The London Plumbers who Care!



The London Plumbers who Care!
Issue 22: October 2009
Price where sold 40p
Belgravia • Knightsbridge • Marylebone • Paddington • Mayfair • Pimlico • Victoria
Out and about - ‘Edward lloyd’s Diary’ PAGEs 8 & 9
Mail chaos hits
Images: Edward Lloyd/Alpha Press
Westminster residents are furious at the chaos of missing letters
and parcels that has ensued from strike action by postal workers.
t addresses in the Westminster deadlock between the Communication
area, residents have been told Workers Union and Royal Mail over
by their regular postman that deliv- cuts and non-negotiation continues.
eries were being carried
out by post office “human
resources” managers from
Manchester, Leeds and
Northern Ireland.
There are numerous reports
of mail disappearing for
days on end, or being delivered to wrong addresses.
One resident has informed
Westminster News that
House of Commons speaker John Bercow and Lady
Wilson, widow of former
Prime Minister Harold
Wilson, are among Westminster area residents who
Strikes; where will it end? (inset Dave Ward).
have been affected by the
postal service chaos.
On jobs, postal workers fear comPostal workers say they are facing pulsory redundancies as offices are
unprecedented levels of attack from closed and relocation is an unrealistic
management at the very time at which option, along with fear of being forced
Royal Mail needs staff to be on-board to go part-time as Royal Mail looks
with major changes being wrought to to strip out full-time jobs. On pay,
the service.
postal workers face a pay-freeze in the
Strikes were ongoing last week as the same year that Royal Mail announced
record profits while also losing overtime hours.
On wellbeing, postal workers claim
they are facing daily
bullying and harassment from managers
piling extra and unrealistic workloads on them
in order to meet impractical budget targets. Underlying all these issues,
a CWU spokesman
claimed, is Royal Mail
management’s refusal to
negotiate with the CWU
to establish a national
agreement to roll-out a
workable modernisation programme to future-proof the company.
Dave Ward, CWU
deputy general secretary, said: “Never
before have postal workers experienced
so many attacks from all sides. Whether
it’s pay, job security, workload or dignity and respect at work, our members are
facing a beating on all aspects of their
working lives.”
The Regent Street Festival
celebrated its tenth year and
Absolute Radio’s 1st birthday
last Sunday.
The birthday-themed event
featured a performance by
the group “Madness” in an
exclusive gig for listeners at
the first ever live concert in the
iconic Regent Street.
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Art store and shop
workers prosecuted for
selling knives to under-18s
Image: Edward Lloyd/Alpha Press
Gordon Brown invited Kalpesh Solanki of the Asian Media Group into
the White Drawing Room at 10 Downing Street, to interview him on a
range of diversity topics.
The cost of
losing sight
Dear Editor,
I would urge everyone to ask themselves what
they would lose if they lost their sight. In business
and more lately my TV career I’ve relied on my
sight so much. When you lose your sight it can
impact your life in many different ways and I
honestly don’t know if I could have achieved the
same success. Personally, I would lose being able
to watch my children playing and swimming and
driving my Maserati sports car! It’s reassuring to
know that there are organisations like RNIB out
there to help people find their lives again.
Currently only 8 out of the 100 people who start
to lose their sight everyday are offered any sort
of counselling or emotional support. It’s up to
organisations like RNIB to plug the gap, but they
can only help one in three people at the moment.
Help them to help everyone. Visit
Yours sincerely,
Duncan Bannatyne, OBE
Graham Sefton
Media Relations Officer
Royal National Institute of Blind People
Direct Dial: 020 7391 2085
“What would you lose from your life if you lost
your sight? RNIB helps people who have lost their
sight to find their lives again. Right now we can
only reach one in three of those who need our help
the most. You can help us reach everyone. Visit”
TheWestminsterNews &
n art store and two shop workers have
been prosecuted by Westminster City
Council for selling knives to under-18s.
Art Line Ltd, which runs Cass Art in Berwick
Street, was fined £3,000 for selling two craft
knives with blades up to 8cm long to a 16 yearold boy by a District Judge at Horseferry Road
magistrates’ court last week (9/9/09). The shop
was also ordered to pay £1,130 in costs and a
£15 victim surcharge. Kate Bassett, who sold the
knife set, was fined £200 and ordered to pay a
contribution to costs.
The seller at a second shop, Hyde Park Living,
in Craven Road, near Paddington, was found
guilty the same day of selling a kitchen knife
with an 8cm blade to a 16 year-old girl. Employee Nora Fernandez Martinez was given conditional discharge for nine months and ordered to
pay £150 towards costs.
The prosecutions follow a series of sting operations carried out by Westminster City Council’s
trading standards officers, who work closely with
trained young volunteers to test whether shops
and staff abide by the law, which forbids the sale
of knives to under-18s.
Dozens more test purchases were carried out
by the council just last month (August) using 13
and 14 year-old volunteers who attempted to buy
knives and cigarettes in a total of 40 shops in
Soho and across Westminster. One teenager was
sold a knife while two more were sold cigarettes.
All three shops are being investigated with a
view to prosecution by trading standards.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are all well aware of
the tragic consequences that can follow when
young people carry and use knives. For this
reason, the sale of knives to young people is
rightly against the law and we take any breach
very seriously in our efforts to protect our
young people from harm.
“I hope these latest verdicts and sentences will
serve as a warning to all stores that we will not
tolerate shopkeepers who break the law and put
our young people at risk.”
Since April 2008, Westminster Council has successfully prosecuted four shops and six members
of staff for selling knives to under-18s. It has
also prosecuted a shop for selling cigarettes to a
16-year-old. The legal age for buying cigarettes
was raised from 16 to 18 in 2007.
Letters to the Editor
Gratitude for Great
North runners
Dear Editor,
Meningitis Trust, I would
like to congratulate all
of our 130 runners from
across the UK who ran
the Great North Run on
All of our runners raised
sponsorship and, this year,
we hope to reach a total of
£70,000. As we are reliant
on voluntary donations to
continue our work, events
like the Great North Run
are essential to our future.
