November 11, 2011
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
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
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
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
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. ...
October 6, 2011
Mark visited artisan cheesemonger, Paxton & Whitfield, this morning to open their new flagship shop Jermyn Street, along with Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Susie Burbridge. The shop at 93 Jermyn Street, has been refurbished with great care both upstairs and downstairs and continues to feature traditional elements, consistent with the heritage of this longstanding brand. ...
September 28, 2011
Since 1965, Londoners and visitors alike have savoured the salt beef and fluffy falafel served up by Gaby’s Deli on Charing Cross Road. Run by Gaby Elyahou, a Brent resident for four decades after arriving in London from Israel, the delicatessen has become a local institution adored for its unique spirit and tasty fare amidst an alternative spread of chain cafes and boxed sandwiches...
August 9, 2011
Watching the dreadful and at times terrifying scenes of disorder taking place across so many London shopping centres, my first thoughts are with the business owners whose livelihoods have been destroyed. These hard-working folk supporting families and neighbourhoods deserve our deepest sympathy – I trust that government will give such people rapid practical support to get their businesses going again as soon as possible...
May 6, 2011
It is to the eternal credit of us Londoners that we deal with travel disruption by rolling our eyes, having a quiet grumble but carrying calmly on. However, I suspect the latest call from the RMT union's Bob Crow for six days of industrial action over two weeks makes a lot of people want to escalate their muffled irritation to open outrage.
April 12, 2011
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Sir Simon Milton, London’s Deputy Mayor, yesterday evening (11 April). Sir Simon epitomised better than anyone the quote from the past US President, Ronald Reagan, that “there is no limit to what you can achieve politically if you do not care who takes the credit”. That is not to say that Simon was simply a back-room political operator. Indeed as a youthful, innovative and highly effective leader of Westminster City Council during 2000-2007 he was a prominent political figure in his own right.