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W E S T M I N S T E R

Issue Issue105 91 AUTUMN 2008 2011 DECEMBER

Westminster City Council magazine

Reuse and reduce UMN AUTChristmas this

Go green New ways How being eco-friendly to pay can cut your costs

EDITION

How you can save waste and money

Pay your Learn bills online

Love your market

new skills

What’s on this autumn? Where does your

Keep a librarywarm near you this winter

Where you can get good quality at great prices

Courses on offer in

recycling go?

WIN!

Help to reduce your fuel bills

Parking Find out what the council does with it changes

£5,000 worth of Selfridges vouchers

WIN!

What they mean for you

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

The Sugababes give Oxford Street the special touch

Love where you live

Rock of Ages theatre tickets See page 7 A meal for two Jazz tickets

Keep Britain Tidy ambassador, Kirstie Allsopp, A E joins the V HA campaign to keep our streets clean

N E E GR ISTMAS

Westminster City Council

CHR

Westminster City Hall 64 Victoria Street London SW1E 6QP

020 7641 6000 westminster.gov.uk

see inside for details


Community Reassurance

to homeownership in Westminster

Do you live or work in Westminster?

The Westminster Reporter is produced as part of Westminster City Council’s customer service programme. Cabinet Member for Communications: Councillor Colin Barrow, Leader of Westminster City Council. The Westminster Reporter is delivered to homes and businesses throughout Westminster.

Homeownership Westminster is a council service that prioritises those currently living or working in the City of Westminster for homeownership and rental ADVERT opportunities through a number of different options. 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: www.homeownershipwestminster.co.uk Email: info@homeownershipwestminster.co.uk Find us on Facebook at Homeownership Westminster

Westminster City Council magazine

Follow us on @HOW_Catalyst

If you encounter delivery problems, please call the communications team on 020 7641 2259. Also available from libraries and leisure centres. For general enquiries, call the council switchboard on 020 7641 6000.

contents Follow us on

@CityWestminster

Justin Lee Collins (right) and Shayne Ward appearing together in ROCK OF AGES THE MUSICAL. See page 26 for your chance to win tickets.

Unlock the door

Issue 105 AUTUMN 2011

To discuss editorial matters, please contact: The Editor, The Westminster Reporter, 17th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria St, London SW1E 6QP. Telephone: 020 7641 2259 Fax: 020 7641 2958 Email: reporter@westminster.gov.uk Minicom: 020 7641 2948 The editorial team: Claire Appleby, Nicky Jackson and Clym Sutcliffe. 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 2259.

much does your 6 How area recycle?

and 21 Clean safe streets

to keep warm 8 How this winter

22 Autumn activities

10 Pay your bills online 18

Parking changes

PLUS Win great prizes – see pages 14 and 26

WIN! WIN!

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.

Homeownership Westminster is delivered by Catalyst Housing Group, a charitable housing association 2 The Westminster Reporter

The Westminster Reporter 3


News in brief

Youth MP’s Column

Opportunities and consequences A young person’s view on the riots.

I

think there are lots of reasons behind last month’s unrest, not one single cause. Some young people have lost hope in the government. Others may think they have nothing to lose – they have given up hope and are affected by the negativity around them. My message is that if you’re going to join in, the consequences will catch up with you. It affects your career and your future. Some young people are positive about the future. They have been given good career advice and take the opportunities that are available to them. Others may not care about school or see a future for themselves.

There are the same opportunities for everyone, but some people take more advantage of them than others. Young people need to get involved. Many young people don’t take advantage of or know about what’s available to them. For example, there are lots of activities to help you prepare for your career such as the Youth Cadets and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme – and most of them are free. My election manifesto was to encourage everyone to take part and be involved in their community. It’s important to care and to get involved. Omar Archer, 13 Youth MP for Westminster

If you want to get involved with the Youth Council or find out more about their work, call Simeon Earnshaw on 020 7641 1048 or email searnshaw@westminster.gov.uk

4 The Westminster Reporter

Leader’s Column

New community council proposed for Queen’s Park

Building a good society Westminster’s response to the riots.

Q

ueen’s Park could become one of the first community councils in London following a petition by local residents. A community or parish council’s powers can include road maintenance, control of litter and creating bylaws. The council will carry out a Community Governance Review across all of Westminster. The review is required before any changes to governance can be made. We will consult with residents and community groups to ensure any changes in governance reflect the interests of local communities. The results of the review are expected in April 2012.

T

Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ communitycouncil to find out more.

Changes to adult social care

Get involved with Fear and Fashion

ou can comment on proposals to change day care services for older people and adults with mental health problems and learning disabilities in our consultation. The deadline is 1st October.

f you’re a parent who is worried about conflict amongst young people and how to resolve it, why not volunteer with the council’s award-winning Fear and Fashion Project? You’ll receive four days of training in conflict resolution to pass on to other parents who want to get involved. Young Leaders in Westminster have already delivered Fear and Fashion anti-knife workshops to over 1,000 young people in youth clubs and secondary schools since the programme launched five years ago.

Y

Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ dayservices

Have your say on CityWest Homes

L

et us know how the service you receive from CityWest Homes could be improved and we will feed it into their new contract in March 2012. CityWest Homes manages the council’s housing. Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ cwhfeedback

I

To find out more about volunteering with Fear and Fashion email sjenkins@westminster.gov.uk

he riots in London shocked many people and give pause for reflection on the causes behind such violence but also on the sort of society that we want to live in and the role each of us plays in building a good society. The most effective response will come from within communities. However, local and national government has a role to play. The police and courts have a duty to protect, prosecute and to bring to justice those who have committed offences. I want to commend the brave actions of Police officers who worked night and day to keep our homes and businesses safe. I know of cases where Policemen stood outnumbered protecting people and property from criminal damage. And I was pleased to see that their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators were matched by the work of the Magistrates in working through the night to dispense justice. Both are clear messages that the rule of law will be enforced, by dedicated public servants. The council too must enforce a standard of behaviour and responsibility, reflecting the views of the vast majority of our residents. We will, for example, evict from council property those who are convicted of offences that damage the society around them. We will give a greater say to law abiding citizens in the running of their estates and neighbourhoods. Personal responsibility is at the heart of our idea of Westminster as a Living City, where individuals and families can thrive.