With support from
determined people like our
runners, we are able to help
around 20,000 people each
year, supporting anyone
affected by this lifechanging disease through
our free professional
aftercare and support
services. These include: a
freephone 24-hour nurseled helpline (0800 028 18
28), counselling, financial
support grants, art therapy,
home visits and one-toone contacts.
Published by
We are very grateful for
their commitment and
would like to express our
thanks and congratulations
to them. We are always
looking for people to
help with the work of the
Trust by getting involved
in fundraising - whether
it’s taking on a once in a
lifetime challenge like
the Great North Run, or
holding a sponsored walk,
you can be assured that
your efforts will make a
difference to thousands
of families who are
struggling to cope with the
impact of meningitis right
now. Visit our website
for more information
about what we do and
how you can help, www.
Well done again to all the
runners- we’re so proud!
Roza Woodley
Meningitis Trust
01453 769015
[email protected]
Sketch News Group
Wage increase still leaves
many Londoners in poverty
Dear Editor,
The government this week
increased the National Minimum
Wage by 7p per hour, creating
a new rate of £5.80 per hour.
While the increase is welcome,
it is clear that this is still vastly
inadequate, particularly for
those living in the capital where
living costs are higher.
It is estimated that someone
paid less than about £6.65 an
hour in London will be living
in poverty, even after benefits
and tax credits are taken into
account. To meet the everyday
challenges of living in this city,
the London Living Wage has
been set at 15 per cent above this
poverty level, so it’s currently
£7.60 per hour. Many public
sector workers and contractors
are now paid this as a minimum.
After a sustained campaign
by concerned groups, from
1st October tips for staff
can no longer count towards
the payment of the National
Minimum Wage and this good
news. However, many of
London’s poorest paid workers
are still under severe economic
pressure as they pay higher
rents and higher costs for goods
and services and often do not
benefit from London Weighting
or other supplements.
With World Day for Decent
Work taking place this week,
the Government really needs to
review how it sets the minimum
wage, taking into account
varying living costs, to offer
everyone a decent quality of
life and make genuine strides
towards tackling poverty and
Jean Lambert MEP
Green Party
Sent by Georgina Bloomfield,
Press Officer for Jean
Lambert MEP, London’s
Green Party Member of the
European Parliament.
What’s your opinion? Write to the Editor;
by email. [email protected]
or by post: The Editor, Sketch News Group,
Davina House, 137-149 Goswell Road,
London EC1V 7ET
Davina House
137 - 149 Goswell Road
London EC1V 7ET
Tel. 020 7251 9336
[email protected]
Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
TGI Friday’s fined £30,000 for
‘appalling’ hygiene offences
Friday’s has been fined
£30,000 after pleading guilty to
a catalogue of hygiene offences.
The offences were so bad that
the restaurant in Covent Garden
had to be closed down by Westminster Council officers following an investigation.
Horrified food and health inspectors sfound a pile of dead
cockroaches, mouse droppings
and grease covered cabinets
around its filthy kitchens. The resulting clean-up operation, which
cost the chain £66,000, caught 65
mice and it was six days before
the popular American-themed
restaurant reopened.
Renowned restaurant
Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet
member for community safety,
said: “These were appalling hygiene breaches, particularly for
such a renowned restaurant chain
which frankly, should have known and on a shelf next to drinking
better. We hope this serves as a straws, and the grime was not just
lesson to all food businesses that confined to the kitchen, with the
such poor standards
are not acceptable and
that we will always
push for the strongest
possible punishment
against offenders. The
is a vital part of our
economy, and we will
not tolerate any behaviour which could
jeopardise it or the
safety of our millions
of visitors.”
‘Appalling’, TGI Friday’s.
Environmental health
officers from the council took area behind the main bar also in a
the unusual step of closing down filthy condition.
Maximum fines
the popular restaurant in Bedford
Place, Covent Garden because of
The insides of some of the kitchen
the severity of the breeches. It was units were also encrusted in a thick
riddled with mouse droppings in- layer of yellow fat and grease and
cluding on an open bag of sugar there was no hot water in the hand
Libraries and police
do it by the book
eople held in police cells in Ken- said: “I was a bit sceptical about this
sington and Chelsea can wile project at first but if it has helped the
away the hours with a good book police deal with people held in custody
thanks to Kensington and Chelsea then it is well worthwhile”.
Council’s `Books in Custody’ scheme.
Chief Inspector Alan Hodges said:
The scheme has seen 60 books left at “A number of detainees have made
Chelsea and Notting Hill Gate police use of these books, especially those
stations for use by people in holding denied bail. It has been a calming efcells and gives peofect just to offer a
ple something to
book sometimes,
occupy their mind
even if they do not
when in custody
make use of them.
and hopefully have
A custody sergeant
a calming influence
said, “There is nothon them.
ing but good words
The detainees can
from everyone on
check out books
the library books.
No one has comAnimal Farm by
plained about the
George Orwell to
range of books and
Frank Lampard’s
people just seem
a u t o b i o g r a p h y.
grateful for someAmongst the most
Books for prisoners.
thing to read. The
publications are The Simpson’s comics.
comic books I feel are particularly good
Councillor James Husband, Cabinet for those detainees who can’t read.”
Member for Education and Libraries,
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basins. The restaurant pleaded
guilty to six offences under the
Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 at City of
Westminster Magistrates on Wednesday
26th August 2009, and
was ordered to pay
the maximum fine of
£5000 per offence, as
well as covering all
the council’s costs.
Environmental health
manager James Armitage said after the
hearing: “A restaurant
of the size and stature
of TGIs should be an
exemplar to others, but this is one
of the worst cases I’ve ever come
across and the restaurant was virtually a breeding ground for rodents. It was made all the worse
by the fact that staff had known
about the mice infestation for over
a year.”
