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What’s on?

Local events and activities

Keeping active Sign up for the Westminster Mile

New Year offers and discounts

Apply for a Westminster City Save card JANUARY 2015 ISSUE 118

Arrange a face-to-face meeting to find out more and see how we can assist with your housing aspirations!

Register today Call: 0845 437 9701 Visit: Email: Find us on Facebook at Homeownership Westminster

Follow us on @HOW_Catalyst


Homeownership Westminster is a council service that prioritises those currently living or working in the City of Westminster for homeownership and rental opportunities through a number of different options.

7 Resident discounts

14-19 Local news and events



Tea Dance Barbara Windsor at Grosvenor MBE atHouse our annual Tea Dance in December On the cover: London’s New Year’s Day Parade.

4-5 News in brief 6 What’s on? 7 Westminster City Save offers and discounts 8 Enterprise 9 Historic Westminster: Chinatown 10-11 Health 12-13 Ward budgets 14-15 Your Westminster: North 16-17 Your Westminster: Central 18-19 Your Westminster: South 20-21 Weddings and civil partnerships 23 Reporting anti-social behaviour 24-25 Recycling 26 Free advice services 27 First World War centenary 28 Arts and culture 29 Planning and your local area 30 Over to you

The Westminster Reporter is produced as part of Westminster City Council’s customer service programme. Cabinet Member responsible for The Reporter: Councillor Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment.

Homeownership Westminster is delivered by Catalyst Housing, a charitable housing association

The Westminster Reporter is delivered to homes and businesses throughout Westminster. If you encounter delivery problems, please call the communications team on 020 7641 8088.

Also available from libraries and leisure centres. For general enquiries, call the council switchboard on 020 7641 6000. To discuss editorial matters, please contact: The Editor, The Westminster Reporter, 18th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP. Telephone: 020 7641 5713 Fax: 020 7641 2958 Email: Minicom: 020 7641 2948

Advertising: please contact Mohsin Lahkim on 020 7641 6088, or Reference copies of The Westminster Reporter are available in large print and audiotape format. To have a free copy sent to your home call 020 7641 5713. Published by Westminster City Council, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP. Printed by Service Point UK Ltd, 161-165 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3AL.

Printed on FSC® certified material. Please recycle The Westminster Reporter. For more information on recycling call the Environmental Action Line on 020 7641 2000.

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Get priority for properties in Westminster




News in brief


The Westminster Reporter |

– Thomas Jefferson

New ways to pay for parking

Have you registered to vote?

If you are a Westminster Libraries cardholder you can download ebooks onto your computer, smartphone, e-reader or tablet to enjoy whenever, wherever.* * Excludes Kindles apart from the Kindle Fire

The number of on-street payment machines will be reducing over the next few months so the best way to pay for parking is by phone or using our free ParkRight app. Register online before you leave home to make it even quicker and easier to park. Visit parking for details.

The general election is on 7th May 2015. If you have not registered to vote then you need to do so as soon as possible. The deadline for registering to vote in the general election is Monday 20th April. Previously the head of the household was responsible for registering everyone at their address to vote, but now every individual is responsible for their own registration. In January the council is writing to you to confirm who we have registered. If you have not registered please visit or find out more at You need to make sure that you’re on the updated register, or you might not be able to vote in future.

For more information please go to

Westminster City Council

Westminster City Hall 64 Victoria Street London SW1E 6QP

7.9_E_books_poster_2014_WCC_AW.indd 1 25/11/2014 10:39

Free ebooks

Free equipment for talented young athletes Is your child a champion of the future? Gifted young athletes can receive financial support, free access to the councils’ pools and leisure centres and mentoring through our Champion of the Future programme. Applications are now open to young people who compete at district level and above. Visit

Winter run road closures The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run takes place on Sunday 1st February. The race starts and finishes on Whitehall taking in Victoria Embankment and road closures will be in place from 6am. Visit winterrunseries. for details of the roads affected. The event organisers are offering a £19 discount to Westminster residents making the entry fee £25 instead of the full price of £44. Visit citysave to apply. Entrants are encouraged to fundraise for Cancer Research UK.

You can use your library card to download free ebooks to your tablet, phone, computer or ereader excluding Kindle except for Kindle Fire. Choose from 3,500 titles including Game of Thrones, Wolf Hall and The Hunger Games trilogy. Visit ebooks for details.

Shape the future of services for children and young people We will be making some changes to certain areas of our services for children and young people so that we can better focus our support on those who need it most. We have been working with families and young people who use Children’s Centres, youth clubs and after-school clubs to shape these services in the future. Find out more about our proposals and how you can get involved at early-help.



Support for children with disabilities If your child has special educational needs or disabilities use our online guide to find services and support. The guide includes details of education support, play schemes and sports activities. Visit local-offer.

Twitter gritting updates There are eight gritting vehicles and 200 salt bins to help with spreading salt on Westminster’s roads and pavements during freezing weather. Not everywhere can be treated immediately so we prioritise areas such as those with steep gradients, bus routes and those outside hospitals, schools and transport hubs. To find out where and when we are gritting keep an eye on twitter @CityWestminster.

Reporting fly-tipping You can report dumped rubbish online including the vehicle registration number of the person committing the offence if you see it. There is no need to dump rubbish, just leave it out for your usual waste or recycling collection, use Freecycle or book a bulky waste collection for large items. Household hazardous waste can be disposed of free of charge. Visit

I would like to start by wishing everyone a very happy new year for 2015.


anuary is traditionally the time of year when people set themselves new resolutions and targets to lead a healthier lifestyle. In this modern, busy world, more and more of us find it difficult to keep active, eat well and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a real issue in the UK and leads to a greater risk of four of the five main causes of premature death – heart disease, stroke, cancer and liver disease. The council takes its responsibility for public health very seriously, and so this year we will be launching a new programme to support families in leading a healthier lifestyle. We will invest in new opportunities for you to get advice on how to grow, cook and eat healthy food and work with schools and community organisations to increase opportunities for children to get active in their everyday lives. Some initial helpful tips on how you can get active and try something new in 2015 can be found in this edition of the Reporter. Mental health is equally as important as our physical wellbeing and employment can be a route to improving our quality of life by providing us with independence and a reduced risk of isolation. For those people stuck in the rut of long-term unemployment, which can itself be the result of mental health conditions, helping them back on the road to sustainable work can bring about great changes in wellbeing. To that end, we are working hard with the London Growth Deal funding that Westminster secured from central government to help some of our most vulnerable residents. An initial pilot scheme will be up and running soon in this new year and will start to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Cllr Philippa Roe, Leader of Westminster City Council

5 The Westminster Reporter ||



What’s on?

The Westminster Reporter |


Friday late at the London Transport Museum

Family parkour

Lunchtime talks at the National Gallery

6th February, 6.45-10pm

Throughout the week, 1-1.45pm

Explore the museum after hours at this special event exploring the life of Londoners during the First World War. For ages 18 and over.

Find out more about specific paintings or explore wider themes in the collection at a host of free lunchtime talks.