We must give young people hope and opportunities to succeed. Good education and permanent jobs are part of the route. So we are introducing schemes that work intensively with young people who would otherwise go off the rails – encouraging them back into the work place. We will help those who are struggling with raising a family. Intervening early with troubled families is proven to save money whilst avoiding anti-social behaviour that can blight a neighbourhood. The council’s Family Recovery Programme, which has led the way nationally, has shown that it is possible to help those families who are most in need. Citizen, community and state all have a role and responsibility for making and creating the good society that we want to live in; a society that is safe, secure and just and one that provides opportunities for all. These are the obligations that I believe that the council, acting on behalf of residents and communities, has and will continue to honour and deliver through its work and policies.

Cllr Colin Barrow cbe, Leader of Westminster City Council The Westminster Reporter 5


SUMMER

727

EDITION

Local events

Last year Westminster residents saved £½ million by recycling – that’s equivalent to 727 council tax bills

Love Food Hate Waste 2 November, 4-5.30pm

Let’s recycle even more. Find out how at www .recycleforlondon.com/local

Save money by recycling

We all know recycling is good for the environment, but did you know that it’s also a cheaper and more efficient way to get rid of waste? Last year Westminster residents saved £½ million by recycling – that’s equivalent to 727 council tax bills, or nearly 200,000 meals on wheels.

E

ach tonne of rubbish costs £53 to dispose of, whereas a tonne of recycling costs only £30 to process – that’s a 40% saving on everything you recycle. Most residents in

How much does your area recycle? Harrow Road has the highest doorstep recycling rate in Westminster, and saved around £12,000 by recycling last year. Check out the table below to see the doorstep recycling rate in your area. Harrow Road 54% Maida Vale 47% Vincent Square 46% Regent’s Park 43% Queen’s Park 40% Little Venice 40% Abbey Road 39% Hyde Park 36% Knightsbridge 36% and Belgravia Churchill 35%

6 The Westminster Reporter

Bryanston and 30% Dorset Square Church Street 29% Westbourne 29% Bayswater 28% Marylebone 27% High Street Tachbrook 25% St. James’s 23% Lancaster Gate 22% West End 18% Warwick 15%

Westminster recycle, but there’s still more to do. If everyone in Westminster recycled everything they could, next year we could save £1 million.

Cookery demonstrations, health advice and information on how to reduce food waste. Mobile recycling centre

Jane Taylor, 62, from Pimlico, says:

Sundays, 12 midday-4.30pm

“B

Bring along small electrical items, clothes, CDs and DVDs, printer cartridges and more.

Pimlico Academy, Lupus Street, SW1V 3AT

eing able to put all your recycling in together makes it so much quicker and easier.”

Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ recycling for details of the latest recycling events.

David Beale

Harley Smyth, 20, lives on the Harrow Road with his mum and sister who all recycle. He says:

Jane Taylor

David Beale, 48, from Vincent Square has been a committed recycler for 10 years. He says:

“I

t’s quite easy to recycle, mainly because I don’t have to separate anything. Mixed recycling makes it much easier. For me, it’s part of my routine and I’ll keep doing it. Once I’ve finished a cereal packet I’ll just rip up the cardboard and put it in my recycling container. If it was a hassle I probably wouldn’t do it but it’s not hard to throw my recycling in a different bin. “It doesn’t take any time out of my day and it saves lots of money. Most Harley Smyth of my street recycles. “I think a lot of people think: what will change if I recycle? But once they know the benefits of saving money and the environment then it may help.”

The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU

“W

hy not recycle? It’s just as easy as throwing things away. And the collections in Westminster are really regular.”

Recycle even more • look out for on-street micro recycling centres across the city to recycle books, electrical appliances, clothes and more. Enter your postcode at www.recyclenow.com to find your nearest bin • recycle batteries at your local library, or some high street stores such as Tesco, Boots and Ryness. For more information on recycling in Westminster visit www.westminster. gov.uk/recycling You can also visit www.recyclenow.com and enter your postcode to find out what you can recycle.

New smart lights to save millions We are introducing 14,000 new smart lights over the next four years to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

T

he lights will be adjusted remotely depending on the level of darkness and will be monitored by the council’s CCTV service. Busy areas can remain fully lit while light levels can be reduced in quieter areas. Smart lights use around 20% less energy and at less busy times can be dimmed to work at 75% capacity. It is the first major scheme of its kind in the country following a pilot of 2,000 lights. The smart lights will save £420,000 a year, after the cost of implementing the scheme is recovered. For more information call the Environmental Action Line on 020 7641 2000.

The Westminster Reporter 7


AUTUMN

Other help

EDITION

Keep warm this winter Rising prices and severe cold weather mean that some households spend more than 10% of their income on heating bills. Find out how the council can help you or a friend or neighbour to keep warm and save money this winter.