Mice risk
The council conducted a surprise
visit on the restaurant after receiving six separate complaints from
customers who had seen mice scuttling around inside. Mice present a
great risk to human health, especially to people whose health is
already compromised. Mice produce an average of 80 droppings
per day and urinate frequently,
contaminating food preparation
surfaces and stock
It is well documented that they
are reservoirs for zoonotic diseases (diseases that are passed
from animals to humans) carrying pathogens such as Campylobacter and Salmonella species
as well as viruses such as those
associated with meningitis and
haemorrhagic fevers.
AntiQues Fairs
The Marylebone
Antiques Fair
Sunday 25th October 2009
and Sunday 22nd November 2009
10.30 am – 4.30 pm
at the Hellenic Centre, Paddington Street
just off Marylebone High Street
This is an exciting new monthly Sunday
antiques fair in the heart of Marylebone with
70 exhibitors offering a wide range of items.
The Little Chelsea
Antiques Fair
Monday 5th October 3 pm - 8 pm and
Tuesday 6th October 10 am - 6 pm
at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Rd.
The Little Chelsea Antiques Fair is a two day
fair that takes place 3 times per year October, March and June.
A wide range of items will be available at
the fairs including;
Furniture * Lighting * Silver * Jewellery *
Pictures * Bronzes * China - Glass - Porcelain
* Textiles * Wooden objects * Scientific
instruments * Novelty items * Decorative Pieces
For further information contact Deborah
or Daniel on 020 7258 1159. [email protected]
Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
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0207 591 3974
o help mark the ‘United Nations
World Habitats Day’, a new report
by the London Climate Change Partnership says that climate change will have
mixed blessings for London’s wildlife.
Hotter drier summers may be welcomed
by warmth loving species such as common
lizards and southern hawker dragonflies
but the sting in the tail might be that the
wetlands (which are few and far between
in urban London) they depend on might be
more vulnerable to fire and drought. Whilst
warmer wetter winters could put pressure
on the wildlife of our rivers (such as kingfishers, water voles, fish and amphibians)
as flooding may wash out vital nesting and
breeding sites.
The new report states that one way of
addressing these concerns will include
adopting “urban greening” schemes featuring river restoration, green roofs and walls,
street tree planting and sustainable flood
risk management. The report advocates that
we need to adapt the city in ways that make
the most of natural processes and create
a city that is both friendly to wildlife and
attractive and inspiring to people.
Alison Barnes, Natural England’s London
Director said: “Climate change is going to
affect us all – both Londoners and the city’s
wildlife. We know that more habitat will
increase the chances of vulnerable species
being able to cope with the peaks of heat,
drought and flood that the climate change
predictions suggest. However, there is also
growing evidence that greening London
can protect people too, by helping to keep
the city cool and by soaking up storm-water thus reducing the incidence of flooding”
Gerry Acher, Chair of the London Climate
Change Partnership: “We need to find ways
to accommodate a rich and changing biodiversity which is vital for our future and this
report shows how our adaptations to climate change can benefit Londoners directly
whilst also being friendly to wildlife.”
Examples of where ‘urban greening’ is
already taking place include Sutcliffe Park
where the River Quaggy has been restored
to create a more natural river with wetland
habitats and space for flood water, whilst
in the new and refurbished grounds of
Peabody housing estates’ the need to create
cool and green outdoor spaces for residents
is informing new landscape design and
Of course there are always winners in
every situation. The beautiful Wasp Spider
a recent colonist from continental Europe is
now quite widespread in London probably
as a consequence of climate change. Good
news – unless you are an arachnophobe.
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Lord Sugar a victin
of price fixing scam
he £2.9 million refurbishment of the Dover
Street Market in Mayfair
may have left Alan Sugar’s
property firm Amsprop badly out of pocket.
For according to a report
from the OFT (Office of Fair
Trading), the builders involved
were one of 103 companies who
were finedsums of up to £17.9
million for price fixing.
Private schools Bedales in
Hampshire and Sydenham High
in south-east London also fell
victim to the scam along with
Uxbridge College in Middlesex.
City of London
And the City of London
Corporation fell foul over the
redevelopment of shops and flats
on South Molton Street in the
West End.
The extraodinary list of
victims — which also included
a police station, a prison and the
Salvation Army — was made
public today by the Office of
Fair Trading (OFT) after a
five-year investigation into the
construction industry.
The OFT issued penalties
worth a total of £129.5 million
after an investigation into bidrigging in England, but warned
that the practice had been
“endemic” in the industry.
It said companies colluded
with competitors on building
contracts and this meant
customers were at risk of
being overcharged.
The biggest fine - £17.9 million
- went to Kier Group, while
Balfour Beatty was fined a total
of £5.2 million relating to the
actions of its subsidiary Mansell.
Carillion has been asked to pay
£5.4 million due to contracts
tendered by Mowlem, which it
bought in 2006.
Lord Sugar one of many
price-fixing victims
Lord Sugar, who is not currently
actively involved in the day-to-day
running of Amsprop, is freported
as having said: “The contract
for the building in question
was awarded six years ago, in a
booming market where it was hard
to get contractors to come to the
table, let alone negotiate.
“I am very impressed and
encouraged that the OFT have
done such a thorough job
and have delved back so far.
The management at Amsprop
will now look into what
compensation may be due to us
from the contractor or advisors
used at the time.
“I am grateful that the OFT have
cleaned up this illegal conduct.”
Other contracts involved in the
investigation included public
authority work on schools and
hospitals, as well as private
tenders for apartment blocks.
The OFT said most of the
offences involved so-called
cover pricing, where one or
more bidders arranges for
competitors to put down high
bids. These bids are not to win
the contract but are submitted as
genuine and give a misleading
impression to clients about the
level of competition.
Firms were fined an average
Take a fresh look at
your finances
of £1.26 million, or 1.14% of
global turnover, although this
was substantially less than the
maximum 10% fine available to
the OFT.
