News / Events
Our rolling page of News and Events
(including those over the past year – most recent first).
Summer 2020 re-opening after lock-down
Here at Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) we are looking forward to seeing our neighbourhood re-open for business. For those of us who can, we will need to support our local businesses more than ever in the absence of many visitors.
However, the situation also carries some concerns for the community. For example, we are working very hard to get an amendment to the ‘Business & Planning’ Bill that went through the House of Commons rather quickly on Monday 29th June. We believe that measures to deal with the full impact of some points have not been dealt with in the wording. Westminster council, and the amenity societies in central London, are aligned on this. As is Nickie Aiken, our MP on the Westminster side. But we need to work fast. To this end we have chosen what we believe to be the most glaring issue to highlight for amendment.
This issue is the automatic extension of on-licences for off-sales until September 2021. In areas like the West End, with bars that can serve until 3am and sometimes later, people will be able to wander outside with their drinks and essentially have a street party under residents’ bedroom windows in the middle of the night in a way that is illegal now. And it is rightly illegal. We have a licensing regime that carefully considers individually what each premises should be allowed to do.
We cannot believe that the small profit from late night off-sales in this industry will even begin to balance a) the cost to residents’ health and b) the cost to police and councils in trying to tackle the resultant problems. Indeed, the resources do not exist for b), although the minister’s replies in the Commons do not consider this.
So we are trying to get an amendment to limit off-sales to 11pm whatever the business has as a terminal hour for on-sales. This is still pretty late, given that groups could still be sitting on our doorsteps swigging from a bottle for an hour or so afterwards. But 11pm is a familiar cut-off in other areas of alcohol licensing, and we believe that it is a compromise we could live with. If we don’t get the amendment it could mean people congregating in yards and streets with booze bought from nearby hostelries until whatever time those close for on-sales
A tip for residents is to engage with your neighbouring licensed premises now. Then, depending in what law we end up with, the conversation is already opened for discussion about what people can live with and what is genuinely useful for their business.
2020 Coronavirus lock-down
Here at Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) we are continuing all our usual planning, licensing and environmental work – especially in relation to community safety which is, unfortunately, quite an issue at the moment. There just won’t be any live presentations from developers until restrictions are eased. And, sadly, the May Fayre has had to be cancelled so we won’t see you out in the sunshine then.
Local organisations are are dividing things up between us to support our community, trying not to duplicate efforts.
If you need help, especially for someone elderly and/or vulnerable, please contact Dragon Hall who are co-ordinating a lot of excellent outreach work. See more details on the Dragon Hall website.
Click here to access or offer local neighbour help on the ‘Next Door’ app., Covent Garden section.
And both our local authorities are running volunteering schemes to support people in both Camden and Westminster. Please use these links:
The CGCA is participating in a weekly call with one of our MPs, Nickie Aiken, who is coordinating residents groups across her constituency. We will publish relevant information from that. Her latest update is here.
ANNUAL CAROL SERVICE & CHRISTMAS RECEPTION
Monday 9th December 2019. 6.30pm at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.
The most convivial event in the Covent Garden calendar!
Everyone is welcome, of any faith or none, as we celebrate Christmas and look forward to a New Year.
There will be carols, readings, music, opera, food and drink at this beautiful church in the heart of our neighbourhood. Come in through the entrance gate on Bedford Street (postcode WC2E 9ED).
As well as our rousing voices, as usual we have talented performers from the Royal Opera House and the local area. Their lovely bouquets are donated by ‘Blooming Good Scents’ florists at Chancery Lane, which has always been run by Covent Gardeners.
Please stay on afterwards to chat with friends old and new, to meet your neighbours and to
bring in the festive season. Complimentary fizz, other drinks and a light buffet are kindly sponsored by ‘Covent Garden London’.
Please print off a small poster for your building – click here.
Or there is a more ink-intensive, bright design from St. Paul’s – click here.
Let us know if you need posters delivered – printed with compliments by Fastflow in Bedfordbury.
FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF THE (NEW!) SEVEN DIALS PILLAR
Saturday 29th June 2019, all around Seven Dials from 11am to 6pm.
Street performers, Children’s games and painting, Story telling, Community stalls, Music, Food and more, as part of ‘Festival 30‘…
… as well as two exhibitions at 19 Earlham Street that explain and celebrate the history ancient and modern of this remarkable area – the only surviving streets of Stuart London.
In June 1989 the new sundial pillar was unveiled by HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in a ceremony recorded in this picture.
The Dutch connection dates from the 17th century when Thomas Neale MP, who developed Seven Dials, was one of those who greeted William of Orange when he arrived in England in 1688 and helped him through the complications of what came to be known as ‘The Glorious Revolution’.
The first sundial pillar had been put up in 1693 but it was removed in 1773. Explore its history at the Seven Dials Trust website. Or come along to the exhibitions on Saturday!
Centuries of mixed history culminated in the Seven Dials area being semi-derelict by the time Covent Garden market moved out in 1974. This is a view over Shelton Street towards Cambridge Circus in the early 1980s. It’s perhaps hard to recognise now.
The Seven Dials Trust was established in 1984 to breathe new life and character into the ‘lost’ neighbourhood.
Saturday will also be a celebration of the Trust’s 35th anniversary. Please come and join in.
