Whilst the rest of the country had a recession, London’s economy grew by nearly 12.5% between 2007 and 2011 – twice as fast as the rest of the UK.
The value of London’s property had risen by 15% – or £140bn since the financial crisis began. London’s top ten boroughs alone are worth more, in real estate terms, than all the property of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, added together.
The average Londoner contributes 70% more to Britain’s national income than people in the rest of the country – a difference of £16,000 each a year.
You can cover the 120-odd miles between London and Birmingham in a train in 84 minutes. Birmingham to Manchester is not much more than half the distance, but the fastest train between the two is 90 minutes. It’s only 40 miles from Manchester to Leeds, but the fastest train takes nearly an hour.
Westminster Council did a survey of our technological habits as part of a plan to justify an expansion of its digital services. There are some interesting insights into the average Pimlico Resident’s life in the survey, but my own concern is that WCC seem to have little concern for customer service, success for WCC involves passing it’s problems on to it’s residents. A future blog will analyse WCC’s own use of IT, meanwhile here are the results of their analysis of OUR use ………….
Pimlico residents exceed national averages in all areas of digital and wireless communication:
Nationally 30 per cent own smartphones but 64 per cent of Pimlico residents own one.
6% of the UK own a tablet against 19 per cent of residents in Pimlico.
86 per cent of residents are connected to the internet at home, rising to 94 per cent in the 16-44 year age bracket.
Online interactions between residents and the local authority cost the Council only 17p per interaction, whereas a face-to-face interaction between the Council and a resident can cost £14.
Online interactions cost the taxpayer only 1% of the cost of a face-to-face transaction.
Clearly Pimlico Residents make a much greater use of the Internet, Mobile Computing, and Social Media, than the Nation as a whole.
A statement by the Council says “The Council can harness this by expanding the online options for contacting the Council, improving its website, and stepping up its digital publications to save real money for the taxpayer. WCC has already shown its commitment to becoming the UK’s most digitalized city, and we will continue to expand our online options to provide excellent value for money to our residents.”
Fine words, but what is good for the council isn’t necessarily good for the residents …….
I try to focus on free and little published events and attractions, as the bigger professional things are generally commercially advertised and known about. My biggest source of information is the weekly publication The Pimlico News and Journal which is something that I publish myself and is automatically curated from various feeds. It has been sufficiently successful that I now carry it as a page on this website which can be accessed from the menu on the left.
It’s a great Newspaper but I must give thanks to some of the contributors. There are of course the usual traditional sources of information, BBC, Newspapers, but the purpose of niche blogging is to uncover the real story, and here are the local blogs and websites which I follow in order to reach the news other blogs can’t reach:
Foremost has to be the Westminster Chronicle just because we need professional journalists and local newspapers in our lives, and if you don’t use them and pay for them we will lose them, and be all the poorer. I don’t know how the power of the internet will pan out, but printed news is under pressure from free blogs like this, and the free “Pimlico News and Journal” that I just promoted. In spite of my competition with the Chronicle all I can say is that we need our local shops, and newspapers, so please buy a copy from your local newsagent.
Londonist a website about London and everything that happens in it – it’s a professional publication set up in 2004 as The Big Smoker. I like it because, although it is a comprehensive London-wide reference resource, it carries this off with humour and is in touch with it’s community roots (e.g. the Hand Drawn Maps initiative). They provide everything you need to know about the capital, as well as celebrating the quirks, eccentricities, hidden and surprising bits that make up the alternative side of the city.
Discovering London - which I juxtapose alongside Londonist because Peter’s blog is small, if not tiny, yet it is brimming over with personality, quality, and originality. Peter has yet to reach his 1st anniversary of blogging, but already his website is one of my favourites.
Tired of London, Tired of Life began in October 2008 as a place to document those moments of inspiration for making living in London exciting & different. Doing the same thing day after day can get anyone down, but our city has an almost infinite number of things to see and do. If you’re not getting the most out of London, it is a sad truth that you have no one to blame but yourself. This site was part of a personal plan for the author to get the most out of the greatest city on earth, and it has worked.
Going Underground Look at what the mainstream press has to say! The magic, mystery & sometimes maddening shortcomings of London’s Tube are documented with love, enthusiasm & sometimes despair by its unofficial social historian ……. The best blogs have a tinge of obsession about them … On some mornings it can feel like the only reason to be grateful that the Tube exists … one of London’s obsessives
Young and Poor Cheap/free events, gigs, food & drink, or sales — never paid to mention things so it’s only things worth recommending.
Ian Visits does NOT list the mainstream music/theatre/film events which are already so well supplied by the major newspapers and magazines – but DOES list the heritage open days, walking tours and mostly, the astonishing array of free (or cheap) lectures that the societies and universities of London provide. It’s a personal resource of remarkable usefulness.
Boris Watch An act of frustration, at the loss to apparent personality politics, and the accusation that somehow young people are to blame …… but also a great tap into the stories that THEY don’t want you to read about.
Laura Porter London-based travel writer & VisitBritain Super Blogger, mum, copywriter, tea drinker, afternoon tea addict & all-round London obsessive. She is a professional travel writer for About but I have recommended her twitter feed as she is a model in how to use Social Media. She does so much more than just promote her own writing, and is very generous with the links and information that she publishes. Consequently I would say – if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of mainstream London – follow Laura.
Now publishing any list of recommendations is always fraught – you forget someone important, offend others, and no doubt there are excellent resources that I am yet to stumble across. I have tried to give an honest account of how I produce the Pimlico Blog, but by no means would I say that it is perfect. I would be delighted if readers add their own suggestions in the comments of websites and blogs that we should all be reading and following.