S

everine Felix, 72, Queen’s Park, called the council for help when her boiler broke down. She says: “They helped me to apply for an energy grant to replace my boiler. They’re not cheap, so I was very grateful. They also helped to repair the front of the house where cracks were beginning to appear.” “Try putting on a woolly jumper before turning the heating up a few degrees.” Ann Parsons, 75, Vincent Square

The Emergency Heating Repair Scheme is just one of many grants available. A Decent Homes grant is available to any low income home owner to carry out heating and insulation works to their home. Home owners and people renting privately in Queen’s Park and Harrow Road wards can also take advantage of a loft insulation grant and free hire of energy monitors from Queen’s Park Library. Private tenants and housing association tenants who are unhappy with the condition of their home can ask the council to carry out an assessment of their homes. If the council finds the property to be below standard, it will put 8 The Westminster Reporter

“They helped me to apply for an energy grant to replace my boiler. They’re not cheap, so I was very grateful.” Severine Felix, Queen’s Park

pressure on the landlord to put things right. The council also provides grants, benefits and advice to help residents financially cope in the winter months. Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North urges residents in need to ask for help. She says: “Thousands of residents are now at risk because soaring fuel bills are forcing a choice K ar en Buck M P between a cold home or struggling to pay the bills. No-one should have to go cold in the winter. Yet help may be available – whether with improving insulation and cutting bills or managing debt. I am urging people to seek advice and assistance as early as possible.” “Insulating your home is very important. My curtains are really thick and I make sure that they are drawn in the winter, it prevents drafts, keeps the heat in and the bills down.” Terence Stafford, 72, Tachbrook

Call 020 7641 6161 or visit www. westminster.gov.uk/energy for more information.

• Warm Front grant: a government grant for low income owner occupiers and those renting privately to make heating and insulation improvements up to £3,500. Where this is not enough to cover costs, a top-up grant from the council is also available. For more information, call the Warm Front team on 0800 316 2805 • Turn2Us: help to access the grants that are available to you. Call 0808 802 2000 or visit www.turn2us.org.uk • Warm Home Discount: if you’re aged over 60, contact your energy suppliers to see if you’re eligible for a Warm Home Discount on your bills. You may also be able to join a Priority Register with your utility company to receive free services such as regular meter readings • Energy Saving Trust: you may be able to get a grant to insulate your home from your utility company. Call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 • Charis Grant: help from British Gas, EDF and NPower to pay overdue fuel bills. Call 01733 421 021 or visit www. charisgrants.com • if you are unable to pay your bills, contact your utility company and arrange a payment plan. You can also contact the Home Heat Helpline for independent advice on 0800 336699

Simple tips to stay warm • make sure wall cavities and lofts are insulated

• make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed • in very cold weather set the heating to come on earlier rather than turning the thermostat up • fit draft proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors • insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes • wear plenty of thin layers rather than thick ones • wear bed socks or thermal underwear at night.


AUTUMN

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see the map on the next page to find your nearest. • You can get help to go online in Westminster libraries. Go to a location marked on the map to get some help using a Your One Stop Express machine. • If you don’t need help, you can access council services online at home or using Your One Stop Express at locations marked on the map. • From September 2011, if you are a CityWest Homes resident, you can use a Your One Stop Express machine at area service centres and some estate offices. Go to a location marked on the map.

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10 The Westminster Reporter

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he easiest way is to go online at www.westminster. gov.uk/youronestoponline. You’ll find quick links to all the most popular council services, including paying your council tax or rent, applying for and renewing your parking permit, applying for a MyWestminster ResCard, renewing your library books and much more. Alternatively, you can now visit Your One Stop Express self-serve machines in convenient locations across the city, including libraries, Children’s Centres and community centres. CityWest Homes residents can use area service centres and some estate offices – places you might be going anyway, which are at the heart of communities in the city. This means that you will be able to do more of your business with the council in one place, close to home – saving you time and making things simpler. Your One Stop Express self service machines offer FREE access to council services online, including card payments, and have been available at 12 locations since the end of August. We’ll keep adding more throughout 2011. And don’t forget, you can pay for many council services by card, cash or cheque in your local Post Office Branch –

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One Stop Services in Westminster are changing. In the past, face-to-face council services and payments have been available through our One Stop Services. These services are closing over the next few months and, instead, you can access council services in your local libraries, community and Children’s Centres. You’ll also be able to pay for services at your local Post Office Branch.

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EDITION

Pay for parking tickets and resident permit renewals Apply for a new resident parking permit or make changes to an existing permit Pay council tax Pay rent Pay any council bill that has a bank giro credit slip Pay business rates Pay for commercial waste Buy street trading vouchers View planning applications

• To Forfind card, and cheque payments, also go outcash more about where you can you get can online help to any Westminster Branch – marked on and make payments, Post go toOffice www.westminster.gov. the map. uk/youronestop

Find information and apply for council services Use a freephone to speak to someone at the council

The Westminster Reporter 11


100 ine at l n o e t a n i Nom ster. n i m t s e w . www ards w a e v i t c a gov.uk/ t tion form a a in m o n a or pick up centre by re u is le l a c your lo . mber 2011 30th Septe

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Nominate someone special in the ActiveWestminster awards

If you know someone who has made a difference through sport or physical activity, make sure they’re recognised by nominating them in this year’s ActiveWestminster Awards. Award winners will receive tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games and everyone who nominates will be entered into a prize draw to win free gym membership. It could be a community sports coach, a volunteer or anyone who has improved lives through physical activity.

Andrew Morrison, Samba Street Soccer

The Olympic Inspire Mark is awarded to innovative projects that inspire young people to take part in sport.

W

estminster has won the Inspire Mark for 12 Olympic-inspired programmes, including: • 100 hours of free sport and physical activities, every week for children and young people • a new workforce of ‘activators’ to promote sport participation in physical activity and open spaces • sports and outdoor education volunteering • Olympic-style school sport competitions.

Categories are: Meet the 2010 winners: Samba Street Soccer –

1. Active resident 2. Active volunteer 3. Active school 4. Coach/community exercise instructor 5. Active club 6. Active place 7. Physical activity, health and wellbeing 8. Inclusive and active to increase access to sport and leisure 9. Champion of the Future 10. Participant or coach at the London Youth Games 11. Outstanding contribution

Westminster wins Olympic recognition

community sports club highly commended

H

ead Coach, Andrew Morrison, says: “I used to play professionally until I had a bad injury. But I still loved football and I used to go and kick a football around in the park. “Kids started coming up and saying: ‘Can we play with you?’ so I started showing them ball skills. Eventually, I set up Samba Street Soccer. “I now have over 100 kids and we train four days a week. I’ve got kids who have been banned from youth centres, ones with health issues, you name it... but none of my under 10s are excluded from school anymore.”

