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  • Thu, July 01, 2021 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    With travel somewhat permitted and all the restrictions we have faced, I really wanted to find out how our five-star hotels were doing after reopening. Marylebone is home to some of the best hotels in London, our Top five-star hotels are Hyatt, The Marylebone Hotel, The Landmark, and Durrants. I asked some of them what it has been like?


    Interview with Arnaud De Saint-Exupery General Manager from The Hyatt


    What has the last year been like for the hotel industry?


    The last year has been extremely challenging for the entire hotel industry, as it has had to face a period of constant change demanding both resilience and agility. 2019 was a fantastic year for us at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill and 2020 was shaping up to follow suit, which was of course halted by Covid-19. Since then, adaption has proved vital for survival, as the industry has been forced to rethink, restructure, and innovate. During lockdown, we channelled our energy and focus on adapting to both changing regulations and the needs and expectations of our guests, from introducing rigorous GBAC STARTM accreditation for safety and cleanliness protocols, to launching new family rooms in response to increased demand for staycations.


    What are you looking forward to most about opening?


    At Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill we decided to remain open during lockdown to look after guests who needed to travel for government-approved reasons. With restrictions easing, we are now finally open fully for staycations and leisure stays, while The Churchill Bar & Terrace, The Montagu Kitchen Restaurant and The Pop-Up Summer Terrace at The Churchill are open offering the choice of indoor or outdoor space to meet up with friends, family, and colleagues. Since we took the opportunity during lockdown to extend our events space and fully renovate our top suite, the four- bedroom The Churchill Residential Suite, we are excited to reveal these new options now that we have reopened, whether a guest is looking for a sophisticated wedding venue or long-stay accommodation.


    Above all, the cornerstone of our industry is all about human connection so ultimately there is nothing more exciting than to welcome guests back in person, whether it is someone who has stayed with us many times over the years or is discovering our hotel and the local area for the very first time. American hotelier and entrepreneur Ian Schrager recently said that as humans ‘we are wired for socialising’ - people want to be entertained, celebrate together, and escape their routine. Providing authentic human engagement and interaction means we can get a little closer to feeling some semblance of normality, which we have all been missing these last few months.


    Why is the Hyatt the best hotel to stay in?


    Steeped in authentic British charm thanks to bespoke design details and décor inspired by Sir Winston Churchill, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill promises discerning guests a refined stay in an unrivalled, tranquil location, directly overlooking Portman Square Gardens in Marylebone. Many rooms and suites offer balconies and leafy views of the square, while our new family rooms – the 2- Bedroom Garden View Suite and Family Room Garden View – had been carefully designed with younger travellers in mind. Guests can choose to sip craft cocktails at award-winning The Churchill Bar & Terrace with an innovative menu designed by expert mixologists, dine on contemporary, seasonally inspired British cuisine at The Montagu Kitchen, or relax on the casual Pop-Up Summer Terrace at The Churchill.


    Interview with Kim Laubignat marketing executive from The Landmark Hotel


    What has the last year been like for the hotel industry?


    It has been a challenging year for our industry but with the strong commitment, hard work and flexibility of our team members we have been able to reopen.


    The Landmark London is dedicated to protecting the wellbeing of the team members and guests. It is reopening in strict accordance with government guidelines and is implementing thorough safety and sanitation measures as well as new initiatives, such as contactless check in.


    Its health and safety strategy has four pillars, and includes keeping staff safe to protect guests, increased hand disinfection and enhanced cleaning methods and the practicing of social distancing throughout the hotel.


    What are you looking forward to most about opening?


    “Our reopening day was a huge day, not just for The Landmark London but also for our industry. For the Landmark, we have been closed for 4 months and to be able to open our unique Winter Garden space and welcome back our guest in this environment is utterly amazing. What we are finding is, that the weekends are terribly busy for domestic travel, people are willing to come to London, to enjoy what London has to offer but also what The Landmark has to offer, to enjoy our spa and our swimming pool. Our weekends are looking promising in terms of leisure market. I was here to welcome our first guest coming through the doors with a warm elbow shake.”

    -Andrew Batchelor, General Manager


    Why is your hotel best hotel to stay in?


