After several weeks of rewarding but exhausting writing and fundraising, it was good to have a week’s holiday by the sea. But now I’m back at my desk and On London is getting set for another burst of intensive and exciting activity. Here’s how the schedule looks.
- For the next few weeks, the website will be concentrating on the borough elections to be held on 3 May, covering as many key contests and issues as possible. The foundation of that coverage will be the On London Borough Elections Guide 2018, which I have been compiling with top political analyst Lewis Baston. A first edition of the guide has already been distributed to readers who claimed it as a reward for supporting the recent On London crowdfunding campaign. With full lists of candidates soon to emerge, Lewis and I are pondering a quick update so be more widely available in time for our live presentation of the guide on Wednesday 18 April at Kings Place, near King’s Cross station. More than half the tickets for that event have already been sold, so don’t hang about (only 23 remain at time of writing). We will be joined by Centre for London director Ben Rogers, as we widen the focus to the big challenges confronting local government in London, whichever party controls its Town Halls. I will have more news about the elections guide and the Kings Place event in the coming days.
- The following night, Thursday 19 April, I will be chairing an event I’ve jointly organised with award-winning independent bookshop Pages of Hackney. Entitled Ruins of Modern London, it will feature me in conversation with two superb authors, Peter Watts and Owen Hopkins, who have written about relatively new London buildings that were hailed as brilliant and innovative when constructed, yet quickly fell into disuse, disrepute and, in some cases, ruins. Peter has documented the history of Battersea Power Station. Owen has examined the unhappy fate of a range of the capital’s more striking post-war buildings, from schools to telephone exchanges to housing estates. There are now only a handful of tickets left for Ruins of Modern London, which will take place at Sutton House, E9 – so don’t miss out.
- Finally, I’m incredibly pleased and rather amazed to be in contention for the award of London Champion, to be bestowed by London First, the influential organisation representing the capital’s larger employers and education institutions. The others on the shortlist are Michèle Dix from Transport for London, my friend Tony Travers from LSE London and Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates. To even be on the same list as such exceptional people makes me feel like running an ostentatious lap of honour. More demurely, I take great pleasure from the feeling that my efforts with On London are being noticed and appreciated by people who know a lot about this city and how it works. That’s a pretty big prize all by itself.
Thank you again to all On London readers for your wonderful support.