Call 020 7641 2012 or visit www. westminster.gov.uk/inspire to find out how you can be a part of London’s 2012 Olympic legacy in Westminster.

Get active during ActiveWestminster Weekend Jubilee Hall Trust and The Abbey Centre –

Head to your local leisure centre on the 19th and 20th of November for a weekend of FREE and discounted activities for all ages and abilities.

physical activity, health and wellbeing winner

F

ree dance classes at The Abbey Centre have helped older people to improve their health through physical activity, from ballroom to Bollywood. Doreen Valerie, who goes to the ballroom dancing classes, says: “I come to the classes to learn to dance and all the different steps. It’s a great place not only to keep active but to have fun and make friends.”

Across Westminster’s leisure centres, there will be FREE: • gym access • sports tournaments • street dance • football

• martial arts • taster sessions • competitions • plus lots more.

Call your local leisure centre or visit www.westminster.gov.uk/activeweekend to find out what’s on near you. Doreen Valerie

12 The Westminster Reporter

The Westminster Reporter 13


AUTUMN

studying at Westminster’s adult education centres 13,000 people

EDITION

You’re hired

Get the career you want With the job market more competitive than ever, now could be the right time to gain a new qualification or skill by joining the 13,000 people studying at Westminster’s adult education centres.

W

estminster Adult Education Service (WAES) works with the “I wish I had done it years council and voluntary organisations ago... there’s a lot of to give you access to more than 1,100 camaraderie between courses at 80 venues across the city. students. We all learn with Courses are for people both in and and from each other.” out of work and cater for all abilities, Charles Pina, 43, from Pimlico with courses ranging from IT and teacher training, to fashion and family learning. “I wish I had done it years ago. I took Ali Alali Al Ab, an introductory class once a week and 40, took English am now looking to take the next classes to help grade up. Studying is a great way to him in his career meet new people, there’s a lot of as an electronic camaraderie between students. We technician when all learn with and from each other.” he moved to Ali Alali Al Ab Barbara Holm, Head of Service at England from WAES, says: “If you want to gain a Iraq. He says: “The teachers at WAES qualification, go on to higher education, were very encouraging and my English find the right business has improved hugely. I completed training or simply classes alongside an interpreting learn more about course and it has been a real boost your interests, to my CV.” we have Levels range from beginner to something advanced, with classes during the for you.” day, evening and weekend, so you can fit them around work and family. Charles Pina, 43, from Pimlico, is a classical singer who took an Italian Charles Pina course last year. He says:

Khouloud El-Jamal (right) at work

Schools in Westminster have the chance to take part in a new Young Enterprise programme to develop the skills and confidence of young entrepreneurs whilst they are still at school. tudents are invited to apply for the programme as if they are applying for a job. They then have the opportunity to form their own companies or social enterprises, open their own company bank account, market their product or service and trade with the public. Some schools in the city already operate the scheme and the council is now supporting a city-wide roll out with £20,000 funding. Westminster Academy is one of the schools running the scheme this autumn to enable students to develop their business ideas with the help of a business mentor. Westminster Academy pupil Khouloud El-Jamal, 13, runs a makeup booth and makeover service at her school’s

Ter ms and con ditio ns app ly.

n A Morocca t oa meal for tw a n Souk Medi

Indulge in an authentic feast for two at lively Moroccan restaurant Souk Medina in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. Enjoy Tagines and Mezze selections against a backdrop of hypnotic belly dancers and Souk’s exotic décor. Email reporter@westminster.gov.uk to enter our prize draw to win a £100 meal for two inclusive of service

charge. Deadline for entries is 1st November 2011.

“I enjoy talking about products and making a sale.” Khouloud El-Jamal, 13, Westminster Academy pupil

enterprise market which she hopes to develop through the Young Enterprise programme. She says: “I’m excited about Young Enterprise because I like doing business. I really enjoy talking about products and making a sale.” For more information about Young Enterprise, visit www.young-enterprise.org.uk/london or call 020 7549 1980.

Enjoy some autumn jazz at Café in the Crypt, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. Listen to swinging musicians as you enjoy fantastic food and drink and soak up some stunning Georgian architecture. Jazz Nights are every Wednesday at 8pm. Email marketing@smitf.org by 1st October for your chance to win a pair of tickets in our prize draw.

I

To find out more about what’s on offer in Seven Dials visit sevendials.co.uk

14 The Westminster Reporter

Visit www.smitf.org for more information.

WIN!

Free tickets to jazz night at Café in the Crypt

ms an dc ond itio ns a pply .

S

WIN!

at 80 venues across the city 1,100 courses

r Te

For more information about the courses visit www.waes.ac.uk, call 020 7297 7297 or follow WAES on Facebook and twitter.

Get back to work WAES can also help you with CVs, job applications, interviews, and how to find and decide on a new career direction.

M

onika Swiatek, 31, from Poland, did a make-up course to help her to get a job in the industry. She says: “I did this course to improve my Monika Swiatek professional skills. I made lots of friends and met other make-up artists so we can help each other with work and contacts.” Media graduate, Falk-Hagen Bernshausen, 32, has completed four photography and video courses at WAES. He says: “The classes have really motivated me and allowed me to get hands on experience with subjects I’d like to pursue a career in.”

Falk-Hagen Bernshausen

The Westminster Reporter 15


Get out and about with a car from Westminster Car Club PAY-AS-YOU-GO driving ACCESS to over 100 cars in London and 8,000 worldwide RESERVE, UNLOCK AND DRIVE any vehicle 24/7/365 FREE Parking in the City of Westminster*

Join Westminster Car Club and get

£25 FREE driving

Just visit westminster.gov.uk/carclub and quote ‘0911REPORTER’ to get yours.