    As a guest at The Landmark London, you will experience quintessential London charm in the sumptuous surroundings of our magnificent grand dame hotel. Sophisticated and serene, The Landmark London is a 5-star oasis of calm-luxury. Our guests can escape to a blissful place in our sensual spa. A chlorine-free swimming pool, private gym and sensuous treatment rooms are available to all our guests. Our Winter Garden restaurant is a legendary London dining venue. A refreshing breakfast, a leisurely lunch or quietly glamorous High Palms High tea and dinner at the Winter Garden is always special. Our Mirror Bar is a stylish and intimate bar with a formal dress code where one can enjoy pre-dinner cocktails or a late-night drink.



    Interview with The Marylebone Hotel and Nicole Favish


    What has the last year been like for you?

    The hotel industry in London has had a challenging year, like the travel industry in general. With the lockdowns and travel restrictions we have opened and closed our doors several times! We have made the best use of our closure to work on refurbishing our rooms and suites, ensuring that our product is looking its best to welcome back our guests. We have also been lucky to have alfresco dining space at 108 Marylebone Lane, and thanks to the pedestrianisation of the lane, we have been able to expand this space on certain evenings.


    What are you looking forward to most over next few weeks?


    Welcoming old and new guests back through the doors

    Seeing Marylebone village come alive again

    Welcoming back many of our colleagues who have been furloughed for the past few months

    Why is the The Marylebone Hotel the best hotel to stay in?

    Location near shopping/Regent’s Park/being in the heart of Marylebone village

    Terrace suites with panoramic views of the city

    Renovated rooms and suites

    Alfresco dining at 108 Marylebone Lane, the perfect spot for people watching!

    Interview with Nessa Primji Durrants Hotel


    What has the last year been like for the hotel industry?


    It has been an incredibly challenging and turbulent time for the hotel industry this last year. The restrictions have meant many hotels having to close for most of the year. We have had to constantly adapt our services with the ever-changing restrictions we have all experienced. We are pleased to announce that we have taken this time to ensure Durrants is a safe and welcoming place for our guests to enjoy their stay.


    What are you looking forward to most about opening?


    We have deeply missed welcoming guests to Durrants, since we have opened it has been a pleasure to greet and engage with our regular guests as well as meeting new ones. This year Durrants Hotel is excited to celebrate 100 years under the ownership of the Miller family. We are thrilled to have introduced gift vouchers and special offers which can be found on our website www.durrantshotel.co.uk for guests wishing to visit and celebrate this incredibly special year with us at Durrants.

    Our four uniquely designed suites and event rooms are ideal for celebrating a special occasion, be it a wedding, birthday, or corporate event. To be a part of organising a guest's special event is especially rewarding and we are indeed looking forward to hosting events at Durrants.


    Why is Durrants the best hotel to stay in?


    True to the hotel’s Georgian architecture and heritage, Durrants is a beautiful building to spend the day and evening in. Incorporating classic furnishings mixed with antique furniture and prints creating an atmosphere of tasteful luxury.

    Guests can enjoy a stylish retreat in the heart of Marylebone village. Our 92 individually designed rooms offer Hand-made Savoir beds for added comfort and luxury L'Occitane toiletries. After a busy day in the office, site seeing, or shopping, guests can enjoy a meal in our Grill Room Restaurant or unwind in the George Bar with appetising platters and cocktails. Afternoon tea served in our Spy Lounge and Wallace Room is perfect for those little indulgences. The team at Durrants are always on hand to assist and make guests feel at home.


  • Wed, June 02, 2021 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    This month Julie Redmond interviews Brett Wolstencroff, who co-founded the Daunt Books at its flagship Marylebone shop in 1990 with James Daunt. Find out how he began and how he is finding trade through the present crisis.


    Where did Daunt books begin?

    I joined Daunt Books Marylebone 30 years ago when it opened its doors in 1990.

    The high street was far less vibrant than it is today, it was a forgotten but elegant backwater.

    It got worse for a few years; it certainly did not have the village feel like it has today. Then it changed a lot, it became more residential, and Gap arrived and then The Conran Shop and Waitrose and Daunt Books at the heart.


    Q. How has the last year been for you?

    Retail is struggling to pay rent and rates have gone up.

