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08 September 2020   |   Issue 32

Thank you for continuing to support Westminster and the rest of London through this unprecedented time.

From next week we will be combining this stakeholder bulletin with our resident’s newsletter, MyWestminster. The MyWestminster newsletter will be sent once a week to all stakeholders.

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Westminster Updates

LEADER OF COUNCIL AND SECRETARY OF STATE DISCUSS WEST END REOPENING: Yesterday, Leader of Westminster Council, Rachael Robathan, was joined by Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick at Abuelo’s café in Covent Garden. The Secretary of State spoke of his support for the #SightSeeCrowdFree campaign and underlined that Westminster is a safe place to work and visit with unequalled cultural attractions, restaurants and shops on offer.

Cllr Robathan, meanwhile, set out the council’s ambitious plans for the upcoming Inside Out event, being staged from October 1 to 4 with the support of some of the biggest names in the arts world.
EAT OUT TO HELP OUT THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER: A number of restaurants and cafés across Westminster have chosen to extend the popular ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme throughout September. My Place Soho is one restaurant that has extended the offer.

Dini, the Manager at My Place Soho, said: “Our new outdoor tables and chairs have been great for business and have allowed us to reopen after lockdown and to welcome customers back this summer. The council’s al fresco dining scheme has not only created a really nice atmosphere in Soho and brought back the buzz to the area, it has also supported independent businesses such as ourselves to survive throughout these difficult times.”

Check out our list of restaurants extending the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in Westminster here.

If your business is planning to extend ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ then we would love to know. We’re collating a list of restaurants which are going to be part of the scheme until September. If you are extending your participation to the scheme, please fill your details here and we will publish it on our website and marketing channels.
CYCLING IN THE WEST END: As the West End begins to reopen, cycling can be a great transport choice for those returning to the workplace. If you work at a business or office within cycling distance, the Heart of London Business Alliance has produced a short guide on cycling tips and support. They are also providing free Dr Bike maintenance sessions throughout September, in partnership with New West End Company.

For further information and details about the Dr Bike sessions, visit: heartoflondonbid.london/cycling-to-work.
STUDENTS RETURN TO SCHOOL: Schools in Westminster have been welcoming all pupils back following the summer break and national lockdown.

Cllr Timothy Barnes, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, visited St Peter’s Church of England Primary School last week and spoke to headteacher Sam Adcock to see how the children were settling in and to view COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Cllr Barnes said: “Sam, the headteacher, and her team, have worked incredibly hard to get the school ready physically – making changes to timetables and staff rotas to ensure things are as safe as they can be. We want children back in the classroom as soon as possible for their education, physical health and mental wellbeing.

Headteacher of St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, Sam Adcock, said: “We had a great first day back and we’ve had great attendance. Everyone has settled in well and there has been lots of fun and laughter throughout the school.

There was also good news for Westminster last week when our secondary schools were recognised for having the smallest gap in learning for disadvantaged children in England. The details were published in a new report from the Education Policy Institute. For more information on the report, click here.

To find out more about the measures schools are putting in place, please visit www.westminster.gov.uk/back-to-school or contact your child’s school directly.
TASTE OF WESTMINSTER LIVE COOK-ALONG TOMORROW: The free e-book, A Taste of Westminster, is a having a live cook-along on Instagram on Wednesday 9 September at 6.30pm. The cookbook is a collection of recipes from residents. In the live cook-along, you will learn how to cook Mojahed’s lamb and okra curry. All you need to do is click on this link to watch the live event.

To find out what ingredients you will need, as well as to read the full cookbook, please click here.
EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT FOR WESTMINSTER RESIDENTS: Westminster Housing has been working with residents who may have been struggling financially during the pandemic by providing additional support and making referrals to employment services. Since 29 June, the Housing team has made 1,062 calls and 393 referrals to external agencies. The team has received some positive feedback from one of our residents:

Shah has helped me to create a CV which I have never done in my life and has been very supportive towards my family [by] helping my mum and my brother get the best jobs in this difficult time. I can’t thank this man enough for his wise words and full support.

If you are looking for employment or financial support, contact the housing team here.

Alternatively, the Westminster Employment Service (WES) also offers residents access to training, jobs and career progression. For more information, click here.

Government Updates

KICKSTART SCHEME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: Last week, the government launched its Kickstart scheme to create new jobs for young people. The six-month placements will be open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. The first set of placements will be available from November.

If you are an employer and are interested in taking part, the scheme is fully subsidised. To find out more, click here.

Public Health Updates

STOPPING THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS: Stay at home and book a test if you have any of the following:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

TEST AND TRACE HUB: The Council has a dedicated Test and Trace hub with advice on COVID-19 and links to central Government and NHS health advice. This includes information available in Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish Sorani, Portuguese, Somali and Tigrinya.

MOBILE TESTING UNIT: A mobile coronavirus testing unit will be available on North Carriage Drive in Hyde Park on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September, from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Tests are available for people over 5 years old with symptoms of coronavirus.

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