Join a Writers’ Group If you’re a budding author or a secret scribbler, why not try our new Writers’ Group?

Are you creative, looking for a new hobby, or do you just love reading? There’s lots going on at your local library, so why not try something new?

Y

Book clubs

I

f you’d like to get more out of reading and make some new friends in the process, why not try one of our book clubs? Read exciting new books and discuss them in a fun and friendly environment. Paulo from Paddington says: “By talking about what we’ve read, we also get the opportunity to discuss real life situations. It really builds relationships between group members and breaks down barriers so you get to know different people.” If you don’t want to read books in advance, try a ‘Share a Book’ group, where you can read short stories, poems or extracts together. There’s no need to book, you can just turn up and join in as much or as little as you like. Lynne, who goes to the Share a Book group at Paddington Library said: “Talking to other people s ta

FREE fuel and mileage allowance** per day

Love your library

Pa ul

o oC

“Talking to other people who love to read adds another layer to your enjoyment...” who love to read adds another layer to your enjoyment as everyone has different views. I look forward to the group every week.” For more information visit www.westminster.gov.uk/bookgroups

16 The Westminster Reporter You need to be 19+ and meet safe driver standards to join. First year joining fee is £25. Offer not valid in conjunction with other offer or promotion and expires 31/12/2011. *Free parking subject to minimum parking charge and limited to 1 hour per stay. **See website for details of mileage allowance.

ch

Lynne Church, Paddington Library Share a Book group

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ou can join group discussions about your work or just come along to work with others. The group is currently working together on a short story for a competition entry. The Writers’ Group meets the second Tuesday of each month, at Paddington Library from 6.30 to 8pm.

Top five reading group books 1. Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones 2. The Testament of Gideon Mack, James Robertson 3. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak 4. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Paul Torday 5. Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie For more information email Laurence Foe at lfoe@westminster.gov.uk

The Westminster Reporter 17


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18 The Westminster Reporter

New look for Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square

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ver the past year we have carried out a major review of parking across the city for the first time in 10 years. This review has led to the development of nine new parking policies, which are being introduced experimentally over the next few months.

The policies are: • an extension of paid-for parking hours into weekday and Saturday evenings in the West End (Zones E and G) • the introduction of paid-for parking hours on Sundays between 1pm and 6pm in some central areas (Zones E, G, F3 and F6) • a review of the current visitor parking scheme, to make it easier for visitors and carers to park • increasing the charge for a second and subsequent residents’ parking permit • consideration of a way in which local societies and organisations could request a review of parking boundaries and controls • improvement to waiting and loading in central Westminster for commercial vehicles • a review of the current green driving measures in Westminster, including the Westminster Car Club and provision of on-street car charging points • a review of yellow lines across the city • the introduction of more taxi hubs and marshalled taxi ranks.

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e spoke to some residents to ask what they think of the new policies – and how they think they’ll be affected:

David Rennie, 66, West End

“I

think that charging more for second and third parking permits is a good thing. There are already too many cars in the city, so I’d welcome any move to discourage their use.”

David Rennie

Gary Doran, 28, Biggin Hill, South London

“L

ess parking restrictions for commercial vehicles – and more loading bays – would definitely be a good thing for Westminster. Workmen like myself struggle to attend various jobs without running the risk of getting a ticket.”

Gary Doran

Sonja Redman

Sonja Redman, 77, Tachbrook

“I

’m not completely against parking charges, I understand that they are there for a reason, but I’d really like to see more parking meters that accept coins, making it easier for you to pay.”

Westminster’s streets, roads and iconic public spaces are being improved to cut congestion and improve road safety.

T

he works will also ensure some of the city’s busiest locations are ready for an influx of visitors during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Traffic can now drive in both directions along Pall Mall and St. James’s Street for the first time since 1963. More road improvements are being made on Piccadilly, Pall Mall and St James’s Street to cut congestion and the area around the statue of Eros on Piccadilly Circus is also being improved for pedestrians. The redevelopment of one of Westminster’s busiest areas, Leicester Square, is in full swing. The square’s gardens are being reshaped and new paving, seating and lighting installed. The work is set to be completed by April 2012. Kingly Street in the heart of Soho has been pedestrianised, joining nearby Carnaby Street and other shopping destinations to be a more attractive and safer place to shop. For more information visit www. westminster.gov.uk/p2w

The Westminster Reporter 19


AUTUMN

nominee for a Civic Community Award could win £500 £500 Your

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A new community map makes it easier than ever to find volunteering opportunities close to where you live or work.

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e are working with Volunteer Centre Westminster and Voluntary Action Westminster to get every organisation in Westminster that relies on volunteers to advertise their opportunities on the community map. This will make it easy for you to see how you can get involved with your community. You can search for what interests you, from working with children to sports coaching and improving the environment. You can also apply online. Just click on the opportunity you’re interested in to send the organisation a message.

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Turly Humphries, is the director of Circle Sports, a social enterprise ir based in Church ph Turley Hum Street that relies on volunteers from the local community. She says:

hero

Do you know someone inspirational? Nominate them for an award and they could win £500.

T

he Civic Community Awards are all about recognising and rewarding the people and organisations that make Westminster such a great place to live and work. This year’s categories include working with older people, young person of the year and partnership of the year. Nominations open on 7th October 2011. You can pick up a nomination form at your local library or leisure centre or nominate online at www.westminster.gov.uk/ civiccommunity

Keeping your streets clean and safe

“Local authorities spend £600 million a year clearing up litter. We could all take our litter home or find a bin.”

Ravi Kumar, is a Westminster Warden in Knightsbridge and Belgravia. With 113 streets and nearly 10,000 residents, Ravi works in one of the largest wards in Westminster. He says:

Ravi’s tips on how you can help to keep your area looking clean and feeling safe.