The fines relate to 199 tenders
between 2000 and 2006
but the OFT warned that its
investigation suggested “that
cover pricing was a widespread
and endemic practice in the
construction industry”.
The investigation was sparked
in 2004 by a complaint from an
NHS auditor in Nottingham, but
it quickly spread as the watchdog
realised the scale of the problem.
It uncovered evidence of cover
pricing in more than 4,000
tenders involving more than
1,000 companies but said it
had to focus on the companies
and instances where the cases
were strongest.
Chat to our friendly staff about...
• Mortgages
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Visit our Westminster branch at
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Your home may be repossessed if you do
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Loans only available to persons aged 18 years or over. All mortgages are subject to status and valuation.
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
The Royal Albert hall unveils
new performance space
Amanda Broughton
n Wednesday 14 October the Royal Albert Hall will open the doors
to a new venue, the transformed Elgar
Room. Steeped in history, having seen
actors such as Dame Judi Dench and
Sir Laurence Olivier perform, the room
will change in both space and capacity
as state of the art technical specifications and a modern redesign help make
it one of London’s premier entertainment spaces.
The Elgar Room will now incorporate
built in technical facilities and the flexibility to match any event requirement. From
late night and intimate gigs to after show
parties, comedy nights, cabaret and theatre
performances, the redesign has created a
versatile room in which a variety of events
can be accommodated. The new room already has a host of events lined up to take
place ranging from after show parties for
Elton John and Monty Python’s ‘Not The
Messiah’ to a comedy night with Patrick
Monahan and the next instalment of the
Royal Albert Hall’s HUSH series.
The £1million renovation sees the original floor to ceiling windows restored as
the room’s raised flooring is removed to
create one large space – increasing its
maximum capacity to 350 standing and
to 110 when used as a restaurant. An impressive lighting infrastructure has been
installed including 4 LED colour changing ceiling panels as well as a state of the
art sound system and speakers.
Jasper Hope, Director of Events at the
Royal Albert Hall said “We are delighted
to announce the completion of the newly
is varied, the most notable use of the West
Theatre was as a training ground for budding actors. From 1906 to 1957 The Central School of Speech and Drama was es-
Modern; The Elgar Room
refurbished Elgar Room. For the first time
since the Hall’s opening in 1871 we have
somewhere other that the main auditorium
in which to host music and other events.
The 350 capacity venue will allow the Hall
to bring a different type of artist and audience to the building and we look forward
to having some exceptional events in the
Located on the west side of the Hall, the
Elgar Room was first known as the West
Theatre. With a history as interesting as it
tablished in the room providing training
in speech, language and drama. A wealth
of famous actors and theatre professionals
including Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Judi
Dench, Harold Pinter, Peggy Ashcroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Joss Ackland and Cicely
Berry learnt their trade on its stage. On
Sunday 4 October 2009 the school’s Alumni will reunite in a special pre-opening celebration in the Elgar Room.
The Central School of Speech and Dra-
ma, University of London is an international centre of excellence based in London
serving its professions by providing quality
higher education in, and training for, the
dramatic arts and the performance and media industries.
Musical heritage
In keeping with the Hall’s rich musical
heritage, the walls of the Elgar Room will
pay tribute to the late-great musicians who
have played the Royal Albert Hall with images of artists including John Lennon and
George Harrison, James Brown, Johnny
Cash, Luciano Pavarotti, Ray Charles, Jimi
Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK’s
most treasured and magical buildings, recognisable the world over. It is a registered
charity and operates without any public
subsidy. Since opening in 1871, the Royal
Albert Hall has had an unparalleled history
of exceptional performances by the world’s
leading artists. Today over 350 events are
held in the Hall’s auditorium each year
which include performances of jazz, world
music, rock and pop, dance, comedy, film
premières and award ceremonies. Audiences of well over a million are entertained at
the Hall each year and many millions more
around the world enjoy the Hall experience
through broadcasts, recordings and new
media channels.
Abbey Road among new batch of iconic
Westminster street signs for sale on eBay
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n iconic Abbey Road street sign made
famous by the Beatles’ multi-million
selling album has been sold on eBay along
with more than 40 other signs from renowned Westminster streets.
The enamelled steel sign, which was installed near the world-famous zebra crossing
six years ago, was removed in 2007 because
graffiti messages from Beatles’ fans could not
be scrubbed off.
This weekend marks the 40th anniversary
of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, which
transformed the quiet, residential street into a
mecca for music fans after John Lennon, Paul
McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison
posed for the cover photograph walking over
the crossing.
To coincide with the anniversary, Westminster City Council is selling the disused sign
on eBay to raise money for transport projects
across the city.
The sale followed the council’s highly successful eBay auction of 30 West End street
signs including Leicester Square, Strand and
Shaftesbury Avenue in July, which raised
more than £18,000 for street improvements.
A further 42 of these West End signs including one for Covent Garden and others for Drury Lane and Bow Street were also on sale in
this new auction.
Cllr Danny Chalkley, cabinet member for
city management, said: “This is a rare opportunity for someone to own a precious
piece of Beatles memorabilia and Westminster history.”
The street signs were available on eBay since
last week in a seven day auction. The Abbey
Road sign had a reserve price of £1,000 while
the other signs started from £100 or £50.
World famous.
Many of the signs, which are often featured on postcards and tshirts, are expected
to become sought-after collectors’ items and
it was hoped the auction would raise up to
£20,000 for the council to plough back into
transport projects and street improvements
in Westminster.
The West End signs have all been up for more
than ten years and are being replaced with a
new design to create a more distinct character
for the Theatreland district.
Martin Low, director of transportation, added: “Auctioning old, redundant street signs is
an innovative way of offsetting the costs we
would incur anyway, as these needed replacing. As an efficient council we are always
looking for new ways to offer value for money
and this is a great way for people to get hold of
one of our iconic streets signs and make some
money for the council to invest in its streets.”
