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16 June 2020   |   Issue 21 

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. 

Westminster Reopening

Reopening the hospitality sector: Some of our most famous hospitality areas are proposed to get a ‘continental style’ make over with outdoor tables and chairs to bring visitors safely back into the City and support this important business sector. Areas most popular with tourists – Covent Garden, Soho, Chinatown, Mayfair and Oxford Street – are among those targeted by the 50 imaginative and innovative proposals brought forward by Westminster City Council and published earlier today.

The Council has worked with residents, landowners, retailers and business groups to come up with a list of 50 projects and schemes which are suitable for outdoor dining and drinking. The radical move will mean all major visitor and tourist hubs in Westminster will get a continental makeover in time for the summer and expected easing of the government’s lockdown restrictions on July 4th. See our plans here and please send your feedback on these proposals to movementstrategy@westminster.gov.uk by midnight Sunday 21 June 2020. 

Shops Reopening: From Monday 15 June, all non-essential retail shops in England have been allowed to reopen for the first time in three months.  

Please share the following guidance across your networks to help shoppers, staff and business owners stay safe:  

  • Where possible, shop alone and stay 2m from others 
  • Wear face coverings if the shop is busy 
  • Always use the correct doors for entering and exiting a shop (these should be clearly marked) 
  • Follow any one-way systems shops have put in place 
  • Use hand sanitisers at the entrance and exits to clean your hands 
  • Only touch items you intend to purchase 
  • Pay by contactless wherever possible 
  • Be aware that for clothing stores, fewer (or even no) changing rooms will be available 

Individual shops may also have their own store guidance. For more information on staying safe during this new stage of lockdown, read the Government’s latest guidance here

Shopping Local: The Council’s Shop Local campaign has been running since May and will continually be expanded as new local retailers open their doors to the public. Leader of Westminster City Council Rachael Robathan, and Cabinet Member for Business and Planning Cllr Matthew Green, paid a visit to retailers on Motcomb Street to see how they’re trading safely, and to promote the campaign.
Florist, Neil Strain (pictured above) said: “It’s great to once again open my doors to customers and make face-to-face transactions. I hope the campaign will bring residents back to their local high streets to support businesses like mine as we reopen and restart.”

More than 300 businesses have signed up to the map so far, and we want to encourage more to join the campaign. 

Please help us to spread the word about the Shop Local campaign by sharing the interactive map and sign up form here. 
Business survey: The council is asking businesses to take part in a survey which will help inform our approach to supporting the borough’s recovery. We hope to hear from a wide range of businesses of all different types and sizes, to ensure we have regular insight from the local business community. The survey is open until Friday 3rd July.

Click here to take part and please feel free to share this link with businesses in your network.
Every week we publish news and information for businesses in Westminster. See our latest business newsletter for key updates, events and resources here. 

Community Updates

Helping Rough Sleepers to rebuild their lives: Rough sleeping is one of the most pressing issues facing any city. It’s a particularly acute issue for Westminster sitting at the heart of the capital and the Council sees tackling it with long term and effective solutions as an absolute priority.  

 

Since lockdown began, we’ve worked incredibly hard to keep rough sleepers safe. As well as providing emergency accommodation, we have worked tirelessly with our partners and the rough sleepers themselves to find solutions to the complex issues that individuals face. This includes finding accommodation to get them off the streets and so they have a stable home for when the hotel accommodation will inevitably come to an end. We have also offered physical and mental health treatments and have been successful in finding employment for many so they can start to rebuild their lives.  
  
Helping people to sustain a life off the streets can’t be solved by any one person or agency alone. If you want to help, you can donate to the Hidden Network of outreach and charity workers who work to support rough sleepers off the streets for good.
 
To read a summary of how the Council is helping to change the lives of rough sleepers, click here. 

Windrush Day: June 22 2020 marks 72 years since the HMT Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks, East London. As of 2018, the 22 June has been named Windrush Day. To recognise and celebrate the many contributions of those who came to the UK from the West Indies, Westminster City Council would like to share personal stories from our residents of the Windrush Generation and their descendants. Please share this email address with anyone who may have a story to share. Stories will be posted on our social media: communications@westminster.gov.uk.
 
Join us for a virtual West End LIVE this weekend to celebrate the best of West End theatre. Enjoy some of the most memorable performances from Trafalgar Square over the past five years and be inspired to see a show when the theatres reopen.



Visit the West End LIVE Facebook page from 2pm on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June where performances will be online for 24 hours only. There will also be a West End LIVE quiz, sing-along and live piano requests.

Visit westendlive.co.uk to find out more.
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