“I

t’s different each day but I’m dealing with illegal street trading, checking on waste that has been illegally dumped, solving licensing issues and responding to calls from the Environmental Action Line. Everyone can get involved in taking responsibility for their local area.”

“T

he map is an innovative way of putting local people in touch with local volunteering opportunities.” Visit www.mycommunitymap.co.uk to get started. If your organisation relies on volunteers, you can register at www.mycommunitymap.co.uk/ register

Kirstie Allsopp

Clean and safe streets are one of our priorities and the Westminster Wardens are on the streets every day to help look after street management and respond to your queries.

2010 award winner Jacqui Haynes and her daughter Kimi with Nick Hurd, Minister for the Civil Society

Kirstie Allsopp, Keep Britain Tidy Ambassador.

• Get to know your local warden and let them know if you see any problems. Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ westminsterwardens • Join the biggest ever litter pick and help tidy up your corner of the community with The Big Tidy Up, a Keep Britain Tidy campaign. Visit www.thebigtidyup.org • Report environmental issues such as fly tipping, faulty street lighting, potholes and overflowing recycling points at environmentalactionline@westminster. gov.uk • As the leaves start to fall, sweep them out of the street to stop the drains from blocking. • Don’t feed the pigeons. Their foul does not wash away in the rain and requires specialist removal costing a lot of money. • Use the on-street litter and recycling bins when you are on the go. • Put out your waste as close as possible to your collection time. • Don’t put general waste in recycling bags, as contaminated waste won’t get collected by recycling. • If you’re a dog owner, remember to clean up after your pet – or you could face a heavy fine.

Ravi Kumar 20 The Westminster Reporter

The Westminster Reporter 21


and Chelsea and Westminster Contact: 020 8753 3824 (Hammersmith & Fulham)/020 7361 3010 (Kensington and Chelsea)/020 7641 1300 (Westminster)

Autumn activities for children and young people

Take a look at our round-up of free and low cost activities for children and young people to help you stay active, learn new skills and meet new people this autumn half-term. Shentie Martial Arts When: Saturdays, 10am Age: 4-16 What: Self-defence and anti-bullying training. Where: Little Venice Sports Centre, 10 Crompton Street, W2 1ND Contact: Call 07525 745 723 or visit www.shentie-martialarts.com Cost: £5 or £4 with an ActiveWestminster Passport Nearest Tube: Edgware Road

Just Breakin’ break dance class When: Saturdays, 1-2.30pm Age: 8+ What: Dance with the professionals from the Just Breakin’ dance troupe. All levels are welcome. Where: Hyde Park bandstand, Serpentine Road and London Trocadero, 7-14 Coventry Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1D 7DH. Call before you visit to check the venue. Contact: Call 07816 666 193 or visit www. justbreakin.com Cost: £6 per session Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner/Piccadilly Circus

Half-term at Phab When: Sundays, 11.30am-2pm Age: 8-18 What: Arts and crafts, cookery, games and computer skills for children with and without disabilities. Where: Churchill Gardens Youth Centre, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1W 8RU Contact: Call 07930 202 242 or visit www.phab.org.uk 22 The Westminster Reporter

Cost: Free Nearest Tube: Sloane Square

Edutain sport and arts activities When: 24th–28th October, 10am-3pm Age: 8-13 What: Just turn up, register and join in the fun in this action-packed programme of sport, dance and arts activities. Where: Academy Sport, Westminster Academy, 255 Harrow Road, W2 5EZ and Churchill Gardens Youth Club, The Annexe, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL Contact: Call 020 7641 2012 Cost: £1 per day Nearest Tube: Royal Oak (Academy Sport)/ Pimlico (Churchill Gardens)

Holiday camps at Academy Sport When: 24th-28th October, call for times Age: 6-13 What: Choose from day-long holiday camps or two-hour drop-in sessions plus NEW for this season – tennis camp and parkour camp at London’s first and largest outdoor parkour park. Where: Academy Sport, Westminster Academy, The Naim Dangoor Centre, 255 Harrow Road, W2 5EZ Contact: Call 020 7121 0642 Cost: Free or £5 depending on activity Nearest tube: Royal Oak

Caxton Youth Club When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 6.30-9pm Age: 11-25

What: Informal educational activities for young people with disabilities. Please call ahead. Where: Basement Club rooms, Tintern House, Abbots Manor Estate, Pimlico, SW1V 4JF Contact: Call 020 7834 1883 or visit caxtonyouth.org Cost: Free Nearest tube: Victoria

Steelpan classes When: Tuesdays and Thursdays until 27th October, 6.30-8.30pm Age: 16-25 (Tuesdays)/8-15 (Thursdays) What: Learn to play steelpan at the Ebony Steel Band Trust. Where: 1 Chippenham Mews, Unit 39, Baseline Business Studios, W11 4AT Contact: Call 020 7792 1418 or visit www.ebony.org.uk Cost: Free Nearest Tube: Westbourne Park Libraries When: 24th-29th October Age: 0-12 Hammersmith & Fulham: Visit www.lbhf.gov. uk/libraries for details. Kensington and Chelsea: Baby rhyme time and story time sessions, games boxes for all ages, dressing up boxes for children aged three plus and colouring materials available every day during half-term. Plus children’s e-books and audio books available at www.rbkc.gov.uk/libraries. Download to your computer, ipod or smartphone. Westminster: Sessions for under fives and half-term workshops for all ages. Visit www. westminster.gov.uk/libraries for details Where: Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington

Mini Kickstart – healthy lifestyle programme When: Every two weeks Age: 2-5 What: A free six-week programme offering dancing, football, arts and crafts plus advice on nutrition and healthy food choices for parents. Where: Varies, please call for details Contact: Call 020 7313 3060 or email minikickstart@westminster-pct.nhs.uk Nearest Tube: Call for details Climbing wall sessions Where: West 1 Climbing Wall, Seymour Leisure Centre, Seymour Place, W1H 5TJ Contact: Call 0845 363 1177 Nearest Tube: Baker Street/Marylebone/ Marble Arch Holiday climbing club When: 24th-28th October, 4-5.30pm Age: 7+ Cost: £9.10 for five days with an ActiveWestminster Passport Climbing taster sessions When: 25th and 27th October, 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm Age: 4+ What: An ideal introduction to climbing for children. Cost: £8.30 with an ActiveWestminster Passport Half-term in Holland Park When: 24th-28th October, call for times Age: 5-10 (two-hour sessions) and 8-12 (four-hour sessions) What: Visit the Ecology Centre in the wooded wildlife centre at Holland Park for a week of fun-packed activities including building shelter, orienteering and animal themed craft sessions. Booking is essential.

