NEWS DIGEST 28.02.2021: Saving lives and businesses, but remembering those lost, in London

News for today comes from InYourArea. The UK’s finance minister, or Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced an emergency GBP £5 billion business grants lifeline for firms brought to their knees by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. Most of the money will be earmarked for companies in England, but £794 million will be divested for the other constituent nations of the UK. Pubs. restaurants, shops and other businesses hit hard by the pandemic will be able to claim a share of the grants, with each one receiving around £6,000 (USD $8,355). Hospitality, hotels, gyms, as well as personal care and leisure firms are eligible to receive triple that amount, up to £18,000 ($25,065). The Treasury estimates 230,000 firms will be eligible for the higher band, which will be awarded based on their rateable value, and 450,000 shops will also be able to apply – Rishi Sunak to announce £5billion business grants for firms hit hardest by Covid (InYourArea)

Photo by Christina Morillo on

Three wildlife charities in the Wanstead area of East London have come together to launch a campaign to protect local endangered species. Wild Wanstead, the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group and London Wildlife Trust joined forces to unveil the ‘Endangered in Wanstead’ which will focus efforts on safeguarding several threatened and endangered species, including the house sparrow, hedgehog, skylark, swift, common toad, pipistrelle bat, smooth newt, tawny mining bee, stag beetle and common blue butterfly. The scheme will encourage local politicians, businesses and residents to promote and protect these species so their numbers can grow and recover – Endangered in Wanstead campaign launched to help save ten species (East London & West Essex Guardian)

A woman in the south London area of Bromley who flouted coronavirus restrictions to host a party attended by forty people has been fined GBP £13,000 (USD $18,102) by City of London Magistrates’ Court. Shanika Stephenson-Gordon hosted a ‘rowdy’ house party at her place of residence on 5th November 2020. Officers spoke to her at the time and she claimed she had only invited six people. She was also found to have hidden a joint containing cannabis on her person and was also charged for drugs possession. Two police vans were sent to her address to clear out the illicit partygoers, and drugs were said to have been used on the premises – Bromley woman who held 40 person party in lockdown fined £13k (News Shopper)

London news website MyLondon has paid tribute to the seventeen Londoners who had been murdered so far this year, releasing pictures and names of some of the victims, who include four teenagers. MyLondon reporter Charlie Lawrence-Jones wrote yesterday: “Seventeen lives lost but countless more have been changed forever, including partners who have been left raising children alone and mums now unable to watch their child grow up.”. The dead included a 92-year-old woman murdered in a care home by another resident and a young adult male killed while running an errand for his mother to local shops – Heartbreaking names and faces of the Londoners killed on our streets so far in 2021 (MyLondon)

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