Councillors Column

It has been over one year since the first lockdown. But after the most difficult time in living memory, things are starting to feel very different and much more hopeful. Since the Prime Minister announced his roadmap for ending restrictions, Westminster City Council has been planning for the reopening of our part of London in the hope that things will return to how they used to be. But for that to happen, help is needed – both for our residents and visitors to Westminster and also for our businesses.  

Subject to planning permission, ‘Marble Arch Hill’ – a 25m-high temporary mound – is part of a £150 million development plan to improve Oxford Street and Marble Arch and to attract visitors and tourists back into the West End. The hill, which would be in place for six months, is expected to be enjoyed by up to 200,000 people and will be a thrilling addition to the capital’s attractions. From the viewing platform, it will be possible to take in the amazing views across Hyde Park.

Closer to home, in Belgravia, the council has been helping struggling businesses to survive over the next several months and we have announced that al fresco dining will continue to the end of September. Most Westminster residents have supported these schemes in the past and we hope they will understand the need to continue the temporary measures. The only restrictions this year will be a new “rule of six” limit on outdoor dining groups until May 17 and a seated table service-only rule until June 21. Pavement licences previously granted to 560 hospitality venues in Westminster will return, some of which were on Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street. 

It is almost time to throw off the shackles and make the most of being in London by visiting its attractions and enjoying the entertainment and wonderful hospitality on our doorstep.

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Cllr Tony Devenish
Cllr Elizabeth Hitchcock
Cllr Rachael Robathan