Boishakhi Mela in the City of London


For the first time the City of London Corporation will be the platform for the Bengali New Year mela, taking place on Sunday the 14th of April.

You can expect live performances from International artists of Bengali heritage and London artists, making this a truly inclusive event to celebrate.

Alongside the main stage you can also expect an array of stalls offering exotic and local food, clothing and local services.

Whether you’re a City worker, local resident or visiting Aldgate, this is the event you wouldn’t want to miss!

Please contact your Councilmen Munsur Ali or Jason Pritchard for more information or if you would like to get involved.

See also


Good start to the new year for Portsoken’s new community energy group

mock up

Councillor Jason Pritchard has been working closely with a group of Portsoken residents to develop the idea of starting a community energy project on the Middlesex Street Estate. The idea has quickly gathered pace and in December the residents received good news when they heard that their last-minute application for funding from the Mayor of London had been successful. The group have been awarded an initial grant of £12,450 by the Mayor’s office to help take this exciting project forward. The residents are now calling for the whole community to get involved in this positive project with the first aim to install around 200 solar panels on the roof of the Estate.

Key potential community benefits of the project will include:

  • Reducing CO2 emissions by generating decentralised low-carbon energy
  • Tackling fuel poverty and helping residents save money through energy efficiency
  • Promoting community engagement through a cooperative community ownership model
  • Providing opportunities for local and responsible financial investment
  • Creating training and employment opportunities for local people
  • Creation of a Middlesex Street Estate community fund
  • Allowing the wider community to take positive action against climate change while promoting renewable energy.

The project will aim to provide work experience programmes for estate residents. These programmes will range from a 30-week programme for young people aged 14-24, an adult 8-week programme and a 2-week programme for people who would like to learn about the installation of solar panels. The project will be supported by non-profit Repowering London and also funded through a community share offer.

All residents in Portsoken are invited to get involved in the project. For more information and to get involved please email or call Councillor Jason Pritchard on 07834 342479.

For more information

You can keep updated on progress by following on twitter at @PortsokenEnergy

Forthcoming Councillor Surgeries in Portsoken for 2019


Wishing all residents a Happy New Year!

Councillors Munsur Ali and Jason Pritchard will be back offering advice surgeries from Tuesday 15th January 2019. If you need assistance with any matter please do come along to one of our surgery dates or please call us directly. Our surgeries will take place as follows:

  • First Tuesday of every month 6pm – 7pm at the Green Box on Mansell Street
  • Third Tuesday of every month 6pm – 7pm at the Artizan Street Library

For more information please email

Wishing you all the best for 2019!

Healthwatch City of London drop-in at Artizan St Library

Healthwatch City of London is a statutory health and care watchdog. One of their main duties is finding out what City of London residents think about local health and care services in the City.


On Wednesday 14th November 10am – 1pm Healthwatch will be holding a Community Listening drop-in at the Artizan Street library so local residents can come and talk to use about their experiences.

If you are free why not pop along and tell them about your experiences of health and care services in this area. Your voice counts so make sure you have your say!

Labour Portsoken in the news: Resident calls for fireworks ban after estate ‘duel’

“The reason I released the video is to show the danger of selling fireworks to the public. My main priority as an elected member is the safety and security of my constituents in Portsoken.” – Cllr Jason Pritchard, City of London

By Tom Oxtoby 9th November 2018

A Middlesex Street resident is calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public after a group of teenagers were involved in a ‘fireworks duel’ on his estate.

Common Councillor Jason Pritchard caught the reckless stunt on camera, and is calling for a change to the law to stop the explosives being used in such a dangerous manner.

The footage shows youngsters firing a rocket down the outside communal walkway, with sparks filling the corridor as it exploded.

He suggested limiting the sale of fireworks to licensed premises only.

“The reason I released the video is to show the danger of selling fireworks to the public. My main priority as an elected member is the safety and security of my constituents in Portsoken.”

The incident took place on Bonfire Night, with Mr Pritchard alerted to the incident via the local Neighbourhood Watch WhatsApp group. Continue reading “Labour Portsoken in the news: Resident calls for fireworks ban after estate ‘duel’”

Labour Portsoken in the news: New Neighbourhood Watch initiative helps tackle antisocial behaviour on fireworks night

‘Before the Neighbourhood Watch group there was no network to tackle this kind of antisocial behaviour.’


This is the shocking moment a group of youths set off fireworks on the balcony of a housing estate in City of London.

The video, filmed by local resident and Councillor Jason Pritchard, captured the group as they hovered in the outdoor hallway of the estate on Bonfire Night.

At least eight people were stood outside the homes when a group of three, gathered to the far right, lit a firework and placed it on the ground.

People stood further down the row of flats moved away from the narrow hallway as the firework shot across the concrete.

Sparks were seen flying from the ground when the rocket scraped the floor before coming to a halt at the end of the hall.

The group then gathered at the end of the corridor as smoke filled the estate, jumping up and down excitedly.

As the clip ended, one of the group appeared to light another firework and walk down the hall with his arm extended.

Mr Pritchard, a City of London councillor, was alerted to the situation by a neighbour who posted in the Middlesex Street Estate Neighbourhood Watch scheme Whatsapp group. Continue reading “Labour Portsoken in the news: New Neighbourhood Watch initiative helps tackle antisocial behaviour on fireworks night”

Labour Portsoken in the news: Freedom of the City honour for Portsoken resident Manny Blankett


A 101-year-old man who was born during a Zeppelin raid and lived through two World Wars has been awarded one of the City of London’s highest honours.

Manny Blankett celebrated his birthday last week with fish and chips at a local pub and, as an added treat, received the rare honour of a Freedom of the City.

As part of his ceremony, the oldest living man in the Square Mile on Wednesday (24 October) signed a book at the historic Guildhall that world famous composer Stephen Sondheim had signed just weeks earlier.

World figures including Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela are among those who have received honorary freedoms, the City’s highest honour.


The Corporation’s members can also choose to make special nominations for people like Mr Blankett in recognition of a contribution to London life.

Mr Blankett was born in the East End on 17 October 1917, when Londoners were still travelling around in horse and cart.

“There was one right opposite where we lived, I saw it every day,” he recalled. “Everything was transported – people, deliveries, there were no motorcars in those days.”

He lived through the First World War and then the Blitz, and led an adventurous lifestyle – travelling over land to India before serving in the Second World War.

“It took a month to get there. It was quite a thing.”

Mr Blankett worked as a hairdresser, then in the family fur business, and later as a lifeguard at the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park. He is a keen sportsman, and active in the peace movement demonstrations of the 1960s.


He said the middle of last century was probably his favourite time in London.

“Oh dear, I can’t remember – it was a long time ago, what can I say? London was different: There were lots of dance halls – strictly dancing. There’s nothing like that today.”

Many friends and family were with him as he received the honour from the Corporation, which governs the Square Mile financial district.

Common Councilmen Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali of the Portsoken Ward, where Mr Blankett lives in the Middlesex Street Estate, had nominated him.

Continue reading “Labour Portsoken in the news: Freedom of the City honour for Portsoken resident Manny Blankett”