All the signs feature Westminster’s traditional black and red capital lettering, which was
first created by acclaimed designer Sir Misha
Black in 1967 and is universally acknowledged as a design classic. The font, a sans serif typeface, is unique to Westminster’s street
signs and is not available anywhere else in the
world. Other organisations are forbidden by
copyright law to reproduce Westminster street
signs, making them even more highly prized
due to their rarity.
The old West End signs include a black
band at the top with an inset picture of two
traditional Pierrot-type clowns, while the new
signs have a bright red band above the lettering and show an image of a comedy tragedy
mask, synonymous with the stage.
Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Urban Eye strategy helps
revive some of London’s
most desolate streets
ommunity led environmental design charity Urban Eye is spearheading a new campaign to revive
London’s neglected streets, based
around the discovery that graffiti can
be beaten.
Urban Eye’s research has found that
graffiti and fly-posting is most visually dominant on plain flat surfaces. By
breaking up plain walls and surfaces
with innovative public art, use of specialised materials and improved lighting, subsequent graffiti loses its impact.
1. A typical Urban Eye target location. 2. Urban Eye Mosiac workshop
in a primary school. 3. A completed
mosaic installation.
The charity is using these strategies to
renew run-down inner city areas, creating a safer and more attractive environment for Londoners. It has transformed
over 34 London locations by creating
more attractive and popular spaces and
by dramatically reducing graffiti.
Urban Eye’s main strategies for fighting graffiti include community involvement - Urban Eye involves schools, local residents and youth groups to create
landmark sites that build community
pride and discourage graffiti.
They also employ techniques such as
alternative surfaces – mosaics, ceramic
tiles and TRIO cladding (which was developed by Urban Eye) provide attractive, cleanable, graffiti and fly-posting
deterrent surfaces and improved lighting helps to increase pedestrian use and
safety at remote locations.
Mark Moys, Projects Manager at Urban Eye says: “Graffiti is a significant
problem in London. In a survey we carried out recently over half of those questioned (61%) said they would consider
taking a cab rather than walking or cycling through neglected graffiti-ridden
areas. Most of our respondents (83%)
would avoid streets that they consider to
be neglected.
“Working in partnership with communities and statutory organisations, Urban Eye has helped improve many dilapidated areas of London. In my view
it’s time Londoners demanded better
maintained and more welcoming streetscape environments!”
Do you currently live or work
in the City of Westminster?
Do you want to buy or rent a home of your own?
Come to
The Homeownership
8th October 2009
supported by
London, SW1P 3BU
The ‘one-stop-shop’ for those seeking an
affordable route to homeownership in Westminster
• Meet new build housing providers • Meet estate agents
• FREE financial advice • FREE legal advice
For more details, visit
or call 0845 437 9701
Homeownership Westminster is
delivered by Catalyst Housing Group, a
charitable housing association
3 Great Reasons To Learn Kempo Jujitsu
1 Free Lesson To Try Out The World Famous Kempo Jujitsu Self Defence System
2 One Years Free Membership On Enrolment
3 Free Kempo Jujitsu Gi (Suit) On Enrolment
Ladbroke Grove Bridge before and after TRIO cladding.
Barbados Villa
St. James Beach. Private garden,
plung pool, cook & maid, 25m
pool, 3 en-suite bedroms, air conditioning, wi-fi, children welcome.
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Kempo Jujitsu is the combination of 3 of the world most effective martial arts and is used only
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Kempo Jujitsu self defence classes are being held at the Queen Mother Sports Centre 223
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Beginners classes starting on Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th of September
* Free 1st Lesson *Free Years Membership On Enrolment * Free Kempo Jujitsu Suit On enrolment
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Edward Lloyd’s Diary
Twenty8Twelve fashion show
Sienna and Savannah Miller invited American Vogue Editor Anna Wintour,
and the cream of the fashion world to 7 Howick Place Westminster, to view
their new Twenty8twelve collection.
From left; Alexa Chung. Sienna Miller. Anna Wintour. Chloe and Poppy Delevigne
Dorian Gray launch at
the Cadogan Hotel
Colin Firth and film director Oliver Parker spent
a day in room 118 at the 5 star Cadogan Hotel in
Knightsbridge, answering questions by TV Channels
and news media about Colin Firth’s starring role in the
new film of Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian
Gray. Room 118 is where, in 1895, Oscar Wilde sat
calmly with a friend, waiting for police, who took him
to Reading Jail, charged with gross indecency.
Colin Firth.
The Hero Inside
Photographer Gill Shaw
brought recently wounded war
heroes, featured in her new
book The Hero Inside, to the
Guards Chapel and Museum
at Wellington Barracks, to join
the launch celebrations. The
book depicts the extraordinary
bravery and courage of soldiers
along the route of recovery and
From Left; The Hon Rose Bethell with her father Lord Westbury. Sergeant Tom Neathway. The Hero Inside.
Emily Crompton with Gill Shaw and Hannah Sandling.
Tel. 020 7251 9336
Images Edward Lloyd/Alpha Press •
Comfort Prima Awards
Glamorous celebrities and guests flocked
to the Battersea Evolution, for the Comfort
Prima High Street Fashion Awards, highlighting
21 household names. Guests were treated to a
gourmet dinner and cutting edge fashion show.
Clockwise from bottom left; Sheryl and Bianca Gascoigne. Jo Wood and
Brendan Cole. Lulu. Elen Rives. Hofit Golan with Scott Henshall and
Sophie Anderton.
Berkeley Square Ball launch
Beautiful people sauntered to Home House in Portman Square, where guests feasted on delicious canapés and Champagne,
to celebrate the upcoming December 3 Berkeley Square Ball. Giorgio and Plaxy Locatelli will oversee the banquet.
From left; Anoushka Menzies, with Vince Power and his daughter Evie Power.
Henry Conway with his brother Freddie Conway, Charlie Harington and Jenna Hartley. Tamsin
Egerton and Sophia Pasetti. Cindy Jackson and Anneka Svenska.
