Shoe Lane Library reopens after major refurbishment

One of the City’s biggest community spaces has reopened after an extensive refurbishment.

A revamp to Shoe Lane Library, owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, has improved reading areas, created a new well-being space, laid new carpets, installed tablets for e-magazines and a new coffee machine.

The project has also increased space for study and relaxation.

The changes include:

  • New well-being area with books on health as well as new comfortable chairs for relaxation
  • Two tablets for reading e-magazines from the City of London libraries’ collection
  • A new coffee machine
  • New carpets
  • New modern furniture
  • New services from City Advice, Smoking Cessation and Victim Support

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services committee, said:

“The refurbishment of Shoe Lane library forms part of the City of London’s Corporation’s commitment to providing quality community services for its residents and visitors.

“We now have a library fit for the 21st century with which we hope offers a safe neutral, shared space, in which people feel they belong and to which people feel they can visit alone or with friends.”

The library has a range of services available for visitors including:

  • Books, audio books and language sets
  • DVDs and CDs
  • Free Wi-Fi, computers and internet access
  • Reading groups
  • Rhymetime and Stay and Play for under 5s
  • Home delivery service
  • Friendly, expert staff

Update on the elections

As you might be aware 2017 has been an election year for the City of London Common Council. What may be news though is that Aldgate was one of the six Wards in the City which did not have a contest. Four out of your five existing Common Councilmen, Douglas Barrow, Hugh Morris, Sylvia Moys and I have been returned.

However, David Thompson, decided, for personal reasons, to withdraw his papers after serving for 13 years as one of your Councilmen. We would like to thank David for his service and contribution.

In his place, Andrien Meyers will be introduced to the Court on 27th April as the newest Member for the Ward of Aldgate. Andrien brings some new skill sets to the Ward and the City and we are looking forward to working alongside him for the next four years.

In January, I conducted a survey in the Ward of top concerns relating to the City. We are using the results of the survey to set our priorities for the forthcoming term in office.  They were:

  1. Transportation particularly safe and easy movement for pedestrians;
  2. Air quality;
  3. Brexit; and
  4. Noise and disruption in relation to building works/development in the area.

Thank you for your support. We are honoured to serve you and the City.


Please share your concerns with me

As your Common Councilman I am keen to understand your views and what you think the City of London Corporation can improve in terms of its offering to you, the workers and residents of Aldgate ward.

I have designed a short survey to allow you to share your concerns about the Ward and the wider Square Mile with me. It is only 4 questions long so should not take up more than a minute of your valuable time.

Please do click here to respond. Thank you.

Aldgate Community Events / City Play East – briefing event on Tue 17 Jan

The City, under the oversight of the Community & Children’s Services committee (which I chair), is working with community representatives and organisations, and a nationally renowned theatre company, on a thrilling programme of events and opportunities for local residents and workers in 2017 and 2018.

The programme developed by Aldgate Community Events (ACE), will include:

  • Aldgate Heritage trail
  • Aldgate Treasures displays in suitcases,
  • Aldgate Voices recordings
  • Winter in Aldgate 2017 events
  • The Aldgate Tales play
  • Workshops covering mask-making, performance skills, local history research etc.

Please join ACE from 3:30-5pm on Tuesday 17 January 2017 at Bevis Marks Synagogue, 4 Heneage Lane EC3A for tea and cakes and find out more and how you can get involved.

Further dates and details of all events can be found here.

Pedestrianisation of bank junction

My Christmas card this year featured a painting by Peter Murray, Master (2015-6) of Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects of his impression of what a pedestrianised Bank Junction might look like at Christmas.

Fittingly on 15 December 2016, the Policy Committee of the City (which I sit on), granted approval for an experimental safety scheme for Bank junction to start in April 2017. Following recent fatalities, the measures are aimed at improving the safety at one of London’s busiest junctions as well as improving air quality.

The scheme will mean limiting vehicle journeys to cyclists and buses only through the junction, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 7am and 7pm.

The City Corporation has worked closely with TfL to ensure that the surrounding roads are not adversely impacted by the remodelled junction and the expectation is that vehicle journey times in the vicinity will be improved or at least maintained.

Aldgate Business Forum Networking Reception

You are invited to attend:

Aldgate Business Forum Networking Reception

Monday, January 23, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
An opportunity to meet the City of London Corporation elected members of Aldgate Ward and network with colleagues in the City including your host Kennedys.

The fifth of our regular receptions directed at businesses both within and near the Ward.

Please note that places are limited, so respond via Eventbrite at the soonest!

We hope you can make it

Alderman Peter Hewitt JP
Deputy Doug Barrow CC
Sylvia Moys CC
David Thompson CC
Hugh Morris CC
Dhruv Patel CC

Update 12 January:

We are delighted to announce that the guest speaker for the Aldgate Business Forum event on Monday 23 January 2017 will be Ambassador Carlos Sersale of Argentina to the UK.

The theme will be around Trade opportunities for the UK outside of the EU.

The event will start at 6pm and is being hosted by the law firm Kennedys at their London office 25 Fenchurch Avenue EC3M.

There are only a few tickets remaining so please confirm your place by registering here.

Local Plan Consultation 2036

Local Plan 2036 Consultation

On 26th July 2016 the draft Local Plan Issues and Options for public consultation were approved by the Planning and Transportation Committee.

The Plan looks forward to 2036 and sets out the corporate vision of the city along with the strategy and policies for planning the next 20 years in relation to the built environment.

The plan when implemented will have a real impact on your use of the City whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist and whether you use its gardens/public squares and shops or admire its buildings.

The Issues and Options document identifies a wide range of issues and challenges that face the City, posing a series of open questions & seeking views from the City’s residents, businesses and other key stakeholders on how the City should develop and maintain its role as a world leading international financial and business centre through to 2036.

The consultation runs until [31st October extended] 2 December 2016.

The consultation document, and other supporting information, is available here and comments can be made by emailing: or in writing to the Department of the Built Environment at the Guildhall.