Weekend roundup for 4 June
Featuring listed shelters and exploding sheds
How’s your long weekend going so far? Better than the PM’s we expect. We’re keeping the jubes news to a minimum this week, just because there’s so much else going on, from bike burglars to balloons and bus stop barbecues.
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👮♂️ At the start of the week the acting Met Commissioner Sir Stephen House revealed that a third case of a child being strip-searched by officers was currently being investigated. The complaint has been confirmed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct but no further details have been given.
👨⚖️ If you missed Wednesday’s issue then you might not have seen that the Met has been refused permission to appeal the High Court ruling that found it acted unlawfully when it preventing the planned Sarah Everard vigil by Reclaim These Streets.
🤦♂️ Less than 24 hours after that announcement the Met charged six people who had attended the vigil “for allegedly breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules”.
👮🏻♂️ Last bit of Met news: The hunt for Cressida Dick’s replacement is down to the final two (white, male) names. Right now it looks like a race between Mark Rowley (former head of counter-terrorism, the man who led the investigation into the murder of Milly Dowler, and the co-author of The Sleep of Reason, a thriller which the Mail called “superb”) and Nick Ephgrave who is currently the Met’s Assistant Commissioner.
🚌 In what looks very much like the first steps of a ‘managed decline’ of London’s transport network, a consultation has begun which could see the closure of 16 bus routes by the end of next year (plus a number of Night bus routes). The threatened routes are 4, 11, 12, 14, 16, 24, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, 521, C3 and D7. Sadiq is not happy about this and published a Twitter thread on Wednesday calling for people to sign a petition to “stop the Tory bus cuts”.
📢 The mayor used his speech at the the London Government dinner on Monday to ask MPs to help him “to get the message out there that the best way to level up the UK is not to level down London.” Sadiq warned of the dangers of “anti-London populism” and how “the anti-London approach could seriously exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis”:
🏗️ Last week we told you that the hearing about the proposed ‘Hondo Tower’ in Brixton was going to be held on 10 June. Well, this week we can tell you that the hearing has been postponed so the applicant (Hondo) can “consider changes to the scheme to address significant concerns.”
🚲 Cycling insurer Bikmo updated its bike theft tracking map this week, so we now know that, although reported bike thefts in London fell 11.6% in 2021 (to 21,521), it’s still the place where most bikes are stolen per 100,000 residents. We also know that Tower Hamlets, Hackney and the City of London are the areas where your bike is most likely to go walkabout.
🚖 The green cabmen’s shelters at Pont Street and Chelsea Embankment have been awarded Grade II listed status by Historic England. That brings the number of protected cabins to twelve, leaving just one (at Wellington Place NW8) still unlisted.
🇷🇺 The Sky documentary Once Upon a Time in Londongrad aired this week and got decent write ups in a couple of the broadsheets. The programme “looks at 14 London deaths that point the finger at Putin – and how our weak governance has led to a shady system that threatens the very rule of law”.
🎈 Now we’ve got all that thunder, lightning and hail out of the way it looks like the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta will go ahead tomorrow (Sunday, 5 June). If you look out towards Battersea Park early on Sunday morning then you should see see dozens of hot air balloons floating east across the city.
🌳 Writing in the Guardian, Oliver Wainwright asks if Thomas Heatherwick’s Tree of Trees is the new Marble Arch Mound, calling it an “aesthetic disappointment, a gross misuse of carbon-hungry steel and aluminium and a mistreatment of 350 saplings.” P.S. The ‘superbloom’ display isn’t going great either.
Art and culture bits
📷 LiB favourite, Cafe Royal Books has a new zine out and it looks like a corker. Barry Lewis - Soho 1990 has 24 pages of incredible images of everything from the Blue Posts to the French House. Yours for just £6.50.
🎵 Tony! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera) a new musical written by Harry Hill is getting its debut in London this week. The musical, which also features George W. Bush, Gordon Brown and Princess Diana, has its opening night at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park on 8 June and runs until 9 July.