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
£500m business rates
bombshell for London
estminster City Council is calling for a reform of business rates
as figures released show central
London businesses will be forced
to pay out an extra £500m in
rates due to revaluation.
Westminster, which at £1.2billion
a year collects more rates on behalf
of the Government than any other
local authority in the country, and
nearly as much as the City of London, Birmingham and Manchester
combined, warns businesses in the
heart of the capital will suffer most
- putting thousands of jobs at risk.
Across Westminster the average
bill is expected to soar by 38%,
costing the capital’s businesses
£456m. Including the Mayor’s
Business Rates Supplement to pay
for Crossrail, which works out at
around 5%, the total cost to businesses in Westminster will be closer to £500m.
Hard Hit
Cllr Brian Connell, cabinet member for economic development at
Westminster City Council, said:
“In areas such as Westminster,
which outperformed other regions
prior to the recession, businesses
will be particularly hard hit. My
concern is that some could be
pushed close to the brink and lay
off staff unless the Government
introduces radical reforms to prevent the system unfairly penalising successful areas.
“The fact is where local authorities and landlords have invested
heavily in an
area to ensure it
remains a desirable
centre, rates are
going to increase
s i g n i f i c a n t l y.
But neglected
areas which experienced falls
in rental values
even before the
recession will
now be rewarded for failure
through lower
business rates.”
Worst hit will
be office space, with average revised rates expected to increase
bills by around 60%.Hotels will
face average bill increases of 28%,
bars and clubs 13%, and retailers
and restaurants just under 10%.
But some properties in areas of the
West End, Mayfair and Paddington, could see their rates double.
Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents businesses
in the West End, said: “The scale
of these increases is chilling. Businesses will have no choice other
than to cuts costs even further than
they have already. Given the West
End’s vital contribution to the wider economy, both in London and
nationally, this will impact everybody. It’s a not just a local issue.”
The five yearly revaluation is
based on commercial rents in
April 2008 when property values
were at their pre-recession peak,
and does not take into account the
subsequent spectacular falls when
the economy nosedived.
The Government’s transitional
relief scheme will spread increases over four or five years for businesses most
affected by
but despite
the cap on increases each
businesses could
still be paying
over double
their current
bills by the
end of the five
year period.
business rates
are collected
by local councils, they are actually set by central
Government using a complex formula, and Westminster’s forecast
of rate rises already takes into account a reduction in the multiplier
which ensures the total amount
collected does not increase more
than the rate of inflation.
In 2010 onwards that will mean
other areas seeing drops in their
business rates at the cost of the
economically most active and
important areas of the UK.
The Treasury collects £23.5billion each year through business
rates. However, Westminster only
receives 12% of its contribution
back through grant funding. More
than 550,000 jobs are dependent on
Westminster’s diverse economy of
shops, offices, restaurants and entertainment. Soho alone boasts the
world’s largest concentration of
creative industries of media, film,
advertising, contributing nearly
£15bn a year to the economy.
A total of 280,000 firms pay business rates in London, 33,000 of
which are in Westminster, among
them famous names such as Google, Diageo and Apple, and flagship
stores for John Lewis and Marks &
Spencer. However firms employing
four or less people make up 70 per
cent of all premises in Westminster.
Bills have already risen by five
per cent this year following an
inflation-linked five per cent in
April, though the Government introduced legislation so businesses
could spread the increase over
three years following concerns of
the impact on businesses during
the recession.
Kensington and Chelsea’s
car club steps up a gear
ensington and Chelsea Council’s car club steps up a gear
as bold expansion plans are set to
make it the largest in the UK.
Under proposals unveiled by the
Council this week, an additional 103
on-street parking bays will be introduced, bringing the total number of
bays to 200 by the end of the year.
This will improve the service to the
thousands of residents who are already members and encourage many
more to join. It will offer motorists an
environmentally-friendly and costeffective option to rent a vehicle as
and when needed instead of owning
their own car.
Once a car club member, motorists
will be able to book one of a range
of vehicles which will be parked at
nearby on-street bays and be charged
under a ‘pay-as-you-go’ style tariff.
Members can use vehicles for as little
as 30 minutes or for a week or more.
According to TfL, joining a car club
could save motorists nearly £2,000
a year and make servicing, maintenance, tax, insurance and MOT costs
a thing of the past.
Councillor Nick Paget-Brown,
Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “This new initiative is
part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to the environment as the
car club bays will significantly cut
traffic and pollution.
“Car club is a real alternative to car
ownership for Royal Borough residents as a car club bay will never be
more than a few minutes walk from
their homes.
“Given the current economic climate it is very important that we
provide our residents with a cost-effective alternative option to car use in
the capital.”
Car club in Kensington and Chelsea is operated by three companies,
CityCarClub, StreetCar and ZipCar
who receive no financial aid from
the Council.
No residents’ car parking bays will
be lost as a result of the expansion
and instead, the Council will convert existing underused pay and
display bays and small stretches
of yellow line. Over the course of
the day the vehicles will often be
booked by many different people
and therefore the car club bay itself
will often be empty.
Car club schemes complement the
Council’s policies to reduce traffic,
improve air quality and reduce onstreet parking demand because residents who join a car club will often
sell their own cars and rely on the car
club instead. According to national
research undertaken by the Transport
Research Laboratory, each car club
vehicle results in 14 private vehicles
being sold and nine more not being
bought in the first place.
Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Street entertainment encourages
people to walk in the West End
penny farthing cyclist and juggler
entertained passers by in Soho
alongside a host of other entertainment
as part of a Westminster City Council car
free day.
To promote walking and cycling in
the heart of London, street entertainers,
caricaturists as well as a free ‘Dr Bike
Surgery’ acted as catalysts to convince
those visiting the West End to ditch
their cars and use alternative modes of
travelling such as walking, cycling or
public transportation.
For one day Broadwick Street at the
end of Carnaby Street was the home
of information centres to highlight the
number of pedestrian only zones in the
West End and to help promote walking
and cycling and draw attention to the
problem of congestion in the area.