    Despite what you hear, book shops have struggled. It has been difficult as we have not been able to provide service and people cannot browse. Since reopening it is like we are back in the 1990s, we have no tourists coming, no office workers and people who would have previously come to London and come to Daunt as a destination shopping experience do not anymore.


    Q. What is the most popular section in Daunt Books Marylebone at present?

    We have a big travel section and guidebooks have always been popular but now it is all about

    British guidebooks. Escapism books have been popular, books on fiction. It is a rich moment where people have rediscovered the pleasure of reading.


    Q. What book are you currently reading?

    Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, a New York Times best seller, a historical book and unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life.


    Q. Tell me about the authors/books in the window?

    Natalia Ginzberg, an Italian author, is fantastic. We publish her. Her work explores family relationships, politics during and after the fascist years and World War 2, and philosophy. The Dry Heart and The Road to the city are in the window today. She has been hugely successful.

    A lot of authors have written about her.

    Then there is Bear, written by Canadian author Marian Engel. We also publish her work. The story tells of a lonely librarian in Northern Ontario who enters a sexual relationship with a bear.


  • Wed, June 02, 2021 8:46 AM | Anonymous

    Another policy relaxation that has caused some issues is the encouragement of the night-time or hospitality economy by allowing easy licensing of outside eating and drinking and the closure of some roads, in particular in Soho but also within Marylebone. This seems to have been moderately successful for those businesses lucky enough to be situated in fortunate locations but has not necessarily been a great experience for nearby residents.


    We have been anticipating a slew of applications from licensed premises for temporary extensions of hours beyond Westminster’s definition of Core Hours. In reality this is most likely to occur in Soho and Covent Garden, but we have collaborated with the other Westminster amenity societies affected and drafted a joint policy of the West End Community Network on this matter.


    Our stance is that, despite the obvious need for businesses to be supported wherever possible, this should never be at the expense of those living or even working in a neighbourhood. The Licensing Acts are designed to protect citizens from the negative aspects of alcohol consumption and the policy on hours adopted by Westminster – their Core Hours Policy – has been instrumental in a very civilised compromise between the needs of those who want evening entertainment - and those who want to sleep.


    Consequently, we will be opposing any applications for even temporary extensions of hours beyond ‘Core’ even if based on the need to rebuild profitability after difficulties resulting from Covid regulations. To read WECN draft policy in detail click here.

    To see all the latest licensing applications in our area:


    New Applications


    Ottolenghi. 63-65 Marylebone Lane

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QS7ZOLRPG4C00

    Application for a new café closing at 22:00 nightly. Consultation closed.


    Chameleon Inc. 1 Marylebone Road

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QO0CUARPKBX00

    Application for a new members-only club and restaurant closing at 3:30am daily. Consultation closed. Hearing 9th June 2021.

    Portman Village Association and The White House Hotel have some concerns over this application due to the late hours and the challenging location in the middle of the one-way system opposite Great Portland Street station.


    Outstanding Applications

    Koj Lease Ltd. 43 Chiltern Street

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QKLUXMRPI3100

    Application for restaurant and ancillary bar. Applicant has asked for a delay in proceedings.

    On the site of a small ‘Indian’ restaurant now closed. Previously only on one floor the new proposal is for ground and basement floors with a terrace at the rear of the building in the light well of the block. Hours requested are 00:30. We have expressed concerns about noise issues possible from departing customers in the early hours in Chiltern Street in a location with many residents.


    Cumberland Food & Wine. 11 Great Cumberland Place

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?keyVal=QQFL8HRPGGJ00&activeTab=summary

    Application to allow off-sales until midnight 6 days a week.

    This establishment seems to have an ambition to be able to sell alcohol 24/7. Over the years it has submitted multiple applications requesting incremental changes moving towards that end goal. The previous application to this was asking for 24 hour sales but was then amended during the licensing process to sales until midnight temporarily until September 2021. This application seeks to make this permanent.

    Awaiting a hearing date.


    Cumberland Hotel Great Cumberland Place

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QTNTEPRPMSU00

    Application to open one hour earlier on Sundays.


    Selfridges

    https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QTGP66RPIRS00

    Selfridges are beginning to use their outside space to the rear of the building in Edward’s Mews – you may have seen their spin classes. Activity in this application ends at 21:30 so no comments from us.


