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02 June 2020   |   Issue 19 

Thank you for continuing to support Westminster and the rest of London through this unprecedented time. Please find below the latest information from the City Council on how we are supporting our communities and businesses. 

Community Updates

Westminster markets back in business: The Leader of Westminster City Council, Rachael Robathan, and Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business and Planning, visited Tachbrook Street market on the first day of trading as shoppers returned to markets in central London. Signage and floor markings are being installed across the city and strict social distancing measures have been introduced to help people to shop safely.

Click here for more information on how we are supporting the safe re-opening of our outdoor markets.

Returning to school: From yesterday, schools across Westminster have started welcoming back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups. The safety of children and staff is the Council’s utmost priority and we’ve been working closely with schools to help ensure they are prepared for the attendance of more children. We encourage parents/guardians to have a conversation with their child’s school where a member of staff will be able to discuss their approach and address any specific concerns. Please pass this advice on to your contacts to ensure children are returning to school safely. 

As part of the measures to safely support schools welcome back more children, our temporary ‘School Streets’ have been put in place. We will be increasing pedestrian space at schools across the Westminster, as an emergency measure until December 2020. Vehicle movements will be reduced during the operating times of a School Street so that school children, their parents and carers and other visitors can walk, cycle and scooter more, as well as being safe whilst social distancing. For more information, click here. 
Moving around the city safely: Over the past weekend we have been making changes to the roads in and around the city. To safely support the easing of the lockdown, we are temporarily widening pavements,  pedestrian areas and cycle lanes to help people to move around more safely. Click here for more details. 
Community Contribution Fund: Thanks to all those who applied for or promoted the Community Contribution COVID-19 grant scheme. So far, 16 organisations across Westminster have been awarded essential funds to help them support local communities during the coronavirus - with more applications still being processed. These include organisations providing support to rough sleepers, young people and those suffering from social isolation and loneliness. Due to the large number of bids received, the COVID-19 grant scheme is currently closed to new applications. However, applications are still open for the wider Community Contribution Fund.
Apply by 31 July
We have been proud and humbled by the Westminster community throughout the crisis, as residents, businesses and community groups have all rallied around to help others. We’re using this Volunteers’ Week as a #TimeToSayThanks to our volunteers at Westminster Connects who have used their spare time helping others in the community. From creating face masks for NHS staff, to calling vulnerable or shielded residents for a chat, to buying and dropping off food shopping, we want to celebrate our incredible volunteers. Farah London, who helps out at Unity Kitchen where 900 meals are made every day for people living in temporary accommodation or who are homeless, told us why she chooses to volunteer: “I live to serve others. I have volunteered for many years and always want to assist anyone I can. There truly is no greater joy than being able to impact someone’s life.”

Business Support

Reopening safely: For businesses that are considering reopening on 15 June we’ve put together some guidance to help you to reopen safely. Our reopening hub has guidance on managing queuing arrangements, sample social distancing stencils and markers and also covers specific issues such as risk management of fire, legionella, work and food safety. The Council will continue to keep this advice updated in line with the release of any further Government guidance and as best practice is developed. 

Free bespoke information and guidance: The Westminster Business Unit is now offering bespoke appointments if you need advice on preparing to reopen your business. This is a free service and your appointment can cover a range of issues as businesses move towards reopening safely from 15 June.

Book a 15-minute telephone appointment by contacting or calling 020 7641 2070. For more information on the service, please visit our website. Please share the details of the Business Unit with partners and anyone you feel would benefit from bespoke advice on how to reopen safely. 

Sign up to our business newsletter: If you want to be kept up to date with more news for businesses, sign up to the weekly business newsletter here

The latest edition of the newsletter includes further information about how to reopen and which services are available to support during the easing of lockdown. 

Support our Shop Local campaign: We’ve had a great response to our Shop Local campaign. Over 200 businesses have signed up to the map, promoting their services to the local Westminster community. If you would like to help promote the campaign to your business and resident audiences, please contact our communications lead Melissa Bocks for a Shop Local campaign pack: 

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