Cllr Danny Chalkley, cabinet member
for city management at Westminster
City Council, said: “This initiative gives
us the opportunity to raise awareness
of pollution in congested roads and
encourages people to ditch their cars and
use other modes of transport.
“The West End is the best place in the
country for shopping and entertainment and
we’re advancing ambitious plans which will
hopefully get even more visitors to walk
around the centre of London.”
This is the third time Westminster City
Council has held a car free day where
it promotes its pedestrian areas and
is the Legible London way finding scheme,
pioneered by Westminster City Council and
TfL across key sites in the West End, which
Getting people walking.
the vast array of schemes it is working
on to encourage more people to use
environmentally friendly ways of travelling
across the city.
One of the schemes it will be promoting
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should encourage pedestrians to find their
way around the centre of town with greater
ease especially as this year’s Christmas
shopping season draws closer.
To make the West End better for people who
are on foot the council is working to improve
the triumvirate of Oxford, Regent and Bond
Streets with wider more shopper friendly
pavements, as well as creating a series of
side street oases for alfresco dining where
tired shoppers can rest their feet.
The council is also revamping Oxford
Circus alongside its partners the Crown
Estate and TfL which will see the 32 000
people who walk across the crossing in its
busiest times, walk across it with greater
ease as they will be able to cross the
world famous shopping street diagonally
for the first time.
In addition Kingly Street which runs
parallel to Berwick Street has been
restricted to traffic for a trial period
in order to make the road safer for the
people walking along it and to stop the
road being used as a rat run by drivers.
The majority of it has become a
pedestrian only zone from 12 noon
until 9pm at night as a first step in its
make over which should see it becoming
a street which is a better place to visit for
those on foot.
The Dance of Expression
Alain & Françoise CHANTRAINE
For energy, harmony, well-being & Joy. A unique approach to all
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Bringing together the main styles - contemporary, classical, jazz
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underground stations
Call:07515 150 420
07717 407 835
Day & evening classes in Marylebone, Swiss
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Short courses in England & France, Festivals,
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- Term begins September
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Tel. 020 7251 9336
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
Eating Out
Kettner’s in Soho
ettner’s has had many
personalities over the years;
the place d’etre for Oscar Wilde
and Agatha Christie for drinks
and sups, then later as a bargain
basement pizzeria in the gently
fading shabby chic surroundings
and now as a serious restaurant.
By Zoe Hall
The Kettner’s of old has been
“re-done” by The Gondola Group
of Pizza Express fame serving
Brasserie food rather than cheap
and cheerful pizza and pasta. The
interior is Palace of Versailles meets
Ikea; flashy and grand yet slightly
sterile. My Dining Companion Paul
visibly mourned the lost slightly
seedy opulence of a down at heel’s
courtesan’s salon that has now
been transformed into a light and
airy room in white and dove grey,
the starkness tempered by the
gentle glow of hundred of candles.
I however approved but then I am a
fan of the “Swedish look” be it on a
man or a room. I digress.
We kicked off the evening’s
proceedings with a glass of
fizz in the appropriately named
Champagne Bar which seemed to
have possibly escaped the make-
over and had retained a faded air
of gentility which spoke of grander
times and even grander clientele;
slightly fraying chaise lounges
and chandeliers. The Champagne
itself is served in the saucer style
glasses of the 1950’s
which harks back
to the heady days
when Bing Crosby
used to be a customer
here. We had two
glasses of the
House Champagne,
Gallimard Cuvée
Réserve Brut NV,
which ticked all
the necessary
boxes; dry,
lightly fruity and
plenty of bubbles.
The joy of eating out is more often
than not that you are able to sample
dishes you would have neither
the expertise or patience to pull
of at home. My starter of Mussels
in Saffron Soup was exactly that
for me. Pathetically I am slightly
afraid of cooking mussels myself
thanks to an early horror story
about seafood poisoning but am
thrilled whenever they are on the
menu. The mussels were tender and
happy and the saffron soup brought
might go so far as to say it was the
best piece of duck I have ever tasted
(stole from the plate..) ,beautifully
tender and bursting with flavour
the delicate balance of its natural
saltiness and the syrupy sweetness
of the raspberry jus
lent it a poetry all of
its own. By contrast
my Coq au Vin was
sadly underflavoured
and the chicken stringy
which is a shame in a
dish where the meat
should be falling off
the bone thanks to
the slow cooking but
the accompanying
vegetables were well
cooked and tasty.
Kettner’s,steeped in celebrity history. Kettner’s take puddings
so seriously that they
have a Pudding Bar. I would like
Sommelier chose the wine and he
one in my flat but the worry is I’d
decided upon a crisp 2007 Sancerre
never again re-join the outside
La Vigne Blanche. A fruity and
world. Such delights such as Blood
full wine yet light and crisp with a
Orange and Champagne Jelly, a
pleasant aftertaste perfectly suited
Chocolate Pot with Madelines and
to the fish. A pleasing choice.
Pavlova with Alphonso mango &
Having been very smug about my
starter, feeling that a nice pastry tart passion fruit are on offer. P had
the Chocolate, Pear & Port Upside
is still a pastry tart just the same, P
Down Cake with Crème Fraîche,
got his own back when it came to
declared it delicious and promptly
the mains. His Crisp Duck Confit
asked for the recipe. The cloying
with Raspberry Jus and Sarladaise
richness of the chocolate and port
potatoes was a triumph. I think I
out their earthiness gently coating
them rather than overpowering
them with the flavour. P’s Smoked
Haddock Tart was buttery and flaky
and peppered up with the presence
of Gruyere cheese. Our charming
French Favourites
come to Westminster
rench food favourites came
to shop locally rather than driving
to Westminster last weekend them to large supermarkets.
as the borough played host to
“We hope that events such as the
two French markets.