  • Fri, May 21, 2021 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    The consultation has started for the future of the 334 Oxford Street site, the whole city block formerly occupied by Debenhams.

    Visit https://334oxfordstreetconsultation.co.uk/ to find out details about the proposals for the future of the site;

    summarise the consultation process; and

    enable you  to submit feedback to help shape the redevelopment, as well as asking any questions you may have.

    The consultation is running from 19th May to 4th June 2021. On the ‘Have Your Say’ section of the website, you can view our virtual exhibition boards to find out more about our proposals for the site. Once you have reviewed the plans please fill in the feedback form that is available on the same page. The will then review the feedback received ahead of submitting a planning application to Westminster City Council later in the year.

    The feedback received by the team will also inform a Statement of Community Involvement to be submitted as part of a planning application for 334 Oxford Street, W1C 1JG.


  • Sun, May 02, 2021 7:19 AM | Anonymous

    As normality slowly returns to London, 2021 will see the city face some of its biggest challenges since the war. At this critical point, the Marylebone Association thought it would be interesting to speak to candidates for London Mayor to find out a bit more about their motivations for standing and their key concerns for London over the next few years. The London Mayoral and Assembly Election is on Thursday May 6th. The MA has been trying to interview as many candidates as possible over the run-up to find out why they want to be Mayor of London and how their policies may affect us.

    Shaun Bailey Conservative

    What has brought you to this place? Personal experiences etc.

    London needs a fresh start. I am a Londoner born and bred in West London and I was born in the old Paddington Hospital before it was knocked down to a single parent mother with my brother. My mother is an incredibly positive person and an inspiration. She taught me how to overcome adversity and that you are at your best when you serve others. I joined the army cadets, and I am an honorary Colonel for the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. I did gymnastics for twenty-two years and it taught me the notion that small continuous improvement gives results and working on yourself. I was a team captain for a long time. I have links with Marylebone. I got married in the St Mary's church at Bryanston Square and my children went to St Mary's School, Bryanston Square. I lived in Marylebone for 15 years.

    What are the biggest challenges ahead for London?

    Rebuilding Relationships-Not being at school has been difficult for our children and our families and not seeing grandparents.

    Rebuilding our city-London thrives on people and furlough has been brilliant. However, we need to get people back in safely. This will include cleaning the Tube, helping the hospitality industry giving them the space and tactics. We have lost 22million visitors. However, we the people will restart it and I am extremely optimistic. We have natural advantages, and we have strength of community, but we need strong leadership now. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to speak to all the people of the boroughs of London. I was a youth worker; I have been homeless, and I was unemployed. However, these experiences have taught me we can overcome anything. I want to give people opportunities.

    What are your ambitions for London? Build back better?

    I will make our streets safer; we will hire 8000. more police and reopen 38 police stations including west end central and Belgravia. With a new youth centre in every borough and 4000 new youth workers we will help young people to get out of gangs and into work. We will have a better transport network and clean up London’s air and we will reverse the 10% council tax hike. The only political party I care about is the party of London. I am not a hard party-political person. I believe London needs a Mayor with a strong voice and presence. I want to see people move forward and be safe. What is happening on the streets between crime and housing is letting London down.

    London needs a fresh start. If you live in a place like Marylebone which effectively is circled by some of the busiest roads in Europe, they need to be moving and that is what makes a difference to your community.

    If you were Mayor for one day what would you do?

    On day one, I will make London Safer, I will let people own their own homes, make London a much cleaner, greener place. My life has been anchored by strong women, my mother, my wife and my 14-year-old daughter and I would love to invite my mother to City Hall!


    Luisa Porritt Lib Dems

    What has brought you to this place? Personal experiences etc.

    I have lived in London all my life and I am a big fan of the Marylebone area. I still go there often to get my eyebrows done and usually have a look around the shops and grab a bite to eat while I am there. I have also worked in the area in the past, which meant I could enjoy the great bars and restaurants around there after work.

    What are the biggest challenges ahead for London?

    The economic recovery from the pandemic is key. I am the only candidate with a plan for some of the big changes that have been accelerated by the pandemic.

    The rise of online shopping and the shift to homeworking will hit Marylebone particularly hard if we do not act now. We have also got to play our part in tackling the global climate emergency and our city is of course strongly impacted by Brexit too.

