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Radical plans for the Strand unveiled

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Strand Aldwych proposal visual
Westminster City Council
A proposal of how a reshaped Strand Aldwych could appear looking east to the rear of the St Mary le Strand Church.

It is one of London’s best known streets and is home to the headquarters of the tax office turned-entertainment venue and a London Fashion Week hotspot.

Now designers will be fleshing out their plans to transform the Strand – the street which includes Somerset House, and King’s College.

It follows a consultation Westminster Council held earlier this year to find out what businesses and residents thought of its ideas to bring the street into the 21st century.

Out will go the gyratory and in will come two way traffic in Aldwych in the theatre and hotel district.

There will also be a plaza near St Mary Le Strand Church which is currently stranded on a traffic island.

Designers will also draw up better links to tourist hotspots at the South Bank, Covent Garden and the West End.

The aim is also to improve air quality – a key target for the council.

The council is set to stage more public events to look at the plans next year once these detailed proposals for the area – known by some as the Northbank – are ready.

Council to insist contractors sign up to London Living Wage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Westminster Council is the latest authority in the capital to insist its contractors sign up to the London Living Wage which could increase its wage bill by £3m to £6m over the next few years.

It is also extending its own London Living Wage policy to its apprentices.

The decision could mean the top 20 contractors which are paid £360m by Westminster for services each year will all sign up.

So far the council said just two of them have “universally” signed up to the afreement.

The move means it will follow 18 other London councils, including Kensington and Chelsea which pledged to ensure its contractors were paying their staff, including cleaners the £10.55 per hour wage as new contracts get signed off.

Westminster’s Cabinet member for finance Racheal Robatham said the move could see wage bills increase between £3m and £6m over the next three to five years as new contracts are drawn up with its suppliers.

The bill for apprentices is also likely to soar by £0.1m over the same period.

The change comes in next month after it got the go-ahead from Westminster’s Cabinet.

Council leader Nickie Aiken said the council wanted to extend the London Living Wage which their own staff already get as a minimum.

She said that contractors traditionally pay their workers a set rate but the council wanted to change that.

Westminster car crash: Salih Khater guilty of attempted murder
A student has been found guilty of attempted murder after driving his car into a pedestrian, cyclists and police outside the Houses of Parliament.

Acton fire out and 29 leave building safely

London Fire Brigade have confirmed that a fire at Bromyard Avenue, Acton is now out and "Thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries."

Flat fire
London Fire Brigade

Part of a five-roomed flat on the top floor of a six-storey block was alight.

One woman left the affected flat and a further 29 people left the building before the brigade arrived.

The blaze was brought under control by crews at 13:18 BST and the cause of the fire is now under investigation.

Six crews tackle Acton flat fire

Fire crews are tackling a fire at a block of flats in Acton.

Fire at flat

Six fire engines and 40 firefighters are at the scene having been called out at 11:48 BST to the flat on Bromyard Avenue.

London Fire Brigade said part of a five-roomed flat on the fifth floor is ablaze.

It has not yet confirmed if anyone has been injured and the cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

CCTV images appear to show Eric Michels and Gerald Matovu shopping at Sainsbury's.
Footage is released as Gerald Matovu is found guilty of murdering Eric Michels.

Severe roadworks: A40 London westbound

BBC News Travel

A40 London westbound severe roadworks, at A404 Harrow Road.

A40 London - A40 Marylebone Flyover in Paddington closed westbound at the A404 Harrow Road junction, because of roadworks during the night. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Police scheme to improve autism interaction

A scheme designed at improving how police interact with people with autism across London is to be introduced.

Those individuals can carry either a Autism Alert Card or a larger "passport" which will identify them as having an autism spectrum disorder.

It will include information regarding the individual’s name and contact details for an appropriate adult.

The Met said cardholders would produce the information when they come into contact with police and "provide officers and staff with the information in order to aid understanding and effective interaction".

The scheme, supported by the National Police Autism Association, is part of a collaboration between the Met, City of London Police and British Transport Police.

Portrait of Met Commissioner Cressida Dick unveiled

Portrait of Cressida Dick
Met Police

A portrait of Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has been unveiled to mark 100 years of women in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Ms Dick, who is the Met's first female commissioner, was painted by Frances Bell and the portrait hangs at the Met's Training School in Hendon alongside the paintings of 26 of her predecessors.

Painted in Frances Bell’s studio over more than 20-hours of sittings, the portrait depicts the Commissioner against the back-drop of a map of London - symbolising her long policing career in London and personal affinity with the Capital.

In contrast to other portraits Cressida sat wearing her shirt uniform and no tunic.

Ms Dick said: “The strength of feeling for the portrait surprised me, but I understand and appreciate that it is an important part of the 100 years celebrations, symbolises the nature of the current Met and maybe important in inspiring the next generation of Met people.

"I am very grateful to the artist, Frances Bell, who put me at great ease and made the whole process an interesting and surprisingly enjoyable one.”

Rita Gilligan has served in Hard Rock Cafe London since day one
Rita Gilligan MBE has served in the original Hard Rock Cafe London since day one - 14 June 1971.
Carly Telford

Katie Falkingham

BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Chelsea and England goalkeeper Carly Telford says playing the Blues' opening WSL fixture at Stamford Bridge is going to be "unbelievable".

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