Annual May Fayre & Puppet Festival
Sunday, 12th May 2019. 11am to 5.30pm in St. Paul’s garden.
The nearest thing that we have to a Village Fete in Covent Garden.
Everyone is welcome to this beautiful, free event in the garden of St. Paul’s by the piazza.
The forecast is fine. Please come, chat to your neighbours and get in the mood for Summer.
Local volunteers for CGCA will be at our stall all day. We always have some herbs, bedding plants and hand-painted cards for sale … but that’s just a front for discussing what’s going on in the area!
There are plenty of other stalls, games, food and perfomances to enjoy.
Of course, the main event is Mr. Punch’s 357th anniversary – since Samuel Pepys first recorded seeing him in May 1662.
Punch and Judy ‘professors’ come from all over the UK, and even internationally, to present their versions of the more-than-incorrect puppet drama.
Things kick off with a Grand Procession and band at 11am, followed by the special church service at 12 Noon with Mr. Punch in the pulpit, and performances until 5.30pm.
Public meeting with senior police and local authority representatives on Tuesday 20th November at 6.30pm.
Please join the ‘Community Conversation’ on crime, anti-social behaviour and community safety in the St. Giles/Seven Dials/Covent Garden area. The meeting is open to residents and businesses.
Senior Police, council Cabinet members, Councillors and senior council officers from both Camden and Westminster will be there, because, as we know, many of the issues are cross-border in nature. Some of the large businesses that have local operations and are badly affected will also be sending senior representatives.
It may be tempting to look back on the many meetings, police drop-in events and discussions that we have all attended in the recent past and ask “what good have they done?”. But this one should be very different because the attendees from Camden and Westminster have the authority to make a difference. This is the first cross-border public meeting on the topic for almost 20 years, so it is high-profile. And the last one did lead to significant change for a long time. Here at CGCA we have been working with others for over a year to push for another. The Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, even visited the area to see things for herself last week. So we hope that things are now coming to a head.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday 20th November 2018 from 6.30 to 8.30pm.
The venue is Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.
Camden and Westminster already know that drug related anti-social behaviour is a significant concern. But this is an opportunity to make sure that everyone at the most senior levels is fully aware of its true impact on the community and about other issues in our area. It is also an opportunity for us to understand what is already being done, and what is planned to be done about them. We need to discuss what can be done differently and more effectively by residents, businesses, Council and Police working together because the current system is not working for us.
If you have any questions specifically about the meeting please contact Camden Community Safety team, who are organising the meeting. Their email address is email@example.com, or they can be contacted via the Camden switchboard on 020 7974 4444.
We hope to see you there.
In November 2018 a series of commemorative events across the UK will mark 100 years since Armistice.
Capco Covent Garden is planning to commemorate the Armistice by exploring the role played by the local community and would like your help in gathering information relating to the community’s contribution to the war effort.
This could be the story of your family from the Covent Garden area who took part in the war effort, either as a serviceman or back home, or the role of local services (such as nursing hospitals) – and, of course, the Market itself.
We would like to ensure that we are preserving for future generations the role that the people and place of Covent Garden played in the First World War.
Please get in touch with Debi Doy on 020 7395 2758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phoenix Garden is back – and looking amazing!
Come along to one of the FREE Arts & Crafts sessions in the new building this Autumn. The flier is on the right with all the details.
The building is gorgeous, and available for hire to support the work of the garden – a lot of which is done by volunteers.
Or just pop in to enjoy our peaceful, green oasis in the middle of the craziness of the West End. It is open every day from 8.30am to 6.00pm.
Please consider becoming a Friend of The Phoenix Garden at http://www.thephoenixgarden.org/membership-signup/
Public exhibition scheduled for public realm improvements
Capco Covent Garden is working with Westminster City Council to bring forward proposals to enhance the public realm in Covent Garden. These proposals include a package of measures to improve vehicle flow, prioritise pedestrians on Henrietta Street for part of the day, and improve air quality.
The proposals would also see a reversal of vehicle flow along Maiden Lane, improvements to the potential public realm enhancements in Henrietta Street, Maiden Lane, James Street and Russell Street, better co-ordinated freight and waste servicing, and enhanced safety.
Subject to feedback, the proposed changes to Henrietta Street would be introduced for an initial 18-month trial period.
Capco is keen to share these plans with local residents and businesses and is holding a public exhibition, where you will have the opportunity to review the proposals and meet representatives from Capco Covent Garden, BDP Architects, WSP transport engineers and Westminster City Council.
The public exhibition will be held at the ground floor of 29 King Street, WC2 on:
- Thursday 21st September from 3pm to 6pm
- Friday 29th September from 9am to 12pm
- Tuesday 3rd October from 5pm to 8pm
DISCOUNT & OFFERS SCHEME FOR LOCALS
The ‘I Love Covent Garden’ discount scheme benefits residents and people who work locally.
This offers real, straightforward discounts and offers at various shops and eateries. Some give a whopping 25% off.
Sign up, and browse the current offers, by clicking on the ‘I LOVE COVENT GARDEN’ image…
If you have an old rewards scheme card, you can continue to use it – or pick up a new one at a the Information Office in The Market Building once you have signed up and had confirmation.