    What are your ambitions for London and Marylebone?

    My plan to Take London Forward is all about embracing change. It has a clear focus on Londoners’ basic needs: Jobs, Homes and Clean Air.

    We need to reinvent the high street for the future and ensure that the centre of London continues to be a thriving place to both live and work. We can convert some of the empty office space coming back onto the market into quality, affordable homes. And we need to make it easier for people to make greener choices, by encouraging more walking and cycling and investing in clean, green public transport.

    If you were Mayor for one day, what would you do?

    I hope to be Mayor for more than one day! But If it was just for one, I’d get more done than Sadiq Khan has in the past five years and finally open Crossrail!


    Here is the full list of 20 candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper (alphabetical) with their chosen party or independent description.

    BAILEY Shaun - Conservative Party

    BALAYEV Kam - Renew

    BERRY Sian - Green Party

    BINFACE Count - Count Binface for Mayor of London

    CORBYN Piers - Let London Live

    FOSH Max - Independent

    FOX Laurence - The Reclaim Party

    GAMMONS Peter - UKIP

    HEWISON Richard - Rejoin EU

    HUDSON Vanessa - Animal Welfare Party – People, Animals, Environment

    KELLEHER Steve - Social Democratic Party

    KHAN Sadiq - Labour Party

    KURTEN David - Heritage Party

    LONDON Farah - Independent

    BROWN Valerie - The Burning Pink Party

    OBUNGE Nims - Independent

    OMILANA Niko - Independent

    PORRITT Luisa - Liberal Democrats

    REID Mandu - Vote Women’s Equality Party on orange

    ROSE Brian - London Real Party


  • Thu, March 11, 2021 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    To view full details on their proposals please visit the Virtual Exhibition section of their website. This includes sections focused on The Existing Buildings & Public Realm, The Existing Store, A Vibrant New Destination, The Future of Retail, Creating A Healthy & Wellbeing Led Workplace, Transformed Public Realm, Sustainability, Scale and Massing, Materiality and Elevations, Traffic and Servicing.

    They are keen to hear your thoughts as well as those of the local community more widely on our proposals, whilst also capturing your ideas on how the site can benefit the surrounding area. Therefore, feedback questions are available throughout the virtual exhibition section of the website and they encourage you to complete these once you have reviewed our plans for the site.

    If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us via the details provided.

    https://458oxfordstreet.co.uk/

  • Mon, March 01, 2021 9:08 AM | Anonymous


    Interview: with Marcos Fernández Pardo, Managing Director Iberica Restaurant Marylebone

    Q. Tell me a little bit about the origin of Iberica Restaurants?

    Iberica Restaurants was born in 2008 in Great Portland Street. The project was founded by me as MD as Nacho Manzano, a chef from Asturias in Spain who holds a total of three Michelin starts and has his own collection of restaurants. We have focused on showcasing the spanish gastronomy in a sophisticated but informal setting, designed by one of the most reputable resigners in the world, Lazaro Rosa Violan.

    Iberico has hosted all of the top chefs and top producers in the country and is considered an embassy to spanish gastronomy. Within these, in Marylebone we had one day alone over 40 Michelin Stars, as we hosted the after party of the 50 best.

    Iberica has opened other restaurants in Leeds, Canary Wharf, Victoria and Farringdon.

    Q. How have things changed with the pandemic and how have you adapted?

    After the problems caused by cashflows and balance sheets where resolved, the real problem is always how can we keep on serving our customers safely. This is what we have focused on from before lockdown. It also took an interesting turn, not only we looked at what has to be done in the restaurants, but an exciting new avenue opened, how could we reach our customers at home.

    In the restaurant:

    Iberica started putting measures to tackle COVID as early as January 2020, introducing new cleaning schedules, changing our operating procedures, new training, etc. You could already see hand sanitisers in January 2020.

    However, we also started from an advantageous position. Our restaurants have always been ample, There was already over a meter between tables, We had high ceilings, wide corridors and not only air-conditioning, but air renovation systems, which exchanged all the air in the restaurants over 15 times an hour.