Queen’s Park and Harrow Road Community Hub

Venue: London Transport Museum, The Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BB

Venue: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN

Jamming session

Cost: £10, concessions £8

Cost: Free

Nearest tube: Covent Garden

Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square

Saturdays, 10am-12 midday

Community Hubs

Run, jump, hop and climb your way around the family parkour studio at Moberly Sports Centre. Suitable for all ages.

Community Hubs are funded by the council to provide weekly activities for people aged 50 and over.

Venue: Moberly Sports Centre, Kilburn Lane, W10 4AH

Penfold Community Hub Shwopping event

Cost: £10 for one parent and one child, £5 for an extra parent or child

18th February, 10am-3pm

Come to our popular clothes swap event. Drop off your clothes and then join us for refreshments and swapping.

National Libraries Day 7th February Visit your local library on National Libraries Day for a packed programme of events for all ages. Venue: Find your local library at

Family Sundays at the Royal Opera House Each Sunday explore the Royal Opera House, its artists and the world of opera and ballet. Join in interactive singing and dancing, find out about costume design and stage make up and take a backstage tour. Venue: Royal Opera House, Bow Street, WC2E 9DD Cost: £3 for children, £5 for adults

Cost: £4.50 for two courses plus £3 for transport if needed

Cost: Mostly free, please check ahead

Adult Education open day 19th March, 10am-6pm

Venue: Penfold Community Hub, 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ Cost: Free 020 8762 3082

Sewing café Mondays, 10am-12 midday Join others for a friendly morning of coffee and company as you stitch. Table space and machines available. Bring along a project to work on. Venue: Penfold Community Hub, 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ Cost: £1 020 8762 3082

Get a taste of over 1,000 courses at Westminster’s specialist adult college with daytime, evening and weekend options available.

Tuesdays, 12.30-3pm

Venue: 219 Lisson Grove, NW8 8LW

Join us for a friendly lunch followed by activities.

Cost: Free

Venue: Penfold Community Hub, 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ

Grub at the Hub

020 8762 3082

Second Thursday of every month, 12 midday-1pm Bring your favourite instrument and join us for a rocking good time at the Open Age Queen’s Park and Harrow Road Hub.

Banish the January blues and get out and about with your Westminster City Save card. Sign up for your free card at where you can also sign up for our enewsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest offers. 55% off fitness classes

Venue: Room 9b, The Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, W10 4JL

Get fit and healthy in the new year with savings on your first three classes, including yoga, pilates, boot camps and personal training.

Cost: £1 020 7266 2776

Westbourne Community Hub

Venue: 3 Nugent Terrace, St. John’s Wood, NW8 9QB

‘We click’ computer training

Two for one adult tickets and babies go free at Bach to Baby classical concerts

Thursdays, 3.30-5.30pm A one-to-one computer, email and mobile phone session with help from local sixth formers who can answer your questions about texting, editing digital camera photos and anything else you want to know. Venue: Westminster Academy, 255 Harrow Road, W2 5EZ Cost: Free but please book ahead 020 8962 4141

Churchill Community Hub Chair pilates Fridays, 10-11am Start the New Year with this gentle low-level class with some chair exercise, band work, balance, stretching and strength work. Venue: Churchill Gardens Youth Club, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL Cost: £1 020 7976 6354

Take along a friend free and let your baby dance to the music at these critically acclaimed classical concerts for tots. Tickets cost £10.

45% off entry to Porchester Centre Spa Pamper yourself at London’s oldest spa. Facilities include steam rooms, a Finnish log sauna, Turkish hot rooms and a cold plunge pool.

Venue: Various. Visit for details

Venue: Queensway, W2 5HS

Two for one at the National Portrait Gallery Get two for one at all paid exhibitions, including the final few weeks of the Photographic Portrait Prize, sponsored by Taylor Wessing, and the amazing upcoming exhibition on John Sargent. Venue: National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE

20% off tours of Lord’s Cricket Ground Save 20% off entry for up to six people for tours of the legendary cricket ground, and see the dressing rooms, the museum and the iconic Ashes trophy. Venue: St. John’s Wood Road, NW8 8QN

Terms and conditions apply. Visit westminster. for all offers and more details.

7 The Westminster Reporter |






From the Far East to London’s West: Chinatown

Setting up a market stall can be one of the best ways to test your idea for a new business or product.

Chinatown was first established in the 1950s after British soldiers returned from the Far East with an appetite for Chinese cuisine.



izza Pilgrims brothers James and Thom Elliot set up their first stall on Westminster’s Berwick Street market in 2012 and have been serving up Neapolitan-style pizza ever since. They now have two restaurants on Dean Street in Soho and Kingly Street, off Regent Street. James says: “Before Pizza Pilgrims, Thom and I worked in Soho and used to head down to Berwick Street market for lunch every day. We loved it and when we decided to launch Pizza Pilgrims we knew it had to be there.

“All it takes is one day on the market to know if your business has legs.”

The Westminster Reporter |

James Elliot

“We applied through the council’s website and were surprised at how cheap it was. It costs just £10 a day for a market pitch, so we splashed out on two and started serving pizza out the back of a converted Piaggo Ape. “There was a great atmosphere on the market. As new traders, everyone was really keen to help us

James (right) and Thom Elliot outside their restaurant

out. We made great friends and the fruit and veg traders now supply our restaurants. “If you’ve got a business idea a market is the right place to start. It’s really affordable, you quickly learn what your customers want and you can start to

build up a loyal following. You learn so much on the market, it really set us up to launch our restaurants. “My advice to others out there would be to just jump in. You can plan and plan but all it takes is one day’s work on the market to

know if your business has legs.” T here are five markets in Westminster including Berwick Street, Church Street, Maida Hill, Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street. Visit markets for information on becoming a market trader or to find your local market.

atering to this new market in the 1950s, a few savvy restauranteurs set up business on Gerrard Street in the West End known for its interesting cuisine, lively entertainment and cheap rent. The popularity of the new Chinese establishments attracted Chinese entrepreneurs away from London’s original Chinatown in the East End to seek their fortune. The area in which Chinatown stands has an interesting history. In the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666 attention turned to the present-day Soho which was then mostly farmland. The area of modern-day Chinatown was a military training ground where soldiers drilled. In 1677, Lord Gerrard, the owner of the area gave permission to build houses on the military ground. Gerrard Street was built in 1685 and the developer, Nicholas Barbon, then acquired the adjoining land on the east side. Here he built more houses and a livestock market complete with a market hall and slaughterhouse which stood on the site of the presentday Newport Court. Within a century the area

Chinese New Year 22nd February, 10am-6pm Join a colourful parade through the West End to Trafalgar Square to celebrate Chinese New Year. The afternoon will be packed full of performances from visiting artists from China as well as local talent from community groups and schools. Venue: Chinatown and Trafalgar Square

Rupert Street

Cost: Free

Macclesfield Street

Chinatown today

had developed a lively reputation. The upstairs of the market hall was taken over by immigrant French Hugenots and was named ‘the Butcher’s Church’ after the slaughtermen downstairs. Gerrard Street became known for its artists and was home to many of the most famous painters and writers of London. By the 19th century the Newport Market area had developed a reputation as a notorious criminal slum which persisted until Shaftesbury

Avenue and Charing Cross Road were driven through it in the late 1880s. By the time the Chinese arrived in the 1950s the area had a reputation for great nightlife and cheap commercial rent. By the late 1960s Chinatown was well established as a centre for London’s Chinese community as more Chinese workers arrived from Hong Kong. F ind out more about local history at the City of Westminster Archives Centre at 10 St. Ann’s Street, SW1P 2DE. The centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday and you do not need an appointment. Visit or call 020 7641 5180 for more information.