Where: Holland Park Ecology Centre, The Stable Yard, W8 6LU Contact: Call 020 7938 8186, email ecology. centre@rbkc.gov.uk or visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/ ecology Cost: £5 for non-residents Bayswater Children’s Centre Where: Bayswater Children’s Centre, St. Mary of the Angels RC School, Shrewsbury Road, W2 5PR Contact: Call 020 7641 1350 Nearest Tube: Westbourne Park/Royal Oak

Halloween photography When: 28th October, 10.30am-12.15pm and 2-3.45pm Age: All, children must be accompanied by an adult What: Master the art of mask-making, makeup, lighting and acting to create spooky photos of yourself as a ghoul or ghost. Booking is essential. Where: The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN Contact: Call 020 7563 9527 or email booking@wallacecollection.org Cost: Free

Holiday Play Scheme When: 24th-28th October, 8.30am-6pm Age: 3-7 Cost: Please call for details Baby and you When: 24th October, 10.30-11.30am Age: Babies under 18 months and their parents. What: Drop-in sessions for parents and babies Cost: Free Stay and Play When: 25th-28th October, 10am-12 midday Age: Under 5s and their parents What: Drop-in for children and their parents or carers. Cost: Free Harvest festival workshops When: 25th October, 10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm Age: 7+ What: Learn new painting, drawing and collage skills to help you to create your own masterpiece. Booking is essential. Where: The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN Contact: Call 020 7563 9527 Cost: £7 Nearest Tube: Baker Street/Bond Street

Nearest Tube: Baker Street/Bond Street Magic carpet storytelling Sundays When: Sundays, 10.30-11am and 11.30am-12 midday Age: Under 5s Where: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Meet in the Education Centre foyer. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Places are limited and allocated on arrival up to one hour before the session starts. Contact: Call 020 7747 2885 or visit www. nationalgallery.org.uk/families “At Edutain, we play table tennis and pool, cook flapjacks and make smoothies. We also play football and design t-shirts. “We like coming here because you can socialise and make friends, which can help to build your confidence. “The staff make it fun and enjoyable and there’s a lot to do.” Savannah Falconer, 10 and Megan and Alex Nagel, 12

For more information, visit www.westminster.gov.uk/inthecity

The Westminster Reporter 23


are currently eight safer schools officers dedicated to schools in Westminster 8 There

Did yo.u know ..

lop rt to deve eed suppoand you can n le p o e p , lts young nsible adu into respolp by volunteering? d e h k an ndon.org.u .youlo Visit www .do-it.org.uk www

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Reducing youth crime

The disorder that occurred in August was pure criminality, causing harm and damage to innocent local people and places across London. Disruption in Westminster was dealt with swiftly and robustly and we are continuing to pursue those responsible through the courts.

s a city which has around a million people pass through it every day, Westminster continues to be a very safe place to live and work. In the aftermath of the disorder a lot of attention was given to groups of young people who were involved, however, this is not reflective of the majority of young people across the capital who do not commit serious or violent crime. Westminster Youth Engagement Team (YET), are a dedicated group of officers who work to divert the city’s young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour and offer them advice and opportunities to get involved in a variety of different activities. Recent events arranged by the YET include a series of workshops hosted by the Stowe Youth Centre. A number

“The most important thing is that the youngsters are hearing... directly from people who have turned their lives around.” Sgt Pete Chamberlain

of young men and women from St. Giles Trust, who have been in prison or are ex-gang members spoke to an audience made up of local young people about the consequences of becoming involved in crime and the reality of spending time in prison. Sgt Pete Chamberlain who heads up the unit, says: “The most important thing is that the youngsters are hearing this information directly from people who have turned their lives around. They have the chance to talk to these people about their experiences and learn the truth about how the decisions they make now could affect them for the rest of their lives.” In addition the YET regularly visits local schools, arranges home visits for youngsters who have been in trouble to speak to them and their parents and helps to organise local PlayStation and table tennis competitions between

local youth clubs. This brings together groups of young people from different areas who would not normally socialise. Sgt Chamberlain says: “One of the most successful initiatives we run is for the group of young people often referred to as NEETs, neither in employment, education or training, many of whom have been involved in some sort of crime or anti-social behaviour. “Since 2009 we have organised a week-long course for these youngsters to introduce them to the criminal justice system, spending a day at court, a day with the Crown Prosecution Service and visiting a police station and talking to people in a variety of positions. Not only does this give them the chance to meet the people in these roles and gain a better understanding of how the system works, it also raises their awareness of possible job opportunities.” One 18-year-old girl who attended the course has gone on to volunteer as a witness support worker, and another young man met a judge who started his career in the navy, and has gone on to sign up himself. Most importantly of the 75 young people who have attended the criminal justice courses, 100% of them have not gone on to re-offend since.

For more information about your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team visit www.met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods

24 The Westminster Reporter

Your magazine to find out more about children’s and young people’s services

Westminster

childrenfirst Your magazine to fi and young people’s nd out more about children’s services

Play safely this summer!

A great place to grow up!

