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Category: London

  • October 1, 2014

    New Statesman – Mark writes about Boris

    Mark was asked to write a piece for the New Statesman about Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, as part of their so-called ‘Boris Audit’. To read his contribution, please click on the link below. Boris Audit, New Statesman, Sep-Oct 2014
  • June 20, 2014

    Short Lets

    New measures are to be introduced in the Deregulation Bill to end rules from the 1970s preventing London residents from renting out their own homes on a short term basis to visitors. Currently Londoners who want to rent out their homes for less than three months technically still have to apply for planning permission from the […]
  • October 30, 2012

    Paddington Rotary Club

    Mark spoke to the Paddington Rotary Club about a range of local issues. Below are his notes from the event, including an update on the future of hospitals in this part of London.  Situation on St Mary’s –          From next April new Commissioning Boards come into play that will be run by local GPs. The […]
  • January 18, 2012

    A New Estuary Airport for London?

    Back in 2007, Mark tabled a Westminster Hall debate calling upon the last government to give serious consideration to the idea of a new airport for London in the Thames Estuary. Today, it has been revealed that the coalition government is likely soon to launch a formal consultation on such an option. Mark's 2007 speech is therefore copied below as a reminder of the arguments in favour of this airport being built: Since the beginning of the millennium the government has been dithering over the pressing need for expanding airport capacity in Britain. We have seen White Papers, judicial reviews, announcements, retractions, consultations…And the conclusion?...
  • December 13, 2011

    Parliament Square Encampment

    The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which gained Royal Assent earlier this year, will prohibit people from camping in gardens and pavement in the middle of Parliament Square. While I fully support the important right to protest, removing this long standing camp will make it possible for other people to use the Square for recreation and protest. Westminster City Council is proposing additional action to deal with encampments in the area around parliament. The Act covers the central island in the Square but to...
  • November 11, 2011

    Why the battle of St Paul’s is a challenge for us all

    Mark was asked to write for PoliticsHome about the political challenges represented by the St Paul's encampment in the constituency. The following was posted on their site this morning: When the Occupy London movement descended on the City of London, it was perhaps naïve not to fear that the 5000 protestors might leave behind a core of campers. After all, bedding down for one’s beliefs is now de rigeur. That the campsite of choice was in the shadow of the iconic and glorious St Paul’s ...
  • November 8, 2011

    West End Parking Changes

    Westminster City Council is set to abolish free parking on single yellow lines and in bays in the West End between 6.30pm and midnight from Monday to Saturday and 1pm and 6pm on Sundays. The Council advises that this decision has been made in order to ease congestion in W1. I am aware that these planned parking restrictions are causing an enormous amount of anxiety amongst constituents. I have received letters and emails from residents and businesspeople alike who have expressed concern about women’s safety...
  • November 7, 2011

    Supporting St Mungo’s

    Last Monday I helped launch an exhibition in the House of Commons to celebrate St Mungo’s fortieth anniversary and their latest project, Street Stories. St Mungo’s runs emergency homelessness services in London, providing shelters for people in need of a safe place to sleep, outreach teams to connect with the vulnerable and support services to help get the homeless back on their feet. The Street Stories exhibition displays the testimonies of forty-one St Mungo’s clients who were asked to contribute to an oral history of homeless...
  • October 27, 2011

    The battle of St Paul’s

    When the Occupy London movement descended on the City the Saturday before last, it was perhaps naïve not to entertain some fears that the 5000 protestors might leave behind a core of campers. After all, bedding down for one’s beliefs is now de rigeur for the savvy, modern day anti-capitalist. That the campsite of choice was in the shadow of the glorious St Paul’s Cathedral has, however, caused an almighty headache both for the City Corporation and, particularly, the Church...
  • October 11, 2011

    Visit to Crossrail HQ

    At £17 billion Crossrail is a costly but necessary cog in the UK’s plan for economic growth for the decades ahead. Rather than continually tinkering at the edges, Crossrail is a visionary project aimed at tackling the Capital’s interconnected transport problems. During rush hour Crossrail will provide the capacity to whisk twenty-four ten carriage trains right through the heart of London.To help me gain a greater understanding of the likely hurdles ahead, today I visited Crossrail’s HQ and had a tour of a vast concrete bunker which will soon be transformed into the Canary Wharf Crossrail station. ...