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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 17 July 2009
Cyrus N’dereba Cyrus N’dereba
Out of puff... Keeping up with Cyrus

DIARY ventured out early on Sunday morning for a spot of vicarious fitness work on Westminster Bridge, watching the athletic endeavours of thousands of British 10K runners.
After seeing the impressive eventual winner, Cyrus N’dereba, bound over Westminster Bridge, we spotted two participating young ladies clearly struggling to keep pace with the Kenyan. In fact, they had obviously resigned themselves to defeat – as they staggered over the Thames, one of the pair lit up for a consolation cigarette.

Sailors return from ship trip

TWO seafaring school pupils from Maida Vale have been practising their man overboard drills.
John Parry and Gina Antwi, both 16, from St George’s School in Lanark Road, returned from a sailing trip to Holland at the weekend.
The pair joined pupils from 23 schools across the country on a 10-night voyage.
They were specially selected by their school.
Captain Paul Miller from the Tall Ships Youth Trust which organised the trip said: “When these young people first joined the ship, they didn’t know each other and had very little idea what life would be like onboard.
“Through living in close proximity and working together as a team, they’ve battled the elements, climbed the rigging and sailed the ship. They have all found new confidence and pride in what they have achieved.”

Sell-off a sign of hard times?

SO the council are flogging our street sigsn
s. Among the iconic street names which will be racking up bids on eBay are Shaftesbury Avenue (five of them no less), Leicester Square (for those who want to feel like it’s GCSE results night all over again) and Charing Cross Road (grab it now to start a breakaway book haven before they’re all gone). Councillor Alan Bradley said the auction presented a “rare opportunity for people to own a piece of Theatreland history”. It’s the first time the council have ever put a street sign up for auction, although a browse of the famous site, shows there is no shortage of bootleggers out there.
Of course, the Labour party in Westminster see the policy somewhat differently. Leader of the labour group Paul Dimoldenberg said: “Resorting to selling street signs on eBay shows how far this once flagship council has sunk.”

Hate mail! Award for addresses scam team

DIARY always wondered what trading standards officers actually do?
Well, the super-sleuths must be doing something right because they’ve managed to pick up a national award for their work tackling criminals and conmen who hide behind mail forwarding addresses.
Westminster Council’s trading standards department scooped the Public Protection Achievement of the Year award at the 2009 Municipal Journal Awards. They fought off strong competition from dozens of local authorities to win.
Policing the post, the team follow criminals who use “accommodation addresses” to disguise their identity and whereabouts. Usually the addressees, which many unsuspecting victims assume are legitimate business offices, are in fact nothing more than post boxes from where letters are forwarded.
Sue Jones, head of Westminster trading standards service, said: “While the vast majority of mail forwarding address users are perfectly legitimate, the system was easily abused by criminals and sometimes officers were tracing rogues through multiple addresses across the globe because there were no direct contact details for owners.
“The team put a huge amount of effort into shaping the new law and I’m delighted this hard work and dedication has been so well recognised with the MJ award.”

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