Please sign and share our petition calling on City of London to increase opening hours at Artizan Street Library


We need opening hours at Artizan Street Library that work for our community.

We want the committee to work with the community to establish a new spread of opening hours, and ensure the needs of local school children, students, workers and other residents are put first in this decision.

We propose a spread of hours comprising at least 3 evenings per week, so the library may be a resource for a greater number and variety of people.

We propose that the library opens on Saturdays so that parents and children can visit at their leisure. The Barbican library is open Sat: 9.30am–4pm, that’s what we need in Portsoken.

Why is this important?

From Tuesday to Friday, the library closes at 4pm, and it doesn’t open at all at weekends. Many children and students in local schools finish too late to to use the services after school, and residents working 9-5 jobs do not have much opportunity to access the library at all.

The current opening hours seem only to serve the needs of the City workers coming into the area during the day, rather than the people living in the local community.

This issue has been raised in a recent customer survey, and a consultation into a new spread of opening hours is under way. We, the residents of the City of London, want to make sure that our voices are put front and centre on this issue, rather than the corporations and City workers, which is too often the case.

Please sign the petition here →


Portsoken Aldermanic Election Update: William Campbell-Taylor will be Labour candidate


William announcement 2

Portsoken Aldermanic Election Update: William Campbell-Taylor will be Labour candidate for the forthcoming Aldermanic election which will take place on Dec 14th 2017. This is the first time that the Labour party will contest an Aldermanic seat in the City of London. William Campbell-Taylor became the first ever political party candidate to be elected to the Common Council after winning a by-election in Portsoken in March 2014. Labour now has five Labour councillors in the City of London following historic election results in 2017 which included the election of two Labour councillors in the ward of Portsoken.


Happy 100th Birthday to Labour Portsoken member Manny Blankett!

Happy birthday to long-standing Labour Portsoken member Manny Blankett who celebrated his 100th birthday in style this week with well wishes from his sporting and political heroes.

Manny turned 100 on 18 October, celebrating with parties all over Portsoken, starting with a lavish affair at the Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate, followed by an afternoon of singing and dancing with his friends at community centre Toynbee Hall.

The youngest of six children to Polish immigrants, Manny was born and raised in the East End, and trained to be a hairdresser before going into the family’s furrier business in the West End and spending several summers as a lifeguard for lidos around London.

Speaking with Spitalfields Life last year Manny said that after a stint in the armed forces during World War II and then the Peace Movement in the 1960s, he returned to the East End and has been living in Petticoat Lane for the last 20 years.

The birthday boy was delighted to receive his customary card from the Queen, as well as surprise well wishes from the Tottenham Hotspur first team and a special personal address from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Portsoken councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali presented Manny with a signed Labour manifesto and a video message from the Labour leader during a party at Toynbee Hall, which Manny attends three times a week for activities and social events. It was a packed house for the community centre’s first 100th birthday party, with around 30 regulars turning up to congratulate Manny on the milestone and indulge in one of the centre’s most popular activities; a group singalong.

Portsoken councillor Jason Pritchard said: “What an amazing man Manny is! So honoured to be there on this special day and to get a video message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wishing Manny a happy birthday was fantastic. Manny said it made his day. Thanks to all who helped make this day so special.”


Aldermanic election announced in the Ward of Portsoken


Sir Michael David Bear has surrendered the office of Alderman for the Ward of Portsoken. An election of a new Alderman will now take place.

The Notice of Election will be published on Tuesday 14 November 2017. This will also be the earliest date for the submission of nomination papers by candidates. The latest date for the submission of nomination papers will be noon on Tuesday 21 November 2017 to submit their nomination papers.

The deadline for new postal votes applications and for changes to existing postal and proxy voting arrangements will be 5pm, Wednesday 29 November 2017.

The deadline for new proxy votes applications will be at 5pm on Wednesday 6 December 2017.

A Wardmote (Ward meeting) is scheduled to take place at 6pm on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at the Artizan Street Library and community Centre, 1 Artizan Street, London, E1 7AE. All eligible voters are entitled to attend and there will be an opportunity for candidates to address the meeting and for voters to ask them questions.

If the election is contested then a poll will take place on Thursday 14 December 2017. electors north of Aldgate High Street their polling station will be located at Artizan Street Library and Community Centre, 1 Artizan Street, London, E1 7AE. For electors south of Aldgate High Street their polling station will be located at Portsoken Community Centre, Guinness Court Estate, Mansell Street, London, E1 8AH . The polling stations will be open between the hours of 8am and 8pm. To request a candidate nomination pack, or if you have any queries regarding this election, contact the Electoral Services Office.