French market will help encourThe special events were held at
age more people to visit their local
both Tachbrook and Church
Street markets over the
course of three days, giving
residents the opportunity to
buy delicious cheeses and
classics such as French pate
and olives. Also on sale
were leather wallets, purses
and other specialities such
as dry sausages, mustard
and jam.
Cllr Brian Connell, Westminster Council’s cabinet
member for economic development, said: “Westminster’s street markets are a
French bread.
source of pride for our residents, playing a vital role in
the heart of our local communities. markets, which provide excellent
By shopping locally, you are not
value for money.”
only supporting businesses, but
Westminster’s street markets
you can find great goods at great
have had an extra boost in recent
prices which are also good for
months, with Westminster Council
the environment as they use less
investing millions to help support
packaging and encourage people
local traders.
Under plans announced by the
council, both Tachbrook and
Church Street markets, which sell
everything from antiques and fine
art to fresh food and home furnishing and attract hundreds of
shoppers every week, are
set to recieve much-needed
facelifts as part of a £5m
regeneration package. This
will include new lighting,
paving and the installation of
new power and water supplies for traders.
Westminster council created the first new traditional
street market in central London for 50 years on June 20
with the opening of Maida
Hill market, situated at the
Prince of Wales Junction.
This formed part of a wider
£1m regeneration plan which
has helped transform the area.
For more information on your
local market, please visit http://
gave the sometimes tasteless pear
a kick while it in turn provided a
lighter sweetness to their density.
Not having a sweet tooth I opted
for the Cheese Board. I think I am
French when it comes to cheese,
I take it very seriously indeed and
was thus horrified to discover upon
living in America that the horrible
orangey Monterey Jack was viewed
as cheese in America and could
technically be seen in the same
category as a particularly oozing
Brie Rustique. Sacriliege. Luckily
there was no Monterey Jack on
Kettner’s Cheese Board just a good
selection of blue and cheddar and a
happily oozing Brie.
Ladies go to Kettner’s for one
of the many teas on offer and a
pastry, others come to lunch and
the theatre crowd, couples and the
like go for dinner.
Champagne from £8.75 a glass
Starters from £5, Mains from £13
and Puddings from £5.
Wine from £16 a bottle
Kettner’s Restaurant &
Champagne Bar
29 Romilly St. Soho, London
020 7734 6112 [email protected]
Graphic design
020 7683 1237
Horizon_Westminster News
Tel. 020 7251 9336
Page 1
SketchNewsGroup October 2009
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
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SketchNewsGroup October 2009
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Fully qualified & experienced Corgi registered Heating Engineers deal with all central
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Our engineers also deal with all general plumbing works, leaks, overflows, tanks,
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Tel. 020 7834 1111 - 0870 240 6049
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TheWestminsterNews October 2009
Westminster’s outstanding
‘Green Achievers’ recognised
group, Westminster’s young
achiever, best resident, and
best overall achievement.
The best overall
achievement was awarded to
Hampden Gurney Primary
School, for their colourful
flower and vegetable garden
and excellent joint work of
parents, teachers and pupils.
Students, Holly Heywood,
10, and Chloe HunterJohnson, 7, said they were
thrilled at winning the award.
Holly said : “It’s really
amazing and exciting to win
and it’s great for us and the
school. We are really proud
of ourselves and so are our
parents who helped us make
the garden.”
The other winners were:
Best organisation: Sarastro
for their excellent work
brightening up the West End.
Holly and Chloe receive their awards from Lord Mayor
of Westminster, Cllr Duncan Sandys.
Best community group:
Club, nominated for their
excellent roof top garden
and hanging baskets.
Westminster’s young
achiever: Paddington Academy
Eco Team, nominated for
their fundraising for World
Earth Day and raising green
Best resident: Mike
Wohl, nominated for his
green engagement work in
Church Street.
A special commendation was
also awarded to Patrick Healy,
of Continental Landscapes,
who was recognised for his
service to the council in
Green Flag applications and
his close working relationship
with several local schools and
educational projects.
Cllr Lee Rowley,
Services and Communities,
said: “These awards provide
an opportunity for the
council to recognise the
passionate and dedicated
efforts of all our residents,
local organisations, and
community groups who work
to make the city a greener
place to live and work.
“Picking the winners was
a difficult job, especially
when there were so many
examples of how local people
make Westminster such a
green and colourful city.
“Ultimately, everyone that
was nominated is a winner
and a shining example of
the many residents who are
committed to improving
local neighbourhoods and
Westminster was recently
awarded a record 18 Green
Flags for the borough’s open
spaces - up from 13 last year
and more than any other
local authority in the capital.
Awarded by Keep Britain
Tidy, the flags are seen as
the gold standard for public
spaces that are welcoming,
safe and well maintained.
Image courtesy of ‘ITV Global Entertainment’
across Westminster were
outstanding contribution
to the local environment
at Westminster Council’s
awards last week.
The ‘Green Achievements’
scheme aims to highlight
and reward a number of
outstanding green projects
including spectacular flower
displays and allotments,
recycling schemes and other
initiatives that help reduce
waste and carbon footprints
in the city.
Of the dozens of entries
received, the judges had the
difficult job of selecting one
winner from each of five
categories, including best
organisation, best community
Friday 27 November, 7.30pm
at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall
In the presence of HRH Princess Michael of Kent
Join a cast of stars from the silver screen as they present
A Brief Encounter – an evening of music from movies to raise
money for London’s homeless.
Film star and pianist Teo Gheorghiu joins the Orion Symphony
Orchestra and Toby Purser in a concert featuring Rachmaninov’s
Second Piano Concerto from the film Brief Encounter, Barber’s
Adagio for Strings from The Elephant Man, and John William’s
music from Star Wars and Schindler’s List.
Concert Tickets: £50 £40 £30 £25 £10
Pre-concert reception: £25
Post-concert reception: £60
helping homeless people
charity number 1079764
To buy tickets call The Passage on 020 7592 1856
www email [email protected]

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