December 2011 Archives
AN ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy raised more than £1,000 for a hospital which left a lasting impression on him, writes Greg Burns.
Ayomide Soleye, of Arnold House School, in St John's Wood, spent a week in the Royal Free Hospital in 2008 when his appendix burst.
"Of course everyone supports double yellow lines at dropped kerbs so that the disabled, the elderly and parents with prams can cross the road safely.
But helping the disabled is just a very small part of the Council's plans to raise over £7 million a year more from motorists and Westminster is cynically using the disabled to push through plans that will take 1,600 free parking spaces out of use in the West End and force many visitors and people working in the evening to pay up to £20 to go to work or visit the theatre.
Some years seem to pass without drama, others pack in every kind of turbulence. 2011 has been a bumper year, although its blessings have been mixed ones.
From the heady Arab spring to the slaughter on the streets of Syria, people have shown again their courage and demand for democracy, yet found their hopes thwarted or at least delayed.
At home this has been the year when the public service cuts really started to bite.
by Adam Courtney
A YOUNG man is fighting for life after being shot in the chest three times on the Mozart Estate in Queen's Park.
Controversial plans to introduce evening and weekend parking charges in Westminster have been shelved after a High Court judge granted campaigners a judicial review.
Westminster Council had planned to introduce the charges next month, but on Thursday (15) revealed that they would be putting them on hold until after the Olympics next summer.
This decision came as campaigners were granted a judicial review at the High Court into the legality of the consultation into the plans, which is likely to be heard in March.
I am writing from the point of view of a St Johns Wood and Westminster community member, a woman and a family person.
Since Boris Johnson became Mayor in 2008 he has continuously raised transport fares which were substantially held down by our previous Mayor Ken Livingstone.
Thirteen people have been arrested in two separate UK Border Agency raids on restaurants in Westminster.
Officers visited Tuk Tuk Thai Noodle Bar in Queensway, Bayswater on Thursday (8), where they arrested five Chinese men and two Malaysian women all aged between 21 and 48.
Youngsters at Pimlico Academy spent a day learning about wars around the world and the roles children often end up playing in them.
Students in year seven at the school in Lupus Street began the day being taught about human rights and the plight of child soldiers in conflicts around the world.
They then split into separate groups to produce t-shirts, posters, short plays and other performances which they could show to the rest of their year group at the end of the day.
A new pilot scheme is aiming to remove expensive up front childcare costs for Westminster parents re-entering work after a period of unemployment.
Westminster Council is launching the Local Childcare Affordability Programme on December 16, helping families return to work by underwriting the risk of childcare providers postponing the upfront fees they would normally charge.
Westminster Council has called on Crossrail to limit the damaging impact of works on businesses, residents and visitors.
Following a site visit in June with councillors, Terry Morgan, the chairman of Crossrail, assured the council that the firm would support businesses by improving poor signage on hoardings, and to minimise the effect on traders.
Although some work has been done, the council said at a meeting on Tuesday (6) that more immediate action is needed to address the concerns of businesses.