The Westminster Reporter |

Road testing your business idea



Westminster PLUS


Instead of giving something up for your January health kick, why not take something up that will help you to keep active or make a small change to your diet?

Help your child to make a sugar swap


here may be more sugar than you realise in some of the food your children eat, from the cereal they have for breakfast, to the snacks they have after school and the drinks they have throughout the day. Excess sugar increases the risk of developing dangerous conditions including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But it’s easy to cut a little sugar out of your diet. To help you make a small swap to your child’s everyday food and drink to cut back on sugar visit change4life where you can choose a sugar swap. There is also advice and recipes to try out that will help you reduce the amount of sugar in your family’s diet.

Get cycling


uild your confidence by signing up for a tea at free City Cycling The Ritz course. You can choose a one-to-one session based on your level of experience or join a group training session, aimed at people who are new to cycling. The group sessions take place at weekends in an off-road area and bikes and helmets are provided.


“Thanks to the City Cycling course I have replaced my daily tube journey with cycling on a Barclays bike. Without this free training, I would not have had the confidence to commute by bike in London.” Tracey Williams, Pimlico

Sign up for the Bupa Westminster Mile

The Westminster Reporter |


he third Westminster Mile is taking place on Sunday 24th May starting on The Mall and finishing outside Buckingham Palace. It’s organised by the London Marathon in partnership with the council for all ages and abilities including a family race so everyone can take part. Ideal for people new to running or for those who want to improve their time. The entry fee is £7 for Westminster residents and children under nine go free. Visit to register.

Join a sports club


here are hundreds of sports and activity clubs in Westminster offering tournaments and training sessions to keep you active. Visit for details.


hildren and young people under 19 can swim free at the council’s five pools. Adults can join them from £2.15 with a free Westminster City Save card.

F or more information about cycling in Westminster, City Cycling courses and led rides visit

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Are you satisfied with your home care service?

Head to your local park


ark Makers are personal trainers and volunteers who run activities in Westminster’s parks and open spaces. Just turn up and join in free. Activities take place in Porchester Square Gardens, St. George’s Square, St. John’s Wood Church Gardens, Victoria Embankment Gardens, Westbourne Green Open Space and Paddington Recreation Ground.

Saturdays, 10.30am-12 midday Venue: Westbourne Green Open Space, Harrow Road, W2 5UX

Hula hooping Wednesdays, 4-5pm Venue: Paddington Recreation Ground, Randolph Avenue, W9 1PD Visit find-activities-and-classes for full listings.



f you need support to continue living in your own home, homesharing may be the answer. It involves renting your home to someone who needs somewhere to live in return for low level care that helps you to stay independent. It’s not a regulated service but there are minimum legal requirements. The council does not endorse any of the providers mentioned in this article. F ind out more about homeshare options at or call one of the providers listed here.

Novus – The London Carers’ Centre Consortium Call: 07914 808 986 Visit: novus-homeshare.

Care to stay Visit:

C&V Inspire


Keeping active Celebrat e Carer s











Visit: draycotthome

Share and Care Call: 020 8875 9575 Visit:

Supportmatch Call: 020 3592 0152 Visit:

Call: 07908 857 776 Visit:

Draycott Nursing Call: 020 7351 9901

Free handyperson service


f you’re aged 60 or over or receive a disability allowance, you can use our free handyperson service for small jobs around the home. This may include minor repairs, plumbing, replacing locks or broken windows, fixing loose carpet or fitting hand rails. Other jobs may be considered and you can use the service twice in 12 months for jobs that take up to half a day. Call 020 7641 8959 to book an appointment.

– Septem



F ind out more at sports-and-leisure-discounts and apply for a Westminster City Save card at

Issue 23

50 free Sunday Silver events How to to vote register is chan ging Tea Da nc Don’t for e 2014 ge apply for t to tickets

f you receive home care and have feedback on the service let Healthwatch know. The information you tell us will be used to make recommendations to our home care providers to improve the service you receive. Please contact Healthwatch on 020 8968 7049 or email to arrange a telephone interview or home visit. The information you provide will be confidential and you will receive a free £5 Boots or Sainsbury’s voucher.

Active family session You can also join a free group ride across the city choosing from themed Beatles, historical, rock ‘n’ pop and wildlife rides. Book on a City Cycling course taking place before 31st March and enter our prize draw to win tea at The Ritz and other prizes.

Your magazine to find out more about services for people aged 65+.

The Westminster Reporter |

Try something new in the New Year

Take up swimming


ber 2014


Ward budgets

Ward budgets

Each year every ward in Westminster is given £46,000 to spend on local projects determined by their ward councillors.


ard budget funding in Vincent Square helps to fund weekly breakfasts Bill Murray for older people to meet new people in a friendly and relaxed way. The breakfasts are run by volunteers from local businesses, students and people who live locally.


ard budgets help people to address local issues and priorities that matter most such as improving your local area with new trees, funding activities for older or young residents or purchasing new equipment for community sports clubs. Here are just some of the ways in which people have chosen to spend their funding. Visit to find out more or submit an idea for a project in your local area by emailing

Sew stylish S

The Westminster Reporter |

ew Stylish is a new programme set up by The Abbey Community Association to help people on low incomes repair and alter their clothes, gain skills to help them find work, and upcycle garments for resale. A professional tailor and 12 sewing machines are on hand. Sew Stylish is aimed at people in St. James’s, Churchill, Vincent Square

Bella Dervishi (left)

and Warwick wards. Sew Stylish tailor, Bella Dervishi, says: “I have worked as a tailor for 10 years and it is very rewarding being able to pass on the tips and tricks that I have learnt. I try to do it in a fun and hands-on learning environment so people can recycle existing clothing or maybe even find paid work in the industry.

Healthy breakfasts

“Everyone is very welcoming. The volunteers are perfect and we talk about everything.” Bill Murray, 87, Norfolk House Catherine Nor

“I have already learnt a lot and am saving money by learning how to recycle my wardrobe.” Catherine Nor

“We started with skills such as altering garments and some have now progressed to making patterns and basic items of clothing.” Catherine Nor says: “I was initially looking for an art class but am very happy I stumbled upon this programme as it teaches me practical skills that I can use in everyday life. “I have already learnt a

lot and am saving money by learning how to recycle my wardrobe. At the moment, I am shortening a long dress that has been sitting in the back of my wardrobe for a long time so I can start to get some wear out of it rather than buying a new one. “I plan to eventually make clothes for myself and my family. It’s an easy way to save money when you know how.”

