Councillor Pancho Lewis and the West End Action Team
Councillor Pancho Lewis and the West End Action Team

SOHO

Berwick & Peter Street markets

We have taken up the following suggestion with the Council:

“I now work in Soho. We have been discussing at lunch that we’d love it if there was a scheme in place at the food markets where you could take your own reusable Tupperware box, to get a discount on your food, and it would really reduce the waste! (A bit like taking your own cup to a coffee shop) What do you think? Is that something that could be promoted and feasible? Are you aware if it’s done anywhere else?”

We received this response:

“Many thanks for your email and the suggestion of bring your own Tupperware to the market. This is a great idea which would be effective in both reducing waste and also to assist the environment. A big part of the Market Strategy focuses on sustainability and both traders and customers would like to see a reduction in single use plastics. I would like to come back to you once we have the strategy approved by Licencing Committee on 20th March and seek your advice on how we can best implement this.”

St Anne’s Court, Berwick Street, Old Compton Street and many other streets – blocked gullies –

We are pressing the Council to fix the long-standing issue of blocked gullies in Soho. Here’s what one resident says:

“Another real bug bear for me is that the gullies in St Anne’s Court are blocked and it ponds in this important pedestrian route. It has been like this for years…I suspect because they don’t have the equipment to deal with off Street alleyways, but I may be wrong. I have many photos of blocked gullies all over Soho. Soho has huge pedestrian levels and when it rains heavily the environment really goes downhill.”

Coach & Horses Pub, Greek Street

Councillor Pancho Lewis and Steven Saxby, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Cities of Westminster & London, have written to the Council asking that the much-loved pub that is threatened with being taken over by Fuller’s pub is granted status as an Asset of Community Value. This is part of a long campaign to support Alastair Choat who wants the pub to remain an independent pub – not part of a pubco.

“The Coach and Horses is a very special pub with a unique history and, though in the heart of what many see only as a tourist district, a fabulous place of local character and beloved of local residents and others with associations to the area.

We believe it is vital to protect the character of Norman’s as a local pub where it is possible to experience the lived, intangible cultural heritage of Soho.

The legislation for permitting pubs to become Assets of Community Value is certainly fitting for this pub and I urge all with any authority to do so to enable this development to take place.”

Hopkins Street

We took this up with the Council:

“We are still keen for the council to take a long-term look at traffic management in the area bounded by Wardour Street, Peter Street, Ingestre Place and Broadwick Street, with Berwick Street at the centre. In the immediate future, though, we are concerned that any street works connected to the PMB and Walkers Court developments fit with their service management plans and do not adversely impact residents (e.g. a cobbled street which would end up increasing noise nuisance due to deliveries). We have asked to be consulted on any plans before decisions are made and hope that you will express an interest to officers too.”

90-104 Berwick Street

We are supporting residents who continue to experience issues with drilling happening between ‘quiet hours’ – i.e. times when drilling should cease. We are disappointed construction company Interserve seem not able or unwilling to respect residents’ right to peace and quiet.

FITZROVIA

Riding House Street bin removal

We have received this update from the Council. We welcome comments from residents.

“The Riding House Bin Removal Trial has now ended. As can be seen in attached photo record there was a very substantial decrease in fly-tipping and there are no plans to return the bins. The removal followed the expected pattern of continued dumping for the first few weeks which then reduced to virtually nil.  We have had similar results at other bin removal trials in other wards.

We received complaints from 12 residents about the removal – interestingly only one of these lived in Riding House Street. The removal also flagged up substantial abuse of the bins by nearby businesses – City Inspectors are continuing to verify that all nearby businesses have proper arrangements in place to pay for their waste to be disposed of. “

Proposed air quality event

Councillor Pancho Lewis has suggested that the following be held in Fitzrovia, and that the event is broadened so that it focuses not just on the Council’s #DontBeIdle campaign but other measures that can be taken to reduce air pollution too. We are looking at potentially holding it in May.

“A schedule of air quality awareness engagement events and action days to cover all wards has been drawn-up for 2019. These are a combination of engagement events – talking to residents about the difference they can make by not engine idling – and action days – visiting idling hotspots and encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when stationary now and in the future. They support the Council’s #DontBeIdle campaign.”

Hanson Street

We have taken up the following issue with the Council:

“I would like the council to be providing adequate facilities for rubbish collection in the area near to Hanson Street.  The removal of the large bins in Riding House Street was done to reduce dumping but dumping is still occurring on many streets.  If the large bins were redesigned so that short people and disabled people could easily use them, I think that more rubbish could be contained. In Hanson Street, the population seems to dump large items on the pavement.”

MAYFAIR

Piccadilly, Bond Street and Cork Street

We have raised the following with the Council and BT:

“With the millions being spent to beautify Bond Street/Jermyn Street etc, surely the eyesores of filthy phone booths on Piccadilly – e.g. the one on the north side between Albany Courtyard and Sackville Street

And please may I take up two other issues?

On the corner of Bond Street and Clifford Sreet, Louis Vuitton have erected a fantastically expensive hoarding consuming half of the pavement area.    What is all this about?   There does not seem to be any permit for it. Outside the new office/resi/gallery development in Cork St two enormous planters with bushes in occupy about half of the pavement.  Please get them removed.”