    After the first lock down we readjusted our restaurants to increase the space between tables, but did not loose many covers in the process. We did also apply to new outside seating which compensated. More stringent cross-contamination and hugeness measures where introduced, something which is easy as we have sophisticated training and administrative systems. We wore masks from June 2020 throughout all the time. We wanted to make sure our customers know we are specially safe.

    At home:

    An exciting new project was born from this pandemic, Iberica At Home.

    We have successfully launched delivery services directly through our website and logistics partners, as well as in the main platforms, Deliveroo, supper, etc

    We launched four distinct product lines.

    1. Ready to eat delivery from our menu, which constantly evolves as the restaurant did, with its specials.

    2. Pre-cooked finish at home special boxes.

    3. Delicatessen and Wine store of our award winning producers. Our wine is delivered straight from our cellars in perfect state for consumption.

    4. Zoom events with leading chefs and producers, following those that happen in our restaurants.

    Q. What is your favourite dish?

    My favourite dish is our croquettes, for which Nacho Manzano is renowned in Spain. They are hand made delicacies. We have also launched a home version of them which we deliver frozen with 6 flavours which are fantastic.


  • Tue, February 23, 2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley are pleased to present updated plans to deliver homes and much improved public realm at the former Paddington Green Police Station.

    Following our initial consultation late last year, we received valuable feedback from the local community. From this, we have heard what local residents currently value and what the hopes for the scheme would be. This has helped inform our updated proposals which includes a reduction in building heights, an enlarged community provision to be provided as afordable workspace and further work on enhancing the public realm throughout the scheme and beyond our ownership boundary.

    We are keen to understand your views on our updated proposals and encourage you to visit our consultation website to leave feedback for the project team.

    You can access the website by visiting: yoursay.online/paddington-green-police-station As part of the consultation we will also be hosting a webinar on 25th February and

    3rd March at 6pm - 7pm. Find out more and sign up to attend by visiting our website.

    We encourage you to visit the website and leave your feedback by
    5pm on 12th March. If you are unable to access the website and require printed copies of the consultation materials, please get in touch using the contact details below.

  • Sun, January 31, 2021 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    After working over the last few months as a Health Champion for Westminster City Council, Marylebone Association Committee Member Julie Redmond felt she really needed to do more. After watching her colleagues from afar working on COVID-19 hospital wards and losing their colleagues and patients to COVID-19 as if this was a normal everyday occurrence she decided to help out too Home-schooling in March last year was not for me and my poor child who at six was expecting mummy to know all the answers, would completely agree with me! Our third London Lockdown took us all by surprise just before Christmas and we have gone deeper and deeper into the abyss since then. I have friends and colleagues messaging me daily telling me how depressed and full of anxiety they are. Usually, I am the one with all the answers and advice, but I do not have any.

    I joined the COVID-19 NHS vaccination Programme; little did I know what I was getting myself into. Forty online assessments later, I was getting ready at 6am to go to Lords Cricket Ground. I eat my normal breakfast: a bowl of porridge with cinnamon and honey and a strong cup of coffee along with a good dose of Vitamin D, C, and zinc vitamins.

    7.30am I arrive on site to Lords Cricket Ground in the rain and do my Lateral Flow Test. I wait for 45mins, it is negative. I look at my watch and it is 8.30am. First patients arrive... It is exciting to be part of the vaccine roll out, but in the back of my mind I am hoping it works. Everyone gets briefed then I go and set up my pod. My adrenaline is pumping. There is an anaphylaxis protocol on the back of my chair. There are eight vaccinators, and each vaccinator has admin support. We start drawing up syringe after syringe of 0.3ml of Pfizer vaccine and 0.5ml of the AstraZeneca vaccine. People with allergies get the AstraZeneca vaccine. We all take it in turns to have a 10min break for a coffee. The question I am faced with all morning is ‘can I hug my grandchild now’? with tears in their eyes and ‘when do we get our second dose’? and the funniest comment from a fit ninety-year-old ‘I have never seen so many old people in one place’! I tell anyone who has received the Pfizer vaccine to wait 15mins before leaving the building. When we run low, we have people drawing up the vaccine for us. It is a production  line, a highly organised one where everyone has their own job. I am really impressed and humbled. Every second person thanks me.

    Lunch is at 1pm and pizzas are donated. The NHS team I am working with all know each other, from the tech support, admin support, managers and doctors and nurses. Their team spirit is contagious.

