Image of Trafalgar Square
Image of Trafalgar Square

ST JAMES’S WARD ACTION REPORT – September 2018

Parliament Square

Following the recent terrorist incident, the debate about whether to pedestrianise the area around the Houses of Parliament continues. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said banning vehicles from the road in front of the Houses of Parliament could prevent further vehicle attacks. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said the physical security around the Houses of Parliament should be strengthened. What do you think?

Emmeline Pankhurst statue 

We are opposing proposals to move the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst from the public Victoria Tower Gardens to the private grounds of Regent’s College.

You can make your comments on the planning application here http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=PBLU35RPJD200 

Old Pye Street

The fascinating history of the Old Pye Street area is included in the latest “lost London’ blog

http://www.onlondon.co.uk/vic-keegans-lost-london-52-the-devils-acre/ 

Victoria Street

We have asked the Parking team to investigate this issue: 

“Each weekday morning at about 11.00 a G4S armoured van parks on the red line outside the NatWest Bank just beyond McDonalds. It remains there for up to 15 minutes causing a single file of traffic at a very busy junction and traffic light. The economic loss and the resulting pollution from the delay must be considerable. The bus drivers and their passengers complain. Yet the Traffic Wardens say that they are powerless to move the van on or issue parking tickets because cash is being delivered. NatWest should arrange to take delivery outside the rush hour or G4S should park round the corner and provide adequate security for their man. It cannot be right that two commercial companies should be immuneto parking rules that are applied to the general public.”

The Council say:

“The section of the road is enforced by TfL and, as it is a red route, our marshals cannot take any enforcement action there or ask the vehicles to move on.   I would encourage members of the public to report any concerns with red route enforcement directly to TfL.  This can be done through their website: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/red-routes/contact-red-routes, or by calling 
0343 222 3333, between 8am and 8pm.  It is the our policy to permit G4S security vehicles to park outside a premises where waiting and loading restrictions apply for the purpose of delivering high value goods.   This exemption is given for safety and security reasons and there are currently no plans to change it.”

Huguenot House

We are making enquiries about the conversion of part of the Huguenot House car park to offices for the neighbouring construction site. Residents say

  • the offices were constructed without planning permission (which may have been applied for retrospectively)
  • residents were not given the opportunity to comment on the change of use
  • there was two weeks of noise and disruption while the offices were under construction which residents had to endure
  • there has been an increase in rubbish around the entrance to the car park as a result of the new offices

Goodwin’s Court

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue: 

I live and work here and up until a few years ago we had the pleasure of enjoying a quiet, secret flat in a Georgian alleyway in the centre of London in near perfect peace and quiet. Not now. Every day in summer our quiet central London street is packed full of ‘Harry Potter’ free tour parties. Up to 60 or 70 people. Noisy guides shout about the history of the place incessantly, every day, Saturdays and Sundays included. They obstruct our doorsteps and doorways. They will not move aside to let us into our house. They bellow sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish with the aid of microphones and amplifiers. 

They are part of a continual procession of Harry Potter tours that plague us throughout the year – sometimes there are three tour parties on the go in this tiny thoroughfare, one waiting for the other to finish. There are casting agencies and others who find the noise so intolerable that they cannot conduct their auditions. We cannot enjoy sitting on our balcony or in our roof terrace without constant noise and disturbance. Our peace and enjoyment of our properties is destroyed. “

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