FAQs

Here are some of your questions answered.  If you have other questions, please fill in the leave a reply section at the bottom of this page and we will respond as quickly as possible.  Click the question to jump straight to the correct area on the page.

Is Fitzrovia West large enough to be considered a neighbourhood in its own right?Will the Forum discuss issues other than planning?
Why is it taking such a long time to get established?
What about issues that are bigger than Fitzrovia West?

I was told that Westminster won’t support Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Amenity Societies, so if Fitzrovia West is selected then surely Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association (FNA) must fold?
Who’s on the committee?
What are your contact details?
What do you stand for?
FitzWest is a Business Forum. What does that mean?
How were the current Fitzrovia West boundaries drawn up?
The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association and the Fitzrovia West Group
Do you have the capacity and resources?
What are Fitzrovia Peoples’ Views?

Who’s on the committee?

The Executive Committee, who remain a shadow committee until WCC formally recognises The Forum are as follows.

Yoram Blumann
Daniel Castle
Gwilym Harbottle
Ali Matthews
Ian Milne
Wendy Shillam
Brian Weaver

These were unanimously elected by the public meeting 15th July 2014. Details of your committee members can be found here.

What are your contact details?

You may contact any of us individually or contact the group:

c/o Fitzrovia Community Centre
2 Foley Street
London
W1W 6DL

Tel 020 7580 8620 (messages only)
email info@fitzwest.org
this website fitzwest.org/wordpress

What do you stand for?

 Our Vision

A vibrant, prosperous, creative and connected neighbourhood where people from all sectors and communities enjoy well being and work collaboratively to ensure that their living and working needs and interests are met in an inclusive and equitable manner

 Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure that Fitzrovia develops as a habitable, sustainable and neighbourly community through all means available including planning, collaborative working and community enterprise.

 Objectives

  • To produce, and help to implement a Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Development Plan that delivers the vision of the Forum and the wider community;
  •  To promote the social, economic and environmental well-being of the people of Fitzrovia with Westminster Council and other relevant bodies;
  •  To help foster community spirit and encourage local democracy and civic pride.

The Steering Group agreed early on that Fitzrovia West Mission should also abide by some core values:

  • We are transparent, democratic and inclusive
  • We deal constructively with everyone
  • We recognise that we may not agree with everyone and every organisation, but that should not stop us working with them
  • We welcome business, residential members and representatives of institutions and organisations
  • The facts are important to us

What if my issue is not really planning?

Though the Neighbourhood Plan must be a first priority, our objectives are wider than just planning.  Already, special interest groups are starting to talk about wider initiatives.  We will be guided by The Forum, as regards other priorities.

What about issues that are bigger than Fitzrovia West?
We are already discussing issues with our neighbouring forums.  We think that forums getting together to discuss issues of mutual concern will be able to present a powerful lobby.

How were the current Fitzrovia West boundaries drawn up?
The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Area has been set by Westminster City Council in response to their consultation.  In particular they extended our proposed area to include most of the properties on both sides of Great Portland Street, so that that street could be considered as a whole.

The properties fronting onto Regent Street that are not covered are Crown Properties and have been included with the Marylebone Neighbourhood Area.

Why is it taking such a long time to get established?
Both the decision to grant us Neighbourhood Area status and to agree The Forum, require a statutory six week consultation period and a commensurate time for Westminster City Council to deliberate.  This will be a body with statutory status, so it is right that its inception should be carefully scrutinised.

The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association and the Fitzrovia West Group
The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, a respected local charity, originally entertained setting up a joint area with the Marylebone Association.  However, on 13th December 2013 the association issued a statement abandoning that policy and stating that they did not wish to become involved in neighbourhood planning at all.

The Fitzrovia West group is formed from local residents and businesses, and since its inception in September 2013 has conducted extensive public consultation within the Fitzrovia West area, including public meetings and leafleting.  We have gathered more than 150 supporters.

The Fitzrovia West Forum Executive Committee has been elected by members of the forum at a public meeting. The Fitzrovia West Forum is a “relevant body” to make the application under the terms of the Section 61G of the TCPA 1990 being an organization or body which is capable of being designated as a Neighbourhood Forum.

Do you have the capacity and resources?
Fitzrovia West has considerable professional capacity and manpower.  Our Executive and Special Interest Groups comprise members with many years’ experience in town planning, law, accountancy, public consultation and inter-agency working.  Several of our members have served/or do serve on local community committees and trusts.  The group is not, therefore, untried.  We have, moreover, been able to call on the support of a number of local businesses and organisations for premises, office services and financial resources, including the Fitzrovia Community Centre and Westminster University.

We have decided that membership of the Forum will be free to all.  In order to keep up the public consultation and ensure the professionalism of our approach, we will be applying for funds from recognised funders to cover costs like the setting up of this website, postage, printing, running events and information gathering.  We may also run fundraising activities.

What are Fitzrovia Peoples’ Views?
At a public meeting (Wednesday 13th November) the 80 or so Fitzrovia West residents and businesses present voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Fitzrovia West proposal.  At a subsequent meeting on 15th July 2014, the community once more showed their support, and a similar number of people attended.

We remain committed to working closely with Fitzrovia residents and businesses to represent their views.

FitzWest is a Business Forum, what does that mean?
Westminster CC has decided that all neighbourhoods that cover parts of the West End central business district should be business areas.  That means that we must consult with business and residents, and that there will be two referenda, one for business rate-payers and one for residents.

I was told that Westminster won’t support Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Amenity Societies, so if Fitzrovia West is selected then surely FNA must fold?
We didn’t think this was correct, but just to check we asked Tom Kimber the planning officer managing the neighbourhood plan process at Westminster City Council to send us a statement.  This is what he told us:

The established structure of amenity societies in Westminster will continue to:
•           have an active role in representing their local communities,
•           responding to planning and licensing consultations,
•           preserving the historic environment, and
•           undertaking community events, etc.

The City Council supports the established structure of amenity societies, and will continue to consult amenity societies as is currently undertaken.

A neighbourhood forum will not replace the role that amenity groups currently undertake. Once in place, neighbourhood forums will be representative, local community bodies formed of both residents and businesses who will be able to formally undertake neighbourhood planning and in particular, produce a statutory neighbourhood plan.

 It may well be that in many instances amenities societies will belong to, and/or be the founder members of a neighbourhood forum.

It is up to the amenity society to decide how they wish to continue to operate if there is also a neighbourhood forum in operation within the local area and a large number of joint members.

Is Fitzrovia West large enough to be considered a neighbourhood in its own right?
Yes.  There are several smaller forums already well on the way to recognition in Westminster itself. All over the country very small neighbourhoods, hamlets and villages have been recognised and are doing excellent work. See the map below.

Fitzrovia West is comparable in size to the Soho Neighbourhood Area, due south of us, as well as many others in Westminster.

Fitzrovia West is comparable in size to the Soho Neighbourhood Area, due south of us, as well as many others in Westminster.

Message from the webmaster:
This is a new site.  If you have any problems with it, find any links do not work or find any mistakes in the text we would be grateful if you could email info@fitzwest.org and we can sort it out.  Thank you.

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