    1.45pm We start back in and we work solidly for the afternoon.

    By 3pm there are queues of elderly people lining up in the rain and it is getting dark, my heart breaks but this has nothing to do with the organisation, people are just turning up without an appointment and then some are early. I see my neighbour with his walking stick, and I vaccinate a retired Harley street surgeon who asks me what job I normally do? He then offers me his business card. By 4pm, I feel like I am a Duracell bunny. We vaccinated a total of 1500 that day. I think my count was 150. I met some amazing people that day, full of spirit and inner strength.

    7pm I drive home and realise my back is stiff and into an Epsom salt bath I go with a large glass of wine. The beginning of the end…

    Julie Redmond RGN.NIP

    Before getting your vaccine-Tips

    • wear warm clothes in case of queues outside or you may receive the vaccine in the out door pod 
    • wear loose clothing. No long sleeve shirts. The vaccinator needs to roll up your sleeve to reach your deltoid muscle where the vaccine is administered.
    • you may have side effects from the vaccine the next day or sore arm for a few days
    • your GP will contact you in two weeks with your next dose appointment date after you get your first vaccine
    • wear your mask and social distance



  • Fri, January 01, 2021 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    The events of the last 12 months have brought the relationship between the individual and the state into sharp focus. Whether imposing restrictions on personal freedoms or offering protection to tenants to prevent evictions, the government has been at the centre of the Covid 19 conversation. To better understand what has gone on, the Marylebone Association is speaking to some of the key political figures who will help determine Marylebone's future. We will also have conversations with our residents and business owners in the community to hear about their personal thoughts and journeys.

    Q&As with MP Nickie Aiken

    What has your year been like?  

    I was not expecting to deal with a pandemic in my first year in parliament and it has been hard not having my team of five and half people around me as they are working in different parts of the country. Learning about the process in parliament as well as juggling the tsunami the pandemic has brought has been tough. I feel a responsibility to the community, and I set up weekly meetings and it has brought positivity during this dark time. Coming together as a community I have listened, and I have been able to push through issues to no 10 and the relevant ministers. I have enjoyed keeping in touch with people around the City of London, not many MPs have that connection.

     

    What are your priorities going forward?

    Dealing with the fallout of the pandemic and a recession. London will be the last out as there are no workers and tourists around and this will not change until Spring at the earliest. 

    I will be supporting local business. We are facing a real economic depression in central London. Another priority is rough sleeping, working with partners on campaigning to have the Vagrancy Act repealed and a more modern up to date legislation in its place. I am positive and optimistic about the future and we need to keep motoring on and with Brexit we will secure as many trade deals as possible. 

    What are your thoughts on the cycle lanes and road closures?

    Like life there is always balance. I am not a cyclist, but my family are. I want as safe cycling as possible however I recognise what traffic is on our roads and we need traffic flow.

    I questioned the Mayor over his traffic measures as there was no consultation. People will embrace change; I welcome more cycling and more walking but there is a better way about what the Mayor has done.

    There seems a lot more criminal gangs and crime in the area? 

    Yes, I have also seen this in my local area of Pimlico. I believe in the broken windows theory. We need to stop it now before it takes hold.

    I would urge the residents to speak to local police and councillors and Marylebone policing forum. The government is putting in 20,000 new police officers. They come to Westminster first, we must ensure a zero-tolerance approach to this.

    What are your thoughts on the future of Oxford Street and the potential pedestrianisation of it?

    I took on Sadiq Khan and stopped it. I think we must do something in response to Covid. What is now needed is a new look for Oxford Street. Covid has accelerated this, Retail is changing anyway. It is more experience led. John Lewis, Debenhams etc would not need the same floor plan as pre Covid and whether that means more hotels, gyms or residential. We need to look at the whole district plan. However, it is not my say anymore.

     

    What would you say to residents of Marylebone to boost morale over the next six months?

    Brilliant community spirit which is at the heart of Marylebone and you can see that with the Marylebone Association and other groups in the area. There is great passion and love of the area and that has seen us through and that is going to see us through next year and we need it to. We are all facing tougher times. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I am convinced we will get through it together. Places evolve all the time. After this is over, we will have a slightly different place to live. Out of all disasters come opportunities.



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