London Piers Closure

A message from Transport for London

Thank you very much for your ongoing support this week in helping us reach as many people as possible with the crucial message: Do not travel unless it is essential.

I wanted to make you aware that from tomorrow (Saturday 28 March) TfL’s piers will be closed until further notice, due to river operators temporarily suspending their services. This excludes the Woolwich Ferry which will continue to operate a reduced service.

While the number of people using river buses and TfL’s transport network has fallen dramatically, we still need even more people to stop travelling and stay at home. This is critical to fighting the spread of Covid-19, protecting the NHS and maintaining safe and reliable transport for health, logistics and other critical workers.

In addition to providing NHS staff and those who work in Home Care and Adult Social Care with the opportunity to use Santander Cycles for free for journeys under 30 minutes, we are also now offering free car parking to critical workers at all TfL owned car parks. A list of all the car parks owned by TfL, including the number of spaces, is available online:

Critical workers are encouraged to display supporting evidence in their windscreen, such as photocopies of their work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence from their employer. As an additional measure we will also waive any fines received by health and social care workers this week (23 March). If any workers have received a fine, then they are encouraged to appeal with supporting evidence of their work and it will be cancelled.

London Needs You!

Across London there is a drive underway to recruit volunteers to help support the capital’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The COVID-19 Taskforce, comprising local authorities, emergency services and others involved in the crisis response, is looking to provide support in the form of Executive Assistant/clerking support and Project Managers.

Volunteers are being asked to step forward to help. 

Primary tasks for the EA’s would involve:

  • Attending regular meetings (via teleconference), taking high quality notes/action points and disseminating within short time scales
  • Following up on actions (where appropriate) and updating relevant documentation
  • Low level project management, diary and general support

The Project Managers could be involved in a variety of tasks, so would need a solid skills base, able to pick things up quickly and respond in tight timescales.

Work would need to be undertaken on a rota basis to ensure full weekday/weekend coverage 8 – 6pm, so they may require a bank of staff to call upon.

If you are interested in helping this effort please contact Jade

Full Statement – COVID-19

A message from our Chief Executive, Ruth Duston OBE, OC

The COVID-19 national emergency is a rapidly changing crisis impacting all our lives. In a little over a week we have moved from a largely ‘business as usual’ strategy being adopted by the Government to now, waking up as a society living under the strictest restrictions on our personal liberties since the second world war…and there may still be more to come. 

It’s seems hard to overstate how huge an impact these changes will have on our country, our businesses, families and loved ones. 

The recent economic support packages announced by the Government indicated the scale of the emergency being faced due to COVID-19. Our politicians are increasingly talking of being on a war footing, not only to fight the deadly virus but to help everyone survive these extraordinary times.

Through my BIDs and partnerships across London I represent thousands of businesses, large and small across numerous sectors. No one is untouched by this crisis. Of course I welcome the economic support being offered – the £330 billion initial package announced by the Chancellor last week is significant (it equates 15% of our economy) but there is no sugar-coating this….many businesses will suffer, some will go under and very many jobs will be lost. 

So in these deeply challenging times, as business leaders, what can we do and where can we find hope?

I strongly believe that evoking the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ of the 1940s is not just a nostalgic comfort blanket, it is going to be the key to us all getting through this. 

We must pull together and think creatively. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and I am seeing this is absolutely the case in our dealings with our business communities in recent days. 

Many have moved quickly to provide enhanced online offerings and we are proudly supporting these endeavours. Our work to support local businesses, employees and our wider community need not cease – we just need to adapt to changing circumstances. In business as usual times, BIDs and business partnerships are playing an increasingly vital role supporting businesses, promoting growth and working with partners to create vibrant, thriving places. In times of crisis, our work is arguably even more important. 

I am working closely with partners across London, including local authorities, the Met Police, MPs, the GLA and many others to coordinate a response to support communities. Many of you will know that I am a great believer in partnership and believe the best outcomes arise from collective action. This is so true in the current crisis – we are all in this together. 

But beyond this vital day to day support, where is the hope, and how can we be constructive and prepare well as this crisis evolves and ultimately, ends? 

When the shock of these latest restrictions eases and we settle into the new normal, we must seek to learn from these experiences. Across industry we have talked a lot in recent times about changing trends in the workplace and the move towards more flexible and remote working. This is not the pilot we would have wished for, but we can use this time to identify where our systems need improvement. Perhaps one of the legacies of this emergency situation will be a new and innovate approach to working practices? There are potentially significant benefits for peoples’ wellbeing, air quality and pressure on transport infrastructure. It may seem incongruous to ponder these issues at the moment, but they are important and we should seek to find the positives in these very dark days. 

But crucially, we must be working now for the recovery that is to come. Our business communities will need significant support when business starts to get back to normal, whenever this may be. 

BIDs and business partnerships are well placed to take a lead role in the campaign to support London’s recovery, working with partners to help stimulate growth, boost confidence and provide vital guidance and advice. Funds that would have been invested in events and programmes in the immediate months have already been held back and these will be ready to invest in a campaign to kick start the recovery. 

We stand ready to continue to be a great source of stability and continuity.  Custodians, a steady helping hand, a protector, an advocate and cheer-leader…BIDs have many roles and we carry each out with commitment and a passion for supporting enterprise and knowing that together we can be stronger. 

Now we must prepare to take on the role of our lives. 

COVID-19 Business Hub

During the uncertain times of the Coronavirus Pandemic we have collated the below useful links which may be of use to our business community.

If you have any questions relating to COVID-19 and the business community, please contact us via email.

From our Chief Executive, Ruth Duston OBE OC

From our Chair, Andy Hicks

South Westminster BIDs

South Westminster BIDs Polling – Evening Standard article

Latest Updates

Westminster City Council Update – 21.01.2022

Additional Restrictions Grant – Round 4

Guidance : Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Local Businesses

Prime Minister Boris Johnson


Westminster City Council

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Transport for London

King’s College London

Further Information

Volunteering Opportunities


Working from home

Home Working: Preparing your organisation and staff

With the outbreak of COVID-19, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have put together a cyber security guide to ensure your staff can manage some of the upcoming cyber security challenges. 

The guide highlights how to prepare to work from home and how to spot the signs of phishing emails. 

To find out more click here

More Information

Little Book of Cyber Scams

Little Book of Phone Scams

Little Leaflet of Cyber Advice

Little Book of Big Scams

Update your malware