Issue 12, Spring/ Summer 2011

Top tips for holiday play

Take centre stage

Creating Safer Neighbourhoods As a local resident, you can get involved in helping your area to stay safe.

E

very community in Westminster is policed by a local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, which aims to provide long-term solutions to local problems. The priorities of the team are decided with local residents so they get a real say in the policing of their area. For more information on your Safer Neighbourhoods Team, visit www.met. police.uk/saferneighbourhoods. If you would like to be more involved in your community and get to know your neighbours, you may be interested in joining a Neighbourhood Watch. You will be part of a community team that works together to help look after your local area. It enables residents to improve the quality of life in their area and provides reassurance to everyone in the community.

To find out if your area already has a watch or to discuss setting up a new one, please call 020 7641 2117.

Do you have a child starting primary or secondary school in September 2012?

WIN Ranger’s Apprentice books

M

W

ake sure you fill in your application form in time to ensure that your child has the best chance of getting in to one of your preferred schools. Secondary school admissions applications are due in by 31st October 2011 at the latest, but we recommend that you try to get your applications in by 21st October. You can find out more and apply online now at www.westminster. gov.uk/schooladmissions where you can also view the school admissions brochures which include details of all primary and secondary schools in Westminster. Primary school admissions applications are due in by 15th January 2012. You can apply online now at www.westminster.gov. uk/schooladmissions

Kids week and West End LIVE offer FREE theatre for families

What’s on this summer?

Activities and events

WI

family N a to Le ticket ga Blond lly e

WIN! Westminster

Children First,

Issue 12, Spring/Summe r 2011

1

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irst_May11AW.ind

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11/05/2011

e’ve got 100 copies of the first in the series of the Ranger’s Apprentice books to give away to lucky Children First readers. Ranger’s Apprentice is a series of fantasy novels for children, following the adventures of Will, an orphan who is taken as an apprentice Ranger, as he strives to keep the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats. For your chance to win the first book in the series ‘The Ruins of Gorlan’ simply email childrenfirst@westminster. gov.uk with ‘Reporter books comp’ in the subject heading, and include your name and full address. Entries must be in by 31st November 2011, and winners will be picked at random.

Subscribe to Children First To receive a FREE copy of Children First magazine three times per year, direct to your door, and find out about activities, offers, services and news for children and families in the city, simply email ‘Subscribe’ plus your name and address, to childrenfirst@westminster.gov.uk

The Westminster Reporter 25

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! N I Wkets for

. ayne Ward ins and Sh ll o C e e L stin starring Ju

What’s on this autumn? Take a look at what’s on this autumn with our round-up of offers, events and activities. World class art in Westminster Westminster is being transformed into a giant open air gallery through City of Sculpture. The council is working with leading artists and galleries to bring some of London’s best artwork to iconic sites in Westminster in the lead up to the Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visit www. westminster.gov.uk/sculpture to find out more. Lorenzo Quinn’s 15 foot sculpture, Vroom Vroom, Park Lane

ROCK OF AGES is the “insanely fun” (New York Time Out) worldwide smash hit that features a raucous mix of tunes including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, and I Want To Know What Love Is. Set in LA’s infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, ROCK OF AGES takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair! This five-time Tony Award nominated musical, now being made into a movie starring Tom Cruise opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in September. Be sure to book now to be one of the first to experience all the fun of London’s hilarious new kick-ass musical! “Rocky Horror meets Spinal Tap – a great night out.” Simon Dale, Heart FM. Email reporter@westminster.gov.uk by 10th October to enter. Tickets valid until 21st October Monday to Thursday subject to availability.

26 The Westminster Reporter

Cost: Visit website for details Nearest Tube: Various

Diwali in the square When: 16th October, 2-7pm What: Celebrate the festival of Diwali with stage shows and other entertainment in Trafalgar Square. Where: Trafalgar Square Contact: www.diwaliinlondon.com Cost: Free Nearest Tube: Charing Cross/Leicester Square

Celebrate diversity with international Black History Month in October. There’s lots going on across Westminster as part of this year’s event, including shows, debates and exhibitions. Visit www.westminster.gov.uk/blackhistorymonth to find out more.

20% off winter weddings Book a civil wedding or partnership at the iconic Old Marylebone Town Hall for January or February 2012 and get 20% off. We have also teamed up with other wedding venues and suppliers to offer exclusive discounts for your special day. To find out how to book, view all our offers and for tips on how to plan a winter ceremony, go to www.westminster.gov.uk/registrar.

London Film Festival When: 12th-27th October What: London’s biggest film festival including galas and special screenings in Leicester Square. Where: Various. See website for details. Contact: www.bfi.org.uk

Call 0800 0322 533 or visit www.westminster.gov.uk/fostering All our foster carers receive a fee, generous allowances and ongoing support.

Lord Mayor’s Show When: 12th November, 11am What: A colourful procession for all the family followed by fireworks on The Thames at 5pm. Where: Guildhall to Mansion House via The Strand. Contact: www.lordmayorsshow.org Nearest Tube: Various, see website for details

Celebrate Black History Month

Change a child’s life. Become a foster carer.

Remembrance Sunday When: 13th November 2011, 11am What: Remember those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom of the nation. Where: Cenotaph in Whitehall Contact: www.britishlegion.org.uk Cost: Free Nearest Tube: Westminster/Charing Cross

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07/09/2011 12:10

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Quick look London Restaurant Festival, 3rd-17th October at restaurants througout London, www.londonrestaurantfestival.com Royal Parks Foundation Marathon, 9th October (Hyde Park), www.royalparkshalf.com

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Don’t forget your ResCard discounts There are lots of great discounts available across London for Westminster residents with your ResCard. For more information or to apply for a ResCard visit www.westminster.gov.uk/rescard

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The Westminster Reporter 27


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The Westminster Reporter Magazine Sept 2011  

The September 2011 edition of the Westminster Reporter magazine

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