also be liverymen who have the time and interest to play a part in the work of the Committee beyond its formal meetings.
The Livery Committee started life over 150 years ago, specifically to organise the Common Halls to elect the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.
But today it has also become the voice pipe for communication between the livery and the officers at Guildhall and Mansion House, on any matter affecting the interests of the general body of the Livery (to quote from our original terms of reference). We endeavour to improve communication between the Corporation and the Livery, increase the involvement of Liverymen in City affairs, and act as a forum for discussion.
The Livery Committee also organises the various courses and City Briefings for freemen, liverymen, wardens, and their clerks. Dates are shown at the Diary page (see menu bar above), and bookings may be made online
The Committee, though administered at Guildhall, is not a committee of the City of London Corporation, and hence it has some autonomy. However this also means limitations as to our power, and so we largely work by influence and consultation. Its membership of 20 is elected at Common Hall each Midsummer Day and made up of a laid down balance of liverymen, common councilmen, and clerks in equal numbers, allocated to fairly reflect the different groups of livery companies (see Constitution above).
A longer article on the history of the Livery Committee may be read here.