Balderton Street and Lumley Street

We wrote to the Council about the following, after speaking with residents:

“In North Mayfair, between Lumley Street and Balderton Street, there is a big development happening. It looks onto Oxford Street and I believe it may be the site of the new Adidas store when it opens. Residents living in Clarendon Flats on Balderton Street are at their wits end as a result of all the noise, dust and general disruption. To make things worse, though the builders start actual works on time (8am), they congregate at 7am and at that time already begin to make a racket. Please could this be looked into and the management company asked to be more respectful of residents? I know this may be outside of your remit, if so if you could pass it onto the relevant officer that’d be much appreciated.”

Mount Street

We raised this with the Council:

“We recently received a letter from Westminster warning us not to leave our rubbish on the street until half an hour before our allocated collection time. The problem is, that the collection time is at 6am in the morning.  Does the council really expect all of us residents to set our alarms for 5.30am every morning in order to dump our rubbish? I would like to express the disappointment and outrage of everyone in the building over this. We do pay our taxes, it is utterly unreasonable to expect us all to start changing our lifestyles around rubbish collection times.”

We received this response:

“We have recently been made aware of issues on Mount Street regarding waste, both residential and commercial, that has been left out for long periods of time. We received a number of complaints which we investigated and looked to take proportionate action to prevent it from being a recurring problem. A period of monitoring was put in place but rather than issue immediate Fixed Penalty Notices for local residents, we decided that it was appropriate and proportionate to send residents a warning letter (i.e. education) rather than enforcement, outlining the waste collection arrangements for the area.

Having reviewed the letter that was sent, we identified a slight error regarding the collection times. The waste collection times given in the letter refer to Mount Row only, which the resident correctly states is 06.00 hours Monday to Friday. What the letter should have stated (and in line with where the waste was found), are the collection times for Mount Street which benefits from two collections each day, these being 06.30 hours and 16.00 hours Monday to Sunday.

In the circumstances, and in view of the information that was sent, it is only fair that we cancel the warning letter that was issued to the resident. I have made the necessary arrangements for this to be done and for their personal information to be removed from our system. So that you are aware, we have also spoken to the officer who sent the letter to prevent further errors when sending educational letters. We would not look to enforce against residents that have a very early collection time band. We would encourage them to place their waste out as late as possible the night before or alternatively to look at nearby streets that may have a more convenient collection time that they can use.”

Queen Street

We have taken this up with the Council:

“Last year I took up the issue of our filthy streets in Mayfair with Councillor Dimoldenberg. He involved you and you made a number of inspections. I am sorry to say that the situation never improved. Our streets are very poorly swept, if ever, and the particular corner, in Queen Street, close to the corner with Curzon Street is regularly absolutely disgusting.

I have lived in Mayfair for nearly thirty years and the standards of street cleaning continue to get worse and worse. I would happily pay more for our streets to be swept. We have one of the lowest Council Taxes in the UK, despite being one of the richest boroughs, and I pay the voluntary additional tax/donation.”

Stratton Street

We have taken this up with the Council:

“Please can you ask the council to consider a rubbish bin by the bus stop on Stratton Street? The absence of it means that there is perpetually rubbish stacked up behind the railing (see photo) which seems to be from both those waiting for the bus, rough sleepers in the doorway (has 8-9 Stratton Street been abandoned?), and restaurant staff from nearby who use the area to smoke various substances.”

Audley Pub, Mount Street – what you say

“There is misinformation concerning the Audley Pub. Firstly it was Green King who decided not to renew their lease on the pub. Grosvenor Estates did submit a planning application which the public could comment on, I made comments supporting the application, the outside of the pub is going to be restored to it’s original condition as it was before it was damaged during the war, the inside will still have a bar as well as a restaurant and accommodation and more importantly it will have much better disabled access.

I think this is a good move by Grosvenor that will improve The Audley Pub. Green King if they wish to can change their mind concerning the lease and reapply for the lease, but whoever gets the lease will need to sort out the problems of the pavements being blocked by drinkers.”

WEST END WIDE ISSUES

Oxford Street consultation

The outcomes of the Oxford Street consultation have been published and can be accessed here, alongside updates about next steps for the project.

https://osd.london/

Residents now allowed to speak at Planning Committees

The Council has now put in place measures to allow residents to speak at Planning Committees, following a campaign by Westminster Labour for many years. If you’d like to speak at a committee to put forward your views, get in touch with Pancho and he can write to the Council on your behalf.

Police numbers in Westminster

We have welcomed news from the Metropolitan Police that there will be around 50 more police on the streets of Westminster to deal with crime across the city.

  • Up to 26 more police will be on the streets following the decision to use police from right across London to handle security for the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Police. Currently only police from Westminster are used for this.
  • The Territorial Support Group have been posted to Westminster for 8 weeks to provide high visibility patrols in the West End and will supplement the local policing teams.
  • Westminster will gain two extra inspectors. This will include a dedicated West End Detective Inspector who will oversee pro-active crime operations as well as one other inspector who will oversee the Integrated Street Engagement Unit (ISEU) and West End night time economy activity
  • Integrated Street Engagement Unit police officers will combine with a neighbourhood team to provide 20 police officers dedicated to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Westminster.

What you say about the Action Team

“Hi Pancho, thank you so much. You have been very kind and left no stone unturned in your help”

“A huge thank you for all your emails yesterday and for following up all the points from the very useful meeting we had with yourself”

“Thanks so much for your trouble on the two issues I have raised”

Regards

Councillor Pancho Lewis, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg and the rest of the West End Ward Labour Action Team

You can contact Pancho and Paul at
plewis@westminster.gov.uk
pdimoldenberg@westminster.gov.uk

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