Global Syria Conference - 4th February

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A high-profile global conference on Syria is taking place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on Thursday 4th February. Further information can be found at www.supportingsyria2016.com.

This will result in road closures and disruption to residents, businesses and visitors from 4.00pm on Wednesday 3rd (yesterday) February until Friday 5th February. Local bus routes from outside Westminster City Hall will be affected.

Transport for London are providing full information on the impact this will have on travel including live updates - click here to view


Recycle Your Christmas Tree

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Recycling your Christmas tree is easy and helps the environment.

Westminster has 22 recycling points for your natural Christmas trees, and the trees will be used to make woodchip and mulch.

Opening hours are 8am to 8pm unless they are in parks, which close at 4.30pm. 
You can take your tree to a drop-off point until Friday 15 January 2016. 

Remember to remove all of your tree decorations.  

Any trees dumped at other sites will not be composted.

Your closest Christmas tree recycling points, which can be viewed here, are
 
      - Cavendish Square Gardens (North East Entrance)
      - Soho Square Gardens (East Entrance)


New Years Eve - Information for Businesses

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With 2016 celebrations just around the corner, there are, inevitably, a number of impacts on businesses and the public within the area. Businesses are encouraged to review and ensure that they are familiar with their security and contingency plans as criminals and terrorists use the cover of crowds to commit crime.

Road closures in central London start from 14:00hrs.A map showing the areas and times for road closures being implemented in central London on New Years Eve is on the Safer Westend Twitter feed @saferwestend.

Around 3,000 officers will be on duty across central London, both within and outside the ticketed areas to prevent crime and disorder; and keep everyone safe.

To find out more about tonight's events and, the New Year's Day Parade, please follow this link: http://eepurl.com/bLkARH


Keep safe and I wish you a happy New Year!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2016.



There will be no surgery in December, but please feel free to contact me as usual.

My surgery will resume in January.

Thoughts on 2015

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A long time ago (in the 1960s) in a galaxy far far away (Bristol) my parents went to the theatre (The Old Vic) and sat next to the Prime Minister (Harold Wilson).

I had thought, until last week, that this kind of thing was the remnant of a kindlier and more civilised society where pre-IRA bombing campaign and security issues meant that the Prime Minister of the day could enjoy a night off and an evening out without an accompanying cast of armed security guards and fixers.

That was until last week when I went to the premiere of The Force Awakens and was pleasantly surprised to see the Prime Minister, his wife and children, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, his wife and children all having a family night off to enjoy this latest blockbuster. Even though David Cameron was due in Brussels to re-negotiate Britain’s terms of membership of the European Union for the following morning he was able to join in the escapism for a few hours and just be a father with his kids enjoying a family film.

Do not let the stories about 'booing' the Chancellor fool you. When J.J Abrams confirmed that the Prime Minister was present there was general cheering and likewise when he confirmed the Chancellor’s presence. There were some very limited, pantomime boos, in full seasonal spirit, which were far from any considered expression of political disapproval. From where I was sitting, it certainly did not seem to spoil their enjoyment.

Most of the film and the post production work was undertaken in England because of benign tax rules created or maintained by the Chancellor. Whilst the finer and more arcane points of film finance tax legislation were probably lost on most (if not all of the audience) the very real contribution that the creative industries make to this country, and its reputation, as a result of the current fiscal structures was not.

So last week I had an element of my faith restored and was delighted that as we draw to the end of 2015 with all its trials and tribulations that the world did not stop turning as the two most powerful men in the country chose to spend their evening watching a film with their families.

Crossrail: Installation of track - Bond Street - Tottenham Court Road

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The Crossrail contractor appointed to provide the power, utilities, track systems and other services within the central tunnel areas (known as the Systemwide works) has begun enabling works within the tunnels below the new Crossrail Bond Street station. This marks the beginning of work to install rail tracks within the central section of Crossrail.

From 12 January 2016 night time concreting will commence for the construction of the rail track, which is specially designed to minimise operational noise and vibration transmission. Concrete pumping equipment will be enclosed within an acoustic shed in order to mitigate against potential noise disruption.

Pumping concrete to construct the rail track between Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, will take place from January to July 2016 every fourth night. The night time working has been chosen to reduce daytime traffic congestion in the vicinity of the work site.

 For further details regarding the works, please see the information sheet below:


Stop The War March Tomorrow, Saturday 12th December

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Stop The War Coalition have initiated a National Call Out following the decision to begin airstrikes in Syria.

