WEST END WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – December 2021
News from Councillor Pancho Lewis, Paul Fisher, Patrick Lilley and Jess Toale
Residents in Hopkins Street wrote to us to express concerns about staff working on the construction site being rude. In addition, residents demand the following:
“Can you confirm the space provided is approved? Where are the signs that are meant to around the site? No alternative route for access to a building with 60+ homes.”
We are supporting the Soho Society’s campaign for more public toilets
Last Night in Soho
Clive Jennings writes a review of ‘Last Night in Soho’
You can read the latest Soho Society newsletter here
Putting planters in place
The FitzWest Neighbourhoood Forum, whose planning document for Fitzrovia was recently approved, are consulting on installing street planters in the neighbourhood. Greening has a number of benefits. including improving air quality, deterring fly tipping and rubbish dumping, and improving the street’s appearance.
The al fresco scheme in Fitzrovia proved largely successful, with residents and businesses finding it added vibrancy to the neighbourhood. This is in marked contrast to the scheme in Soho, where the Council turned its back on residents which in turn led to very many problems for local people.
We’re therefore pressing the Council to consider reintroducing al fresco to Fitzrovia, subject to important conditions – the Council should carry out proper consultation, and it should consider how wealth generated by landlords in any new al fresco scheme is taxed appropriately.
Fitzrovia Rubbish Action Committee
The Fitzrovia Rubbish Action Committee (FRAC) recently met with social housing group One Housing to explain their work to try to tackle fly-tipping and rubbish dumping in the area. FRAC urged One Housing to ensure they communicate effectively and more proactively with their tenants – most of whom follow the rules, with a small minority letting fellow tenants and residents down. They have agreed to come back to us in the New year for us to evaluate actions they’re taking and see how well they’re progressing.
Fitzrovia resident Nick Bailey writes about the future of Oxford Street
Great Portland Street
The George public house on the corner of Great Portland Street and Mortimer Street has re-opened after a lengthy closure and a major refurbishment. Publican Dominic Jacobs and culinary director James Knappett will follow up the opening of the pub on the ground floor with the “Upstairs at The George” first floor restaurant in February 2022.
Great Titchfield Street
A shop in Great Titchfield Street has had its licence to sell alcohol suspended after a police raid found drugs hidden in sweet packets, according to a council report. Officers recovered a stash of class B drugs and cash at Fashion and Media News in Great Titchfield Street. The raid on October 4 prompted an emergency hearing at Westminster Council which voted to suspend the shop’s licence to sell alcohol pending an investigation.
A new part-time community cafe has been launched at the Fitzrovia Centre, 2 Foley Street. The staff plan to expand the offer in early 2022 providing funds can be raised. Called Fitz Friends, the cafe is open from 2pm to 4pm on Mondays and from 10am to 12noon on Fridays. There is also an invitation to residents to set up a club or activity at the cafe. “This could be a knitting club, a book club, or you could even bring some board games,” say the staff.
Film about Fitzrovia
A film about the history of Fitzrovia and the campaign by local people to restore derelict buildings for social housing and affordable retail premises — and create public open space — has been rediscovered, 35 years after it was produced. The 25-minute film was made for The Fitzrovia Trust by Channel 4 in 1986 soon after the Trust was set up. You can read more here
At the request of residents in Garrick House, we have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“Since Carrington Street was temporarily rendered a dead-end road by the major works at the site of the former NCP car park, we have seen increased use of the road by commercial vehicles making deliveries to traders in the Shepherd Market area. We have also seen a greater proportion of such vehicles making three-point turns to exit the street, rather than reversing out into the Market. Some of these manoeuvres have recently resulted in vehicles riding up over the eastern Carrington Street pavement and striking the railings alongside our three blocks.”
Aldford Street/Park Street junction
We have asked the Council to take action to stop the regular illegal rubbish dumping at this location Residents say:
“In the past few months this quiet corner has become a nightly dumping ground for fly-tippers. Can the council take action, please? Put up CCTV perhaps to catch the culprits?”
Climate grants from Grosvenor
“Do you have an idea for improving your local environment? We know that working together at every level is key to igniting an incredible climate response. You know what’s going to work in your neighbourhood! So, if you are part of an organisation or charity with a project in mind, we want to hear from you.
Grants of up to £30,000 are available through our new ‘Greener Futures Fund’ in partnership with the London Community Foundation. If you have any questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org”