We, the undersigned, demand that Westminster Council listens to residents and put the needs of the community at the heart of any future plans for Soho.
In July 2020, Westminster Council introduced a street closure scheme to allow for al fresco dining. The Council promised that residents would be “at the heart” of their approach.
We understand the importance of supporting hospitality businesses. But Conservative-led Westminster Council has failed to protect the interests and needs of the community.
A combination of poor management of the scheme including the repeated violation of social distancing rules, inadequate access for disabled and elderly people, poor enforcement, extreme noise,
and other issues, drove many residents to near breaking point during last year’s al fresco scheme.
In a recent survey more than a third of resident respondents said that they would move out of Soho if the al fresco scheme were to become permanent. This is entirely unacceptable and the Council must take action to protect the needs of those live here.
This is a demand and non-negotiable. The Council must genuinely listen to and act on community concerns.
Pancho Lewis, Patrick Lilley and Jessica Toale
West End Labour Action Team