West End Labour Action Team
West End Labour Action Team

News from Councillor Pancho Lewis and the West End Labour Action Team 

If you need help or know someone who you believes needs help please click on this link: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/ask-help

More than 1000 people have volunteered to help via Westminster Council. Volunteers can help with picking up medical supplies or prescriptions, getting to an important appointment, or around the house.

Also, there is a new weekly Volunteer Shopper Service providing direct-to-door delivery service. The Council co-ordinates volunteers for them to pick up and drop off groceries for residents in need. Volunteers will either do the shop at designated local stores or deliver the groceries to the resident. The council takes care of ordering and payment and has negotiated priority access in stores for volunteers.

Other useful sources of help:

Soho Walk-in Centre converted into Covid-19 centre

As reported in the news, the Soho Walk In Centre is being converted into a Covid 19 centre. This underscores why it is so important to have medical facilities like this one and is yet more evidence about why we need to work to save it.

Read more here: https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/london-coronavirus-sohos-nhs-walk-18010540

Landlords: Waiving rents

I have written to various different landlords – some of them large (like Shaftesbury), some of the smaller and less well known to the public – urging them to support businesses to get through this difficult time. For example, I sent an open letter signed by dozens of businesses in Chinatown asking Shaftesbury to support them through this difficult period. I am also raising this with the Council’s Chief Executive.

Mayfair: Claridge’s puts up NHS workers

You can read the full story here: https://www.hot-dinners.com/202004019405/Gastroblog/Latest-news/claridge-s-hotel-reopens-to-put-up-nhs-workers-during-the-covid-crisis Claridge’s hotel has also stopped its construction work for the time being.

Elsewhere in Mayfair, Grosvenor Square has been re-opened to the public after it was closed last week, but I understand Brown Hart Gardens is now closed.

Also, Grosvenor has waived quarterly rent payments for retail and Food & Beverage tenants. £2.5m has given to the Westminster Foundation, the Duke of Westminster’s charity.

RIP Violet Trayte

I would like to pay tribute to Violet Trayte who sadly passed away last week. She was an absolute Soho legend, a force of nature. Up until recently – at the age of 93 – she would continue to support herself almost entirely independently, using her walking frame to get from Ingestre Court to Berwick Street. She’d then spend most of her day until late in the evening there, chatting and saying hello to people passing by.

Tributes have been pouring in across the community to remember her. Here are just a few. Her passing is covered in the Westminster Extra this week which can be accessed online in full: https://t.co/huULL5giSE?amp=1

“Violet was the Queen, Grand Duchess and Godmother of Soho”

“Violet was one of those people who added warmth and humanity to Soho life. Always out, always taking an interest in everything and everyone. Heartfelt condolences.”

“Who could ever forget the Godmother of #Soho #VioletTrayte”

“A formidable lady.”

“So sad to hear this. I walked past her most evenings whilst she was having a drink and a chat. Wondered where she had been. Thoughts are with her friends and family too.”

Soho: Beak Street pedestrianisation

I am liaising with residents and members of the Soho Society to lobby the Council to postpone its consultation about Beak Street pedestrianisation. The consultation should be postponed until after the coronavirus outbreak ends, when people have a real chance to engage with the questions that they are asked in the survey.

East Marylebone: Save the trees on Mansfield Street

Dozens of residents have objected to an application to remove two lime trees on Mansfield Street. I have written objecting to the application too. You can find the objections online here: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=Q5Y0BERPFXA00

What you say about Councillor Pancho Lewis and the Action Team

“Many thanks for the update – all your work is much appreciated ”

“Excellent Pancho! Very considerate helpful guidance for your constituents”

“Thank you once again”


Councillor Pancho Lewis

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