Sew Stylish Fridays, 2-5pm Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU Cost: Free Contact: Call 020 7222 0303

Healthy breakfasts

Watersports on the Thames


ard budgets have funded a multi-award winning water sports programme, Upperdeckers, for people aged over 50 in Tachbrook, Warwick and Churchill wards. Activities include kayaking, sailing and powerboating on the River Thames.

“Five years ago, I never dreamt that I could be whizzing about the Thames in such good company. The Upperdeckers scheme is brilliant as it combines the physical with the social.” Jonothan Starkey

Fridays, 9-11.45am Venue: Grosvenor Hall, Vincent Street, SW1P 4HB Cost: Free Contact: Call 020 7834 5204

Upperdeckers Thursdays from 1st April, 1- 4.15pm Venue: Westminster Boating Base, 136 Grosvenor Road, SW1V 3JY Cost: Free

T o find out more about volunteering at the breakfasts please email emmachapman40@ or call 020 7834 5204.

Contact: Visit westminsterboatingbase. or call 020 7821 7389

Afternoon tea and entertainment


t Christmas 160 people aged over 65 enjoyed afternoon tea and a sing-along funded by local ward budgets. The event was an opportunity for residents from Lancaster Gate, Bayswater and Hyde Park wards to meet new people whilst being treated to tea at Lancaster

London and entertainment from the Players’ Musical Hall Theatre.

“The entertainment was exceptional and I made new friends.” David Hopwood

Creative arts for young people

Almer Khan


oung people from the Westbourne ward can produce their own music in the Amberley Youth Project music studio. The ward budget funds twiceweekly sessions during which experts are on hand to teach new skills such as vocal training, lyric writing, engineering and studio management.

“I think it’s a great place as it helps me to express myself and focus on happy things.” Almer Khan, Amberley Estate

Creative arts for young people Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5.30-7.30pm Venue: Millennium Centre, 11 Clearwell Drive, W9 2JZ Cost: Free Contact: Call 020 7286 1014

The Westminster Reporter |

Ward budgets for local issues




Your Westminster


Community wall at Church Street Library

Hidden gems Tell us your favourite places in Westminster. Tweet them to @CityWestminster

“ “

ir Simon Milton was the Leader of Westminster City Council between 2000 and 2008. He then continued to serve the capital as Deputy Mayor of London for Policy and Planning and Chief of Staff to Boris Johnson until his untimely death in 2011. During this time, he played a pivotal role in facilitating the regeneration of Paddington Basin, one of the largest development projects in central London. A life-size sculpture was unveiled in his honour at Merchant Square, Paddington Basin, in September 2014.

Visit Church Street Library at 67 Church Street, NW8 8EU to take a look.

Green plaques The Westminster Reporter |

Portraits of Church Street


ortraits of local people form a public art display on the hoardings around the development sites in Church Street’s housing regeneration programme. They were produced by Church Street resident and photographic artist Emma Blau in a temporary photography studio in an empty shop in Church Street. Among the people featured are the vicar from St. Paul’s Church on Rossmore Road, children from local schools, market traders and lots of other locals, young and old. Find out more about housing regeneration across Westminster at westminster.

View of Marylebone Circus at the junction of Marylebone Road and Baker Street, 1907. Photo: Westminster Archives Centre

W  aterside Cafe on a canal boat in Little Venice. Peaceful, never too busy, eclectic clientele and great food at good value. I always take my visitors here – no matter the season.” Sean Jordan



What’s on?

K  ensington Gardens Square is lovely all year long. Situated slightly off the noisy Queensway area, it’s quiet enough for a lazy afternoon.” Jean-Marie Ferdegue

City of Sculpture

op into Church Street Library to see a new community wall telling the story of Church Street. The collage uses drawings, photographs and illustrations produced by local people in a series of workshops.

History in pictures

The Westminster Reporter |

Your Westminster


argery Allingham (1904-1966) is revered as one of the leading authors from the ‘Golden Age’ of British crime writing. Allingham is perhaps best known for her fictional detective Albert Campion, who first appeared as a character in ‘The Crime at Black Dudley’ in 1929 and went on to appear in numerous other novels and stories, notably the ‘Tiger in the Smoke’. Allingham and her family lived at 1 Westbourne Terrace Road from 1916-1929, where the plaque is located. Visit for details of other green plaques in Westminster.

Free learning courses for adults

OffersOFFERS in your INarea YOUR AREA Value for Money Friday Value for Money Friday is a round-up of short-term offers, discounts, activities and events to help you make the most of your area and council services. Register for our fortnightly enewsletter or take a look at for details. 20% off pet food

10% off vocal coaching

Help keep your pet happy and healthy with a discount on all James Wellbeloved and Royal Canin branded foods.

Get the professional guidance you need whether you are looking for a career in music or simply to sing as a hobby.

Date: Until 28th February

Date: Until 21st March

Venue: Grand Union Pets, 174 Shirland Road, W9 3JE

Venue: Jaques Samuel Pianos, 142 Edgware Road, W2 2DZ

Free dog microchipping Microchipping for dogs will be compulsory by 2016. You can get your dog microchipped free by calling the council’s Animal Wardens on 020 7641 2000. Date: Ongoing Venue: Various, visit for details

10% off carpet cleaning services Get 10% off the final bill for carpet cleaning from Starlet Cleaning. Have the most tricky stains and spillages including food and pet stains removed. Date: Until 11th March Venue: Starlet Cleaning, 60A Regency Street, SW1P 4AW

Terms and conditions apply to all offers. For details visit

Daily throughout the week. Activities and courses for adults including English classes, employment advice, literacy and numeracy courses and basic computer skills. Venue: Church Street Library Learning Centre, 67 Church Street, NW8 8EU Cost: Free Nearest tube: Edgware Road, Paddington

Half term activities for children 16th -19th February, please call ahead for times and dates. Keep the children entertained throughout half term with silly mask making and crazy collages. Venue: Maida Vale Library, Sutherland Avenue, W9 2QT Cost: Free Nearest tube: Warwick Avenue, Maida Vale

Volleyball club for girls Tuesdays, 6-8pm Join weekly training at Polonia Ladies Volleyball Club for girls aged 11 to 18-years-old.

Venue: Moberly Sports Centre, The Quadrant, 101 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AH Cost: Free Nearest tube: Queen’s Park

Drop-in health checks and advice 29th January, 26th February and 26th March, 1- 4pm Give your health a quick check at a series of drop-in events including free blood pressure checks and advice from the NHS. Venue: Paddington Library, 45 Porchester Road, W2 5DU Cost: Free Nearest tube: Royal Oak

Free judo club Saturdays, 1.30-3.30pm Train yourself in the competitive martial art. Open to people aged 11 to 19 of all abilities and fitness levels. Venue: Avenues Youth Club, 3-7 Third Avenue, W10 4RS Cost: Free Nearest tube: Queen’s Park, Westbourne Park


Your Westminster

Your Westminster

central Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

Hidden gems Tell us your favourite places in Westminster. Tweet them to @CityWestminster

“ “ “

Paddington Street Gardens and the playground are a daily favourite for us. And the Ginger Pig and La Fromagerie are around the corner for treats.” Maretta Moriarty Hyde Park early morning and Bonne Bouche on Marylebone High Street for Sunday breakfast.” Susan Barnes  Rose Bakery on the top floor of the Dover Street Market building and the church on Farm Street for its atmospheric musical offerings.” Chloe Demetriou

OffersOFFERS in your INarea YOUR AREA

20% off afternoon cake with tea or coffee at Il Blandford’s Café Enjoy homemade cakes and freshly ground Italian coffee at this much loved local Italian café. Date: Until 31st March Venue: 65 Chiltern Street, W1U 6NH

bunch of amateurs into the finest soul band in Dublin. Date: Throughout 2015 Venue: Palace Theatre, 109-113 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5AY

20% off everything at MADD Hatter’s at The Arts Theatre Choose from a wide selection of carefully selected loose leaf tea, freshly made smoothies, cakes and afternoon tea. Date: Until 28th February

Tickets to The Commitments from £15


Venue: Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB

London’s five-star smash-hit musical follows a young music fan who shapes an unlikely

Terms and conditions apply to all offers. Visit westminster. for details.

Green plaques

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ilkie Collins (18241889) has been credited as the architect of modern detective fiction, with his 1868 novel ‘The Moonstone’ considered the first detective novel in the English language. His other work includes the infamous ‘The Woman in White’. Along with his legacy of writings, Collins was a committed social commentator who was famed for his flamboyant dress sense and unconventional way of life. The plaque is located at the site of his birth in 1824 at 96-100 Cavendish Street. Visit for details of other green plaques in Westminster.

New Year’s Day Parade


Viewingstands Vewing standsand anddecorations decorationson onthe theStrand Strandfor forthe the coronation of Coronation of King King Edward Edward VII, VII, 1902. 1902. Photo: Westminster Archives Centre

What’s on?

Value for Money Friday Value for Money Friday is a round-up of short-term offers, discounts, activities and events to help you make the most of your area and council services. Register for our fortnightly enewsletter or take a look at for details.

History in pictures

ince 1947 the people of Norway have given London a Christmas tree in gratitude for Britain’s support during the Second World War. In line with tradition, The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis travelled to Oslo to cut down the tree which was then shipped to Trafalgar Square.

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Your Westminster

round 8,500 performers from 20 countries took part in the New Year’s Day Parade which has raised more than £1.5 million for charity since it first began in 1987. It started out as the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade and since 1994 every borough in London has a float in the parade. This year under the theme of London in Motion Westminster City Council’s procession included a marching band, life-size elephant and travelling circus, clown car and performances by the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Computer coding courses for kids

Venue: Seymour Leisure Centre, Seymour Place, W1H 5TJ

Wednesdays, 4-5pm

Cost: £1.65

Join this free coding course and learn to programme and make computer games, animations and websites.

Nearest tube: Edgware Road

Venue: Charing Cross Library, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HF Cost: Free Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square

Brazilian dance Sundays, 11am-12 midday Be inspired by the upbeat Latin rhythms and dance yourself fit at this friendly class for ages 50 and over.


Baby stay and play Wednesdays, 9.30-11.30am Drop-in play for children under five while you meet other mums, dads and carers. Just turn up on the day, there’s no need to book. Venue: Soho Family Centre, 23 Brewer Street, W1F 0RP Cost: Free Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus


Your Westminster

south Hidden gems

Tell us your favourite places in Westminster. Tweet them to @CityWestminster

“ “ “

I love reading all the plaques of the statues and monuments. And absorbing the history I am lucky enough to be surrounded by.” Karina Brisby The squares, streets, cafes of Pimlico. Especially Gastronomica restaurant in Tachbrook Street – highly recommended.” Alice Mattei Victoria Tower Gardens, we always went as kids. The sound of Big Ben chiming, watching the boats go down the river, it’s just simply epic.” Ryan Scanlon

The Westminster Reporter |

History in pictures

View of the entrance to Victoria Station, 1910. Photo: Westminster Archives Centre

Green plaques


ohn Gatti (1872-1929), former Mayor of Westminster (1911-1912) and father of the modern restaurant came from a long line of influential Westminster businessmen. Gatti’s great uncle, Carlo Gatti, came to London to sell ice cream using ice cut from Regent’s Canal. By the time John Gatti took over the family business, the family owned the Adelphi and Vaudeville Theatres, a string of cafés and restaurants and the Charing Cross and Strand Electricity Company. The plaque at 409 The Strand marks the site of the old Adelphi restaurant. Visit for details of other green plaques in Westminster.

A new university technical college for Westminster


he Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College will be a brand new purpose-built school, working in partnership with the University of Westminster and world leading transport and construction partners including Network Rail and Land Securities, which will teach, train and inspire the engineers and technicians of tomorrow. Planned to be at Ebury Bridge, a consultation is now open to look at the admissions, catchment area, school operating hours, curriculum and pathways. We would welcome your views whether you are a local employer, prospective parent, live locally and are interested in the site, or an education professional. In addition, the developers, Bouygues Development and Redrow Homes, will be holding a second public exhibition in February to show the emerging development proposals. Visit for more information. Visit for details of the public exhibition.

OffersOFFERS in your INarea YOUR AREA

What’s on?

Money advice service 15% off at Gastronomica Save on the highest quality fresh fruit and vegetables sourced directly from small rural Italian suppliers. Date: Ongoing

bringing to life the story of one of the most important battles in English and European history. Date: From April 2015 Venue: Wellington Arch, Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7JZ

Venue: Tachbrook Street Market, Pimlico, SW1V 2JS

20% off entry to the Waterloo 200 exhibition Visit this new exhibition to mark the Waterloo bicentenary,

Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU Cost: Free

Recital by the London Mandolin Ensemble

Three weeks market pitch hire for the price of two

Date: Until 31st March

If you’re aged over 50, speak to an Age UK advisor at a free drop-in session if you are concerned about managing your money or debts.

Nearest tube: St. James’s Park

Venue: 45 Tachbrook Street, SW1V 2LZ

Are you thinking of starting your own business or looking to reach more customers? New traders get a free week when they book a pitch for two weeks.

Wednesdays, 2-4pm

19th February, 6-7pm

25% off first consultation from Pimlico Osteopathy Save 25% on your first health assessment to help identify any health problems and to get advice on how to keep healthy in the future. Date: Ongoing Venue: Warwick Pharmacy, 34-36a Warwick Way, Pimlico, SW1S 1RY

Terms and conditions apply to all offers. Visit westminster. for details.