The group will be meeting near the BBC in Portland Place, and the march will begin at 1.00pm.

The route of the march and final rally point is yet to be confirmed.

Local police do have a plan in place for the day, and will endeavour to minimise the impact of this action on local businesses and residents.

For more information please click here

Fitzrovia Centre Winter Party Tomorrow

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The Fitzrovia Centre will be holding their Winter Party tomorrow, 10th December, from 6pm to 9pm.


There will be nibbles and drinks, and the event will launch the new exhibition by their artist in residence, Mir Gwilliam-Parkes.

Tottenham Court Road – New Glass Tube Entrance

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The new south plaza entrance to the station is now open in what is a major milestone for the stations upgrade.

The 15 metre tall glass entrance to Tottenham Court Road has also been greeted by the announcement that Central Line trains will now be stopping at the station again from Monday 7 December.

These works are part of TFL’s £500 million upgrade to the station and will be fully completed in 2016. Please follow this link to find out more about the new entrance and details of what the station will feature in the future: Tottenham Court Road Upgrade

Crossrail - Slip form works at Bond Street Western Ticket Hall

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Please see the information sheet below which gives information about the slip form works which are currently taking place at the Bond Street Western Ticket Hall over the next two weeks.

Everyone Should Know Their Status: Get Tested this World AIDS Day

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Next Tuesday, 1st December, is World AIDS Day, and G-A-Y have launched a ‘10k challenge’, in conjunction with 56 Dean Street.


56 Dean Street is one of the leading sexual health, contraception, and HIV care clinics in Europe, and is based in Soho.


As a matter of public and personal health it is important that as many people as possible, whatever their sexual orientation, are tested and know their status.

If 1000 people are tested at G-A-Y Bar in London between 1pm and 8pm on Tuesday, G-A-Y will be donating £10,000 to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

For more information on the challenge, launched by G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph, please take a look at the graphic attached, or click this link and share the tweet from Jeremy.


Getting into the festive period across the West End

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Across the West End there are many Christmas lights switch-ons. Below is some brief information from across the area.

Oxford Street lights:

On Sunday 1st November the snowflake-themed Christmas lights in Oxford Street were officially switched on by Kylie Minogue. 

There were also performances by last year’s winner of the X Factor, Ben Haenow, and X Factor finalist Fleur East.



Regent Street lights:

On  Sunday 15th November, the Christmas lights along Regent Street were switched on by Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell.

Performances from the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Philharmonic Orchestra topped off an enjoyable, traffic-free day for all.


Bond Street lights:

On Thursday 12th November the Christmas lights on Bond Street were switched on.

Returning from last year was the theme of peacocks, with large feathers being perched above festive shop windows. 







South Molton Street lights:

The Christmas lights in South Molton Street were switched on on Wednesday 11th November.

There will also be a Christmas Party in the street on Friday 27th November, with two DJ’s, outdoor bars and carol singers. The event will start at 8.00pm.


Shepherd Market:

The Christmas party in Shepherd Market will take place on Thursday 3rd December.

It will include live music, mulled wine, late night shopping, and Santa’s grotto.








Carnaby Street:

Carnaby Street played host to a Christmas Party on November 12th.

Along with live DJ’s and refreshments a number of local shops were involved in the event, with many providing introductory discounts to those in attendance.


Berwick Street:

The Berwick Street lights were switched on yesterday by film director Terry Gilliam. There was mulled wine and dumplings by Duck and Rice.
  
Mount Street:

The Christmas lights on Mount Street were switched on last Thursday, 19th November, by popular recording artist Rachel Stevens.
 

The lights are accompanied by a tree by Damien Hurst.

MAYFAIR CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Novikov Restaurant and Bar will be hosting the Mayfair Christmas Market on Saturday 28 November from 10am till 9pm. The event will see the whole of Mayfair Place closed off to traffic and turned into a festive event.

To find out more about this event please visit the following link: Mayfair Christmas Market





Crossrail Bond Street – Eastern Ticket Hall – Utility Diversion Enabling Works

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In order to install new services, both BT and UK Power Networks will be working within the Bond Street Eastern Ticket Hall site to complete service diversion works over the next month. This works will last until late-December. The majority of the works will be carried out within the existing CSJV footprint, however please see below for the information sheet which details what to expect as the works take place: