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    Yesterday, 12:00
    School children resident in the City of London, who are eligible for free school meals, will receive food vouchers over the October half term holiday. Parents, carers and families whose children are eligible for free school meals will be able to collect the vouchers from Guildhall from Monday 26 October or in exceptional circumstances discuss arrangements for these to be delivered. Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, Catherine McGuinness, said: “The impact of the Coronavirus has been profound on young people across the country, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. “This extra support will provide a helping hand to those families that need it the most.” ENDS Notes to Editors About the City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk The City of London Corporation has one maintained primary school, eight sponsored academies as part of the City of London Academies Trust, and two co-sponsored academies in neighbouring boroughs. It also supports three independent schools. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    A community organisation which turns disused open spaces in Islington into vegetable plots is expanding its reach – to tackle soaring levels of food poverty in the borough. Octopus Community Network will create eight new growing spaces for communities to cultivate their own food – and help set up 10 new community food hubs offering access to food and healthy meals to residents in need over the next five years. The group says COVID-19 has exposed alarming levels of food insecurity, an issue it has been helping to address by delivering over 40,000 cooked meals or food parcels since the start of the pandemic. Octopus, which has already worked with communities to set up over 20 growing spaces and four food hubs, is branching out to new parts of the borough thanks to a £186,400 grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder. Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Food poverty is an issue which blights the lives of millions of Londoners and particularly impacts on children, having a detrimental impact on their health and their life chances. “As an organisation at the heart of the community, Octopus is perfectly placed to address the needs of its residents, helping them to access healthy meals and to benefit from the health and wellbeing benefits of growing their own food.” As well as offering food hubs and growing spaces, Octopus will also offer food growing workshops at its Community Plant Nursery – a thriving hub of fruit and veg created on a former play area off the Holloway Road. Julie Parish, Octopus Community Network Development Manager, said: “People from outside often think Islington is very affluent area but in fact almost half the children in the borough are growing up in poverty, and when children don’t eat properly, it means they can’t concentrate and it impacts on their education. “What we’ve found during the pandemic is that a lot of people are used to buying ready meals and the idea of cooking a meal from scratch is alien to them. We’ve had items like aubergines sent back because people don’t know what to do with them. “We’re able to help people access healthy food without the stigma that comes with going to a food bank and to build up the connection between where food comes from and what’s on your plate, and there's also a therapeutic element from getting your hands in the soil and meeting new people.” Case study Assya, a 35-year-old mother-of-two, was furloughed during COVID-19 and was finding it difficult to afford food and essential items for her family. Elizabeth House Community Centre, in Highbury – a member of the Octopus network – has been delivering food to her home since May and offering support through weekly phone calls. She also took part in online cooking activities and got help accessing Disability Living Allowance for one of her children who has complex needs. With the support of the community centre, she is now planning to return to work. She said: “I didn’t have any information about the services and activities that are delivered at Elizabeth House prior the lockdown, I am grateful for all support I have been receiving. I am looking forward to join the Lunch & Play on Fridays and meeting the local families.” The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk More information on Octopus Community Network is at www.octopuscommunities.org.uk Notes to editors The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk The City Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has allocated £11 million to the London Community Response, set up to help charities deal with the impact of coronavirus, and has also given over £1.7 million in one-off grants to 202 organisations it already supports to help them offset lost income resulting from the pandemic. The London Community Response Fund is administered by City Bridge Trust, the funding arm of Bridge House Estates. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge House Estates and Members of its Court of Common Council form the City Bridge Trust Committee, responsible for taking grant and funding decisions for the charity. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced that additional financial support will be provided to particularly affected businesses in local COVID alert level: high areas. Responding to the statement, City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness said: “Today's announcement by the Chancellor will have been welcomed by countless bars, cafes and restaurants across the Square Mile. “As always however, the devil will be in the detail, and we look forward to receiving further information on how the grants will work, and how many places in the City will be able to benefit. “Previously a large number of very small businesses in the Square Mile were excluded from eligibility for grants because of the rateable value of their business premises, so I hope our concerns on this have been taken on board this time round. “The virus is not going to go away quickly, and we urgently need to find a way to live with it. We must keep the economy operating to the maximum extent possible, not only for future prosperity but also to pay for the extensive support, like this, which so many of our sectors, businesses and communities currently need.” ENDS Notes to editors About the City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    The City of London Corporation has doubled down its efforts to help the hospitality sector through the winter, with an urgent amendment of its Al Fresco Eating and Drinking Policy. In July it was agreed that a bespoke approach was required for the resumption of outside trading in the City while social distancing rules remained in place. Licenses have been reinstated following a case by case review considering five principles: To put safety first To recognise the need to nurture a thriving economy in the City No privatisation of public space Having regard to space required to queue outside premises Having regard to new or existing public seating nearby A variety of factors including the width of space available, footfall of pedestrians and any queues likely to form for nearby shops and attractions is always considered. The changes, that will come into effect immediately, will reduce the minimum space required for pedestrians to pass and will allow many more premises to be eligible for a pavement license. Ample space for those with access needs will continue to be maintained. This pavement width amendment reflects that current footfall remains below pre-COVID levels, however the required width will remain under review as footfall increases again. Outdoor heating will also now be permitted when adequate risk assessments are in place. Alastair Moss, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said: “The COVID-19 virus is likely to be with us over the winter and so we need to find a way of living with it. “People’s health remains paramount, but so is the need to keep the economy open. “We hope these improvements will enable more City cafes, restaurants and pubs to safely and comfortably cater for those residents, workers and visitors who wish to eat in the Square Mile. “Those who wish to socialise outside in groups in a convivial setting and enjoy the legendary hospitality our businesses offer, while adhering to relevant Government restrictions, will now be able to do so.” Sophie Fernandes, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Licensing Committee, said: “The hospitality sector has endured very difficult times over the last few months and I hope this change in outdoor City policy gives venues extra flexibility to help keep trading over the winter months ahead.” END Notes to editors The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Children and families in Camden who receive benefits will all get an offer of support from the Council to buy food over the school holidays. Covid-19 has pushed many families in Camden into financial hardship, and as Government continues to fail to provide support for the most vulnerable in our communities, the Council will step in. Vouchers for supermarkets will be made available to all Camden families with children up to the age of 18 and in receipt of benefits for the October half-term break (26 to 30 October). The Council is going beyond those children just in receipt of free school meals, recognising that Covid-19 has made affording food for many families more difficult. The Council hopes this will help up to 6,800 families, with 13,000 children. The Council is working with our schools, early years and children’s services to issue the vouchers directly to families early next week. If families who meet the criteria have not been contacted and received a voucher by the end of Wednesday, 28 October 2020, they should call the Council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9). Families who live outside the borough will be linked up with support services in their home boroughs. Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of the Council, said: “We are committed as a Council and as a community to giving every child in Camden the best start in life – and that means a life free of hunger and worry about getting enough food to learn and grow. In a borough with as much wealth as Camden, we must step up to our shared responsibility to care for every child who grows up here – particularly the most vulnerable. Child hunger won’t be solved by food vouchers, and Government must take action with Councils to address the root causes – poverty and entrenched inequality. Whilst we wait for Government, we will step in to ensure that all children at risk can get food whilst schools are closed for the half-term break.” Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families, said: “Nearly a third of pupils in Camden are entitled to free school meals, which is why we must do everything possible to support them, especially during these challenging times. “The Government have shirked this responsibility and, with the pandemic putting more financial pressure on many of our families, this is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure no one is left behind. No child will go hungry in Camden this half term, and we will make sure every child who needs our support will get it.” Camden Council would like to place on record its wholehearted support for footballer Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty Campaign. How eligible families can get their vouchers If we hold a family’s email address: Families will receive two emails. The first email will arrive on Friday, 23 October 2020. It will ask families to look out for an email from Camden’s ‘Family Fund’ containing the voucher, arriving week commencing 26 October 2020. Family Fund will then issue the vouchers direct to families early next week (most likely on Tuesday 27 October), also by email. We are asking families to please look out for this email in their inbox. If we do not hold a family’s email address: We will send families’ vouchers by post. Family Fund will issue the vouchers direct to families this week by post. These will arrive from Wednesday, 28 October onwards. Allocation of vouchers: A family with one child will receive a £15 voucher A family with 2 or 3 children will receive a £35 voucher A family with 4+ children will receive a £50 voucher More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Camden Council has challenged HS2 Ltd. on High Speed 2 (HS2) rail works that could breach noise thresholds on the doorsteps of hundreds of Camden tenants – and make their homes virtually uninhabitable. Camden Council is urging HS2 Ltd. to step forward and fund the rehousing of all residents of Cartmel, Coniston and Langdale blocks on the Regent’s Park Estate and 40-68 Coburg Street and 29-35 Starcross Street – otherwise it will be forced to take matters into its own hands. If funding is not forthcoming from HS2 Ltd., Camden will proceed with rehousing its own tenants on a phased basis, offering them 630 additional housing points that will give them the opportunity to bid for an alternative council home. Such a scheme would prioritise the most critically affected and vulnerable households first. Camden will continue to pursue compensation for the costs faced in doing the right thing for residents. The Council is also putting HS2 Ltd. on notice to the Secretary of State for Transport and will soon be taking steps to commence proceedings through Parliament for the breaches of disturbance thresholds and the absence of effective mitigation – unless an agreement is reached to support all residents. It has recently become clear that the next phase of HS2 works, which involves highly disruptive piling and excavation in the Regent’s Park area, will breach the acceptable noise thresholds HS2 Ltd. signed up to. HS2 Ltd. has not yet completed work to install noise mitigation measures that are required under the assurances the council was given ahead of the House of Commons Select Committee in 2015. HS2 Ltd.’s Noise Insulation Programme, which launched in 2017, should have delivered noise insulation including secondary glazing, mechanical ventilation and solar blinds to 798 Camden owned properties by the time the main works started. However, only 13% of the homes have had the full package of noise insulation including ventilation installed to date. The situation is also exacerbated by Covid-19, as a large proportion of Camden residents are now spending more time at home, particularly during the working day coinciding with construction hours. In discussions leading up to the parliamentary stage of the HS2 Bill, the Council asked for residents from impacted blocks to be included with those who would need to be rehoused. This request was refused on the grounds that the noise insulation measures the Council secured in assurances would mitigate the impacts and that most disruption would be during the day when the majority of residents would have been expected to be out of their properties and therefore unaffected. This is no longer the case given the Covid-19 pandemic and the low number of eligible flats that have had noise insulation installed. The proposal will discussed by the Council’s Cabinet at their meeting on Wednesday, 28 October 2020. Camden Council previously secured money from HS2 Ltd. to build 90 replacement homes for council tenants who were living in the Ainsdale, Eskdale and Silverdale blocks, which were demolished as part of HS2. A further 70 apartments in the Netley development on Stanhope Street are also being used as replacement homes for those residents. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Children and young people are invited to get active and creative this half-term with a whole host of free activities taking place across the borough, run within public health guidelines. Activities on offer for children this half-term, from 26 to 30 October, range from badminton, football, yoga and cooking classes to quizzes celebrating Black History Month - so there’s something for everyone. More information on events: Online and face-to-face creative courses for 13 to 19 year olds who live or study in Camden are being run by Camden Summer University. To find out more and book your places, visit the CSU website Girls Get Moving is back at Talacre Sports Centre, in Kentish Town, on Monday 26 October, from 4.30 to 6pm, with a free session for up to 20 girls aged eight to 14. Find out more and book your place There’s also Active Wednesday on 28 October, from 4 to 6pm, for all young people aged 11 to 17, also at Talacre. Visit the sports activities website to find out more and book Kilburn Grange Park's multi-use games area is hosting multi-sports activities for children and young people aged eight to 16. You will need to attend with the Netherwood Youth and Family Hub - please email shaun.taylor@camden.gov.uk Full half-term programme details: You can read or download the full Camden Sport and Physical Activities October half-term programme here Read or download the Netherwood Youth and Family Hub half-term programme here Read or download the Somers Town Youth Centre and SCYAP half-term programme here Read or download the Central Youth Hub, including Fresh Youth Academy programme here For other youth, play and sports activities over half-term, visit camdenrise.co.uk/things-to-do Please do not attend any face-to-face activities if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in recent contact with someone who has or you are awaiting a test. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Crowdfund Lambeth and the community together support Loughborough Farm?s volunteers to nurture wellbeing through growing food and workshops to overcome isolation through winter. The post Growing wellbeing on Loughborough Farm appeared first on Love Lambeth. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Find Junior Gym, swimming, and ice skating sessions at Lambeth leisure centres from Monday 26 to Sunday November 1. The post Things get BETTER at your local Lambeth Leisure Centre this half term appeared first on Love Lambeth. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Council backs powerful free school meals campaign led by Marcus Rashford MBE The post Lambeth announces half-term free school meals for children who need them appeared first on Love Lambeth. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Remembrance Sunday services to be held across the borough, but with scaled back attendance due to Covid-19 The post Remembrance Sunday to be marked in Lambeth appeared first on Love Lambeth. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Applications are now open for children starting primary and secondary school in 2021. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Check out our top activity and recycling tips for the spooky season... More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Royal Greenwich will be providing meals for children and young people at venues across the borough this October half term, with help from partner organisations. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    UN Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the day that the United Nations officially came into existence and countries around the world came together to sign the UN Charter. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    We are excited to announce that - following a borough-wide consultation in July ? it will be investing ?1 million into its parks and green spaces! More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Hackney Council will support Marcus Rashford’s campaign and ensure that no child goes hungry this half-term following the Government’s failure to fund free school meal vouchers during the holiday. Families whose children are eligible for free school meals and need emergency support will be able to contact a Council helpline to access vouchers, and the Council will support schools delivering their own crisis programmes. Families whose child is normally eligible for free school meals and who are struggling this half-term should contact the Council on 020 8356 3000. In Hackney, more than 11,000 pupils are eligible for free school meals. The Council has long worked with local food charities and organisations to ensure vulnerable families get support during the school holidays, including provision of vouchers to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. In 2018, the Council also agreed to fund free school meals for children in migrant and refugee families with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ ? a status that usually makes them ineligible for Government support. In April, Mayor Philip Glanville and Deputy Mayor Bramble wrote to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to demand clarity about what provision would be put in place during school holidays – as well as asking the Government to expand where free school meal vouchers could be spent, supporting local businesses as well as supermarkets. Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty campaign called for an extension to free school meals, but a motion to provide 1.4million disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during school holidays until Easter 2021 was voted down in Parliament this week. The Council will also start work with schools and families over the coming weeks to ensure we have suitable provision for children entitled to Free School Meals over the Christmas period. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, updates residents on the cyberattack which is disrupting Council services. For the latest updates on the cyberattack and its impact on Council services, visit the Service Status page. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Young people in Haringey have won a national award for their influential film on knife crime. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    The following open letter is the lead article in Bromley Council?s Update e-newsletter. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Bromley All-Age Autism working groups and The Glades are bringing a learning space to The Glades shopping centre to help raise awareness of autism and get people in Bromley talking! More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Croydon Council has fully accepted the findings and all the recommendations of a report from its external auditor, which highlights serious concerns around the borough?s financial position and governance. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Councillor Hamida Ali has tonight (22 October) been elected as the new leader of Croydon Council at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Kingston Council has today confirmed that extra support will be given to the most vulnerable children in the borough over the coming school holidays.* More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Kingston Council Leader Cllr Caroline Kerr is calling on the government to extend closing time to 11pm based on feedback from local hospitality businesses who say the extra hour will make a difference More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    The Council has received a notice of proposed disposal of Shiraz Mirza Community Hall. More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Merton Council?s Planning Committee granted permission for a new bridge to be built over the River Wandle in Bishopsford Road, Mitcham, at a meeting held last night (Thursday 22 October). More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Every year, Merton joins the nation and unites on Remembrance Sunday to honour the services of our armed forces and to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to secure and protect More...
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    Yesterday, 12:00
    Leading councillors in Wandsworth have welcomed the announcement that NHS services are to resume at the urgent treatment centre at Roehampton?s Queen Mary?s Hospital. More...
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