A special one-of-a-kind concert by the only mandolin ensemble in London. Venue: Westminster Music Library, 160 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 9UD Cost: Free, but must be booked in advance. Nearest tube: Victoria Email musiclibrary@ or call 020 7641 6200

Drop-in stop smoking support

19 The Westminster Reporter |

Your Westminster

Your Westminster

professional advisor to find out more about quitting smoking. Venue: Victoria Library, 160 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 9UD Cost: Free Nearest tube: Victoria

Waterbabies Thursdays, 9.30-10.30am Let your little one splash around, have fun and improve their confidence in the water. For ages 0-3. Venue: Queen Mother Sports Centre, 223 Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1V 1EL Cost: £5.85 or £3.70 with a Westminster City Save card Nearest tube: Victoria

Free boxing club Wednesdays, 5-7pm and Fridays, 5-9pm Open to all abilities and fitness levels, keep fit and learn the discipline, conditioning and techniques needed to box. For ages 10-18. Venue: Churchill Gardens Hall, Churchill Gardens, SW1V 3AL

10th March, 12 midday-2pm

Cost: Free

Drop by and speak to a

Nearest tube: Pimlico


Weddings and civil partnerships

Weddings and civil partnerships

Weddings and civil partnerships


ivil registration began in England and Wales in 1837. Before this there was no standardised system to register births, deaths and marriages. The Registrar General would publish statistical reports based on this information to create a depiction of life and death in England and Wales for the first time. The first Registrar General was romantic novelist, Thomas Henry Lister, educated at Westminster School.

For over 150 years, Westminster Registrars have witnessed, officiated and recorded important life events in the community.

Converting to a same sex marriage


ednesday 10th December 2014 was the first day that couples in a civil partnership were able to convert to a same sex marriage.

The Westminster Reporter |

Andrew Constantinou and Michael Mardon

“It was important for us to be married as we are partners in every apect of our lives and we wanted that to be officially recognised.” Andrew Constantinou

Andrew Constantinou and Michael Mardon were one of the first couples to convert their civil partnership in Westminster. They were also one of the first couples to register a civil partnership on 21st December 2005.

Andrew says: “We tend to do most things together. We are each other’s best friend, which is expected after 26 years together. It was important for us to be married as we are partners in every aspect of our lives and we wanted that to be officially recognised in the same way any marriage is recognised. “We met each other in December and celebrated our civil partnership in December so it is a special month for us. It made sense to convert to a same sex marriage in December as well.” Westminster’s Registrars can convert civil partnerships to marriages at our register office in Westminster City Hall. There is no ceremony attached to the conversion but if you would like a non-official ceremony at Mayfair Library or any of our 140 licensed venues across Westminster at a later date just let us know when you book your appointment. The conversion process is free until Wednesday 9th December 2015 if you registered your civil partnership before Saturday 29th March 2014. Fashion entrepreneur Mary Portas and her partner Melanie Rickey were one of the first couples in the country to convert to marriage at 12.01am on Wednesday 10th December at Westminster City Hall. Cllr Robert Davis spoke at a reception to celebrate the conversions and said: “This is a landmark day and Westminster City Council is proud to be with you every step of the way.”  all 020 7641 7500 or visit C uk/same-sex-marriage for more information.

Mary Portas, Superintendent Registrar Alison Cathcart and Melanie Rickey

Winter wedding discounts


ouples who opt for a winter wedding, civil partnership or renewal of vows in January or February 2015 can take advantage of exclusive offers including 20% off ceremony fees at our approved venues. These include the elegant Asia House, romantic Mayfair Library or any of 140 licensed venues in Westminster.

To check availability and book a January or February Westminster wedding call 020 7641 7500 and quote the code ‘Winter Wedding 2015’. Offer applies to bookings made before 12th February 2015. Venue hire discounts are also available. Visit for details.

The importance of the General Register Office’s work was evident during the cholera outbreak of 1853 when William Farr used the death statistics to identify drinking water as the cause of cholera. Marriage registers are still hand written in registers almost identical to those first used in 1837. Computers have replaced hand written birth and death registers, however the computer print outs are still kept in registers and locked away every day. The Westminster Register Office holds thousands of registers dating back to 1837 including the birth registration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the marriage registrations of Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Theodore Roosevelt, and the death registration of Florence Nightingale.  all 020 7641 7500 or visit C uk/marriage for more information about registrar services in Westminster.

The Westminster Reporter |

A short history



Reporting antisocial behaviour


The Westminster Reporter |

Get married in Marylebone


Reporting antisocial behaviour If you see something in your area which concerns you, or an incident of nuisance or disorder, report it, don’t assume someone has already told us about it.


nti-social behaviour includes noise complaints, nuisance neighbours, threatening behaviour, rubbish dumping and rough sleeping.

Step one

A stunning 18th century Georgian townhouse in the heart of London Couples can now get married in the elegant rooms of Asia House, an oasis of calm just five minutes from Oxford Circus and Marylebone High Street. Choose from four Georgian style rooms with original features including classically painted ceilings, marble fireplaces and stunning chandeliers. The Westminster Reporter |

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships are available at Asia House from Fridays to Sundays for up to 100 guests. Ceremonies start from just ÂŁ420.

You can help our teams investigate anti-social behaviour by keeping a record of the incidents. Writing down the times and dates, and keeping vehicle registration logs can help, especially if there could be CCTV footage. Photographs and details of each incident will also help when we are gathering evidence but avoid putting yourself at risk.

Step two Once you have this information contact us to report the issue. Call 020 7641 1085 or email communityprotection@ Noise complaints should be reported by calling 020 7641 2000.

Step three Once an issue has been reported, the complaint will be passed on to your local Community Protection Officer who will begin working with the police or your housing association to help resolve the problem.

Your local Westminster Warden may want to visit and talk to you about the incident to find out more. Throughout the process you can talk to your Community Protection Officer who will keep you informed about how the incident is being dealt with. T o find out more about anti-social behaviour visit

If you’ve reported three incidents of anti-social behaviour in the last six months and feel the complaints have not been properly addressed you can request a review. F ind out more at

For more information and to check availability visit @WestminsterRO

Our Residential Environmental Health team can help if poor conditions in your home are having an impact on your health, safety and wellbeing. Visit

Have your say on the future of our city We are creating a new city plan for Westminster and would like your views on our recommendations for new planning policy.


he plan considers local issues and national planning policy to create policies specific to Westminster. Over the next few months we are consulting on new policies for office to residential conversions, heritage views and tall buildings, energy policy, affordable housing, the West End and our overall vision for the city. This is your chance to tell us what you want your city to look like. T o view the booklets and tell us your views visit revision-westminsters-city-plan



Youth Elections

Instead of starting the New Year vowing to give something up, why not focus on making a positive change such as taking up recycling, recycling more or becoming a Recycling Champion?

Become a Recycling Champion


ecycling Champions are volunteers who help people to recycle in their local area. You don’t need any experience to be a champion and there’s lots of different ways to get involved.


recycle because it’s important for the environment. Our world is going to one day run out of resources with our constantly growing population so I want to play my small part in helping. If everyone contributed the same it would be a very different world that we live in. It doesn’t make any sense to put items that can be recycled into a rubbish bin that is right next to a recycling bin. “Since becoming a Recycling Champion I’ve arranged for my block of flats to have a large recycling bin put in place. I have also been giving out recycling bags in my neighbourhood so people have no excuse not to recycle.”

Amanda Shepherd, Recycling Champion for St. Petersburgh Place in Bayswater Find out more about recycling and becoming a Recycling Champion at or call 020 7641 2000.

The Westminster Reporter |

Giv e and Take Pimlico Judith Larkin


he people I speak to want to know why it’s important to recycle and where their recycling goes. Everyone has their own reasons for recycling but I do it for the sake of my estate. It’s also important on a bigger scale. If we keep throwing everything away it will lead to problems.”

Judith Larkin, Recycling Champion for the Tachbrook Estate in Pimlico

ty, Drop off your unloved, good quali icals, clothes, shoes, toys and electr rails! the then return to raid

Put out your Every Sunday from 11am – 3pm Outside Warwick Avenue Tube Stat on ion, bags ing W9 2PT recycl nts Hall, Lillington and Longmore Reside Road, SW1V 2LF 57 Vauxhall Bridge ay by 8am Tuesd for London TH SATURDAY 4 OCT, 10AM–4PM

day, Drop off your items 10am-mid pick up new things from 1pm




ur Recycling Champions have compiled some of the most common questions they are asked about recycling. If you have any more recycling questions please tweet @CityWestminster #recyclingfaqs.

What can I recycle?


ou can recycle the following items in your recycling bag or box or communal recycling bins: • mixed paper and card • plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays • glass bottles and jars • food tins and drinks cans

What happens to my recycling?


our recycling is sent to a recycling plant in Greenwich, Wandsworth or Southwark where it is separated into different materials and baled. It is then sent to recyclers such as metal smelters and paper mills at home and abroad to be made into new products. Some examples of where your recycling goes are below:

Paper UK or Korea

• cartons including tetrapaks


Clothing and small electrical items can be recycled in on-street banks around the city. You can find your nearest at

Glass bottles and jars

Why should I recycle? It’s cheaper to recycle than to throw materials away as waste People in Westminster save around £0.5 million every year by recycling. Recycling saves energy Using recycled materials to make new products uses much less energy than producing them from raw materials. Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to power a television for five hours. UK recycling saves 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of taking five million cars off the road. Recycling conserves natural resources and habitats When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products instead of extracting new materials through mining and forestry.

2015 Youth Elections


New glass bottles and jars, road surfacing

Aluminium cans Cheshire

New drinks cans

Plastic bottles Dagenham, Ireland and China

New plastic bottles, piping and fleece

Facts and figures 90% of the paper used for British newspapers is recycled glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled again and again drinks cans are made of around 50% recycled aluminium a fleece jacket can be made from 20 recycled plastic bottles the paper you recycle can be made into a new newspaper and be in a shop in just seven days

Soleen Rashed


re you 11 to 18-yearsold? Do you care about issues affecting young people in Westminster? Then vote in the 2015 Youth Elections and elect a new Youth and Deputy Youth MP. Current Youth MP, Soleen Rashed, says: “During my one-year term I’ve met with decision makers to make sure the voices of young people in Westminster are heard. Now it’s your turn to get involved and vote online for the candidate who you feel will best represent you.” Voting opens on Monday 16th February and closes at midnight on Sunday 15th March. The election result will be announced on the night of Monday 23rd March. Vote online at uk/youthelections and follow the election campaign on Twitter using #WestminsterYMP.

The Westminster Reporter |

Recycling focus

Frequently asked questions Vote in the



Westminster Remembers

Advice services

Victoria Cross memorial

If you are concerned about managing your money or are in debt, there’s free guidance and support to help you through the council-funded Westminster Advice Services Partnership. You can also find out how to deal with landlord problems or get advice on employment disputes.

From 2014-2018 we commemorate the centenary of the First World War. As part of these commemorations a new memorial has been unveiled in Victoria Embankment Gardens to honour those who received The Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded to members of the armed forces for great courage in the face of the enemy.

Free drop-in sessions North Westminster Mondays, 1.30-4.30pm Venue: Beethoven Community Centre, Third Avenue, W10 4JL Wednesdays, 10.30am-12.30pm Venue: Church Street Library, 67 Church Street, NW8 8EU Wednesdays, 10am-12.30pm Venue: Migrants Resource Centre, Derry House, Penfold Street, NW8 8HJ

Central Westminster Tuesdays, 5.30-7pm Venue: Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau, 21a Conduit Place, W2 1HS

South Westminster

Mrs Blaize (left)

The Westminster Reporter |


was working as an interpreter when I lost my job. I quickly ran out of money, was evicted from my flat and became homeless. My total debts were £12,400 and the stress was causing problems with my health. With help and advice, my debts were written off, my health has improved and I have started looking for a new job.” John


efore I went into hospital I was claiming benefits but when my neighbours had not seen me for a while they thought I had moved away and the post for my benefits was sent back to the office, resulting in them being

stopped. I visited a drop-in session at the Citizens Advice Bureau and my benefits have now been set up again and I received the back payments.” Andy


was in an abusive relationship with my husband when I made the decision to leave with my three young children. Previously, my husband had dealt with all the finances so I was overwhelmed when I received a bill for £3,959 for an overpaid tax credit. I went to the Citizens Advice Bureau, and with their help the bill was reduced to £795.” Asma

Tuesdays, 10am-12.30pm Venue: South Westminster Legal Advice Centre, 246 Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1V 1AU


had nowhere else to turn for help and advice. At the Citizens Advice Bureau I was able to see someone right away who assessed my problem and then booked me an appointment with the employment caseworker. My confidence has been restored and I am now very happy.” Mrs Blaize, pictured. T o find out more visit or call 08444 771 611. Westminster advice services are delivered by Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK Westminster and the Migrants Resource Centre.


n the 25th November 1914 Lieutenant Frank de Pass lost his life during a second attempt to capture a German ‘sap’ or small trench near Festubert in France. The day before, Frank had entered the trench under heavy fire and rescued a wounded man lying exposed. However, by 25th November the Germans had reoccupied the trench and Frank was shot by a sniper during this second attempt to recapture the trench. For his bravery, Frank de Pass was honoured with a posthumous Victoria Cross and became the first Jewish person to receive one.

“Even in the midst of war, his exceptional bravery and valour was recognised by his comrades” Cllr Audrey Lewis, Lord Mayor of Westminster

On the 25th November 2014, exactly 100 years later, a new memorial pavement stone was unveiled in Victoria Embankment Gardens as the first of ten

The Lord Mayor of Westminster with the descendants of Frank de Pass at the commemoration ceremony

Westminster born Victoria Cross recipients who will be honoured over the next four years. Frank de Pass was the first person of the Jewish faith and the first Indian Army Officer to receive the Victoria Cross. The memorial is part of a

national campaign to honour those who received the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Commemorative stones will be laid over the next four years to mark the date when the recipients were awarded the Victoria Cross close to where they

were born or lived. The Victoria Cross awarded to Frank de Pass is on display at The National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4HT. Visit westminsterremembers for local listings or for national events.

