'July 4th is no Silver Bullet for London Town'

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

London chefs and restaurateurs have signed an open letter calling for government support ahead of the hospitality's scheduled reopening on July 4th. 

Signataries include Angela Hartnett, Chris and Jeff Galvin, David Loewi, Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson, Soren Jessen, Neil Borthwick, Lawrence Hartley and Geoff Leong, with more expected to follow.

It reads: "July 4th is no silver bullet for London Town, hidden by scenes of mobbed urban parks and commons and the crazy seaside on our screens."

Calling the centre of London "a ghost town," it continues: "Theatres are closed, until 2021 for many, the Arts are trying to come out of hibernation, restrictions are to come for cinema and visitor attractions, no attended sport, no public gatherings, concerts or events.

"The hotels have been closed and are expecting a torrid recovery, there is no long distance tourism and those looking for cheap flights are leaving the country not coming to it, add to that quarantine rules and confusion, was there a need to increase and extend the congestion charge and London is getting cleaner is the message."

August, it says "is looking dire,"  and "the damage to July is already done."

The work from home policy set out by government, it says, has been so successful  that many significant businesses won't reopen until autumn or even the new year.

"The City is a ghost town with Fridays, once buzzing, particularly now empty, with many restaurants not reopening yet."

Chinatown, it says, "has its particular problems," and the city's transport system not only "cannot deliver people to the workplace, but "there is a general unease in the public mind about dining out and coming into London generally."

While the initial Government support, it says, "was most welcome,"  it tapers away while "issues over rent have not gone away, and redundancies loom.

"Some businesses hope for a good Christmas already however that’s something in the future and not guaranteed.

"We need specific support and action now, for the PM and The Mayor to sort out their differences.

Sadiq Khan - the mayor of London - it says, "seems to have gone AWOL," and with no MP representing the entirety of London, "it needs the Mayors of the City and of Westminster to start making a noise too, for this to be picked up by the media both local and national."

"London is the biggest target, it mustn’t be the biggest casualty."

To add your signature or any information on the open letter, contact any of the aforementioned chefs and restaurateurs directly, or Trevor Gulliver on [email protected].

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 26th June 2020

'July 4th is no Silver Bullet for London Town'