News from Councillor Pancho Lewis and the West End Labour Action Team
Save the Coach & Horses
Councillor Pancho Lewis has written to Fuller’s urging them to come and meet the Soho community, so they can hear it directly from us: “We want to keep the Coach & Horses on Greek Street as it is – a local pub run by a respected and much-loved landlord and his daughter.”
At the end of June, Fuller’s are threatening to take over the pub and install their own management team. This threatens to do away with what makes the Coach & Horses special – the fact that is a place run by locals who are committed to preserving and keeping its special character. We will continue to lobby Fuller’s to come and meet us and urge everyone who is reading this to do the same.
You can read more about the campaign here:
We met with residents, Council officers and FM Conway, the company contracted by the Council to carry out repairs to the highway, to ask them to take a more pro-active approach to dealing with blocked gullies and repairing broken pavements. Following the meeting we received the following update from the Council:
- St Anne’s Court – I can confirm the gullies have been attended to and should now be clear
- St Anne’s Court – Paving slabs have now been fixed
- Dean Street and Carlisle St – broken pavement this has now been made safe and a further repair has been raised
- Broadwick Street bollard – this has now been repaired, this is regularly knocked down and we are looking into alternatives at this location
- Broadwick Street – blocked gully a job has been raised and this will be attended to shortly.”
We took up the following concern:
“I wonder if you could please provide an update on the work to fix the subsidence on Poland Street. It’s now been over 2 years since the collapse! Rubbish collects inside the part of the road that has been closed off and it looks terrible. Also, the street lamp outside 63 Poland Street still hasn’t been fixed and that’s now been over a year.”
The Council said:
“I had a meeting with the property owners agent and insurers just over a week ago to finalise the work that is required and what needs to be put in place in terms of obtaining traffic orders and approvals etc. to work in the highway. We are currently assuming a 13th May start date however that is still dependent on finalising those approvals. Once a start date is confirmed and approved, and two weeks prior to the agreed start date there will be a letter drop to local residents and businesses confirming when the works are taking place, what’s involved and for how long.”
“I would like to confirm that I have been advised that our service provider FM Conway have now repaired the faulty light.”
John Snow pub, Broadwick Street
We have reported the following issue:
“I would like to draw the attention to an issue that I find is not being managed effectively by the council. Last year, I highlighted an public safety / licensing issue. I have received a response but no real resolution and when I followed up I simply had no response.
With the utmost respect, aside from political agendas, big statements, pretty leaflets, as a resident all I actually want to see that if I pay my council tax, the council will 1. provide the a community service and 2. look into protecting the public and upholding legislation where applicable (and within the remit, in his case the Licensing Act).
My issue is simple – the pub is allowing (via its customers) to block the pavement – I can’t get home when returning from work and my wife when coming home with my daughter has to go into the road to get home. I am aware that I live in Soho and there is a great restaurant scene, thriving businesses and all that … but in this particular situation it is an accident waiting to happen as the manager of the pub has acknowledged today when I raised the issue with him.”
Walker’s Court and Berwick Street
We reported the following complaint:
“Extraordinary horrendous levels of noise today coming from the combination of a cement mixer running for hours at interserve site, pavement slab cutting in Walker’s court and boulevard theatre building works – this must contravene EU noise levels!”
We are also continuing to press the Council and Interserve to ensure drilling during quiet hours isn’t allowed to happen. It’s deeply concerning Interserve should have such contempt for the community that they think it’s ok to drill during hours when the rules state they can’t.
We have reported the following issues:
“Morning was somewhat disturbed by the beginning of construction works in the area behind Silver Place, at 8am on a Saturday, all of which was concluded by around 10. I was wondering whether there was any route to encourage a more sympathetic understanding of starting work at what seemed like an unnecessarily early time. Further to this, having had a look at the Westminster noise regulations it would appear that they shouldn’t be working on a Saturday, as surely their work constitutes development work, as loosely defined on the council’s website? Any advice on the above would be much appreciated. “
We reported this tweet to Highways at the Council:
We received this response: “A 2hr make safe has been issued”
We have written to the BBC to ask them to use their CCTV to ascertain whether dumping on All Souls’ Place is being caused by people flouting the rules or companies failing to collect rubbish on time.
“So glad someone wrote about the rubbish on Langham St. Not just big items dumped, but continuing rubbish all day every day.
Another hot spot is the junction of Mortimer St and Charlotte Place: often packed with sacks. Mostly commercial, I think, including late into the evenings. I think commercial rubbish collection needs to be better monitored – it seems to be on the streets most of the day, then people add household stuff.”
“Also pleased that rubbish dumping in this area is being taken seriously. Langham St is very close to me and it’s happening right outside my door too, just north in Great Titchfield St.”
Balderton Street area
We have raised the following issue with the Council:
“Outside Selfridge’s the issue of Pedicabs is a recurrent problem as well as buskers who cause a lot of noise. Please can this be added to the agenda [for City Inpsectors, the officers who look into anti-social behaviour and local authority rules being broken] and action taken to address the problem?”
We have again asked the Highways Team to take action to ensure traffic runs slower along Binney Street. Taxis in particular move at very high speed along the street towards Oxford St, and we’re worried this is dangerous. Residents have also raised concerns about this. We want measures to be introduced to slow down traffic.
We raised the issue of rubbish collection in the early hours on Lansdowne Row waking up residents. We’re very pleased that changes have been made to ensure rubbish collection only happens at the correct times. We received this report from the Council, which we are informed is making a big difference, helping protect residents’ right to peace and quiet at night.
“We have made initial investigations. The Mayfair Hotel was visited this afternoon and it was established that they do use KP waste for their waste collection at their bin storage area near Lansdowne Row.The Mayfair Hotel have a condition on their licence that does not allow them to have their waste collected between 2300hrs and 0700hrs. This was pointed out to them verbally and also sent in written communication. They have been instructed to make arrangements with their waste carrier (KP Waste) so as to ensure that their waste is not collected until after 7am.
There is some other businesses in the area that also have their waste collected from this location. It is not exclusively The Mayfair Hotel. We are unsure at present if they also use KP waste, but will establish this tomorrow when we meet with them.I will update you further when we have established all the facts and resolution measures have been agreed.”