The Westminster Reporter |

Free advice services




Arts and culture

There are also courses for young people aged 14 to 26 who want to develop their comedy, theatre or writing skills. Cost: Course prices range from £75 to £100 with free bursaries available.


ver 95% of events at The Royal Academy of Music are free including lunchtime performances, concerts and masterclasses. Drop-in on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1pm or attend a low-cost concert.

Find out more at or call the box office on 020 7873 7300.

Academy Song Circle: Valentine’s Concert

Count Basie: Kansas City to New York

Thursday 12th February, 7.30pm

Wednesday 4th March, 7.30pm

A recital of songs and duets in English, French and German which explore the theme of love.

A night of the best swinging big band music.

Cost: £7.50, concessions £5.50

Cost: Cost: £7.50, concessions £5.50

Community choirs The Westminster Reporter |


here are four community choirs in Westminster including the ENO community choir, Church Street Community Singers, Harrow Road Community Choir and South Westminster Community Choir. They are open to everyone and you don’t need to audition to join.

Find out more at Westminster Music Library hosts free concerts and music workshop throughout the year. Find out what’s on at

Get involved in shaping your neighbourhood

Family days at the Serpentine Galleries


Venue: Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA Soho Theatre

Venue: Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens, W2 2AR

What’s on at Soho Theatre?

Visit for details.

Soho Theatre offers new theatre, comedy and cabaret alongside education and writers’ projects in the heart of London. There are regular captioned, audio and British Sign Language interpreted comedy and theatre performances.

Discounted West End theatre

Cost: Tickets cost from £10 Full show listings are available at


Every year over 12,500 planning applications are made to the council. Planning has a huge impact on the future of the city and the area you live and it’s important you have your say.

Visit young-people or call 020 7478 0113 to find out more.

Every year the two Serpentine Galleries run a series of free, artist-led creative activities that help children aged five to 11 and their parents or carers to discover contemporary art, architecture and design.

Free and low-cost concerts

Shaping the future of your city

Receive up to 70% off top West End shows plus an extra 10% off at checkout with a Westminster City Save card. Visit to book or to apply for a card.

e have 24 pairs of tickets to ENO concerts in February and March to give away including La traviata on 6th February, The Indian Queen on 23rd February and Tosca on 20th March.


ENO dress rehearsal tickets

To enter please email by Friday 30th January 2015 for La traviata or Friday 13th February for The Indian Queen and Tosca including your full name and postal address. Winners will be picked at random.

eighbourhood forums are a new way to influence development in your area. As a member of a forum your collective ideas will be used to develop local planning policy. Six neighbourhood forums are in place so far in Mayfair, Soho, Church

“Our vision is to create a sense of community for Mayfair. Being a Neighbourhood Forum gives us the opportunity to create a planning document which gives weight to decisions in the area.” Will Bux, Mayfair Neighbourhood Forum

Street, Westbourne, Notting Hill East and Belgravia focusing on issues such as protecting architecture, providing community facilities and housing. Groups in Marylebone, Fitzrovia West, St. James’s, Pimlico and Victoria are also setting up forums.

W To find out more and get involved in neighbourhood forums visit neighbourhoodplanning.

Commenting on applications


ou can search and comment on planning applications online. Visit to look at new applications and recent planning decisions. You can also register to receive email updates about new applications and the status of existing ones. When considering an application the council looks at planning issues such as impact on neighbours’ daylight and privacy, traffic and the appearance of the area. Where something is changing use we will also consider the loss of that service to the community. We cannot refuse

Basement extensions

hilst basement extensions provide essential extra room, we recognise that they may cause concern for some people and construction works can be disruptive. We have introduced new guidance which explains our planning policies and the powers we have to manage and control basement works. We are also working on a new planning policy which will help us to limit their size and impact on the surrounding properties.

To view the guidance and find out more visit

permission because of the effect on property values or construction noise, but we can restrict the hours of work to reduce disturbance.


to look at new applications and recent planning decisions.

Westminster is at the forefront of new developments in central London and areas such as Victoria and the West End are seeing a lot of exciting change. Many of these plans were approved under the leadership of Rosemarie MacQueen, Strategic Director for the Built Environment who worked at the council for 38 years and retired in September last year.

For more information about redevelopment


29 The Westminster Reporter |

Arts and culture

ENO dress rehearsal tickets



Over to you

Kathleen Peacock, 62, from Little Venice joined the City Guides after being a London Ambassador at the London 2012 Games.


’ve lived in Westminster for almost 30 years and by volunteering I am really able to give back to the community. The volunteering I do is local and very convenient. “In December I volunteered at the Regent Street Christmas lights switch on. Our role was to let the public know about the event by handing out leaflets and also to provide tourist information. I also helped at Silence in the Square organised by The Royal British Legion in Trafalgar Square to mark the two minute silence on Armistice Day.

“You can choose what you want to do as a City Guide. There are so many different things to get involved in, you aren’t expected to show up every time.”

The Westminster Reporter |

Kathleen Peacock

The Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice Credit: R. Squires for the Inland Waterways Association

Kathleen’s Westminster favourites

The Westminster Reporter |

Over to you

Meet the people who are involved in their local area, creating better lives by giving something back to their community

There are lots of ways to recycle Your collection service is just the start. Take a look at how to recycle other items.

Gallery The National Portrait Gallery is a favourite of mine. The history of Britain is there for everyone to see.


Cinema The Everyman Cinema in Maida Vale is my local cinema. It’s wonderful to be able to walk to the cinema and I often see a neighbour. It’s great to have those small local cinemas.

Food and drink Kathleen Peacock

“Last year we helped at the Trooping the Colour. It was something I was very keen to do having seen it on TV but having never been. But I think my favourite event is the Canal Cavalcade which takes place over the May Bank holiday in Little Venice. It’s a community festival with a pageant of boats, live music, Morris Dancers and food and drink. “You can choose what you want to do as a City Guide. There are so many different things to get involved in, you aren’t expected to show up every time, or sign up for the year and a lot of them are at weekends so you can fit it around you if you work full-time.” City Guides volunteer at some of London’s most exciting events including the London Marathon, West End Live, Open House Weekend and film screenings.

To find out more or register as a volunteer visit

My favourite pub is Crocker’s Folly in St. John’s Wood. It’s a Victorian pub that’s just been refurbished.

Join GoodGym


et fit by doing physical work that helps your community. The council supports GoodGym in Westminster to provide volunteering opportunities for people who want to combine volunteering with physical activity. Group runs are open to all abilities and involve clearing land for community gardens and helping out at community centres. You can also go on one-off missions such as important deliveries for older people or changing lightbulbs for people who are unable to.

Find out more at


Black bags




Please do not put these items in your recycling bag or box. It means all your efforts to recycle are wasted as nothing in the bag or box can be recycled.

Clothing and small electrical items Find your nearest recycling bank online.

Garden waste

Plastic bags

Order a discounted compost bin or put in your rubbish bin.

Reuse your plastic bags when shopping.

Questions? Contact us: Visit: • Call: 020 7641 2000 • Email:

for London

Westminster Reporter January 2015