Coronovirus and Fitzrovia

The Covid-19 virus is having a significant impact on the residents and businesses of Fitzrovia. We hope you are all coping in these strange new times we now live in.

Westminster Council provides some useful information here.

Also the New West End Company has information for businesses in the area.

There are also opportunities to volunteer via Westminster Council or to ask for help if you are self-isolating.

The NHS has asked for volunteers and although they have had an overwhelming response, it might be you can offer your help to the NHS.

There is also this local group that is matching volunteers and people in need on a street by street basis:   Fitzrovia and Marylebone Covid 19 Mutual Aid

The FitzWest Forum Executive will still be meeting virtually as we continue to work towards creating the Neighbourhood Plan for the FitzWest area.

Neighbourhood Plan submitted to WCC/ Riding House Street Consultation/Successful re-designation of the Forum

Neighbourhood Plan submitted

We have now submitted the revised Neighbourhood Plan and other documentation to Westminster City Council.

 

Riding House Street -Public Realm Improvements – Consultation

Have your say on the consultation on public realm improvements on Riding House Street between its junctions with Nassau Street and Cleveland Street.  FM Conway, service provider to Westminster City Council, has been commissioned to undertake this consultation on behalf of the City Council.

The scheme proposals are set out here in a letter from Westminster Council with a map of the area  and summarised below:

  • Formalised permanent road closure at east end of Riding House Street.
  • Creation of a pedestrian zone with a flush surface throughout paved with two tone concrete paving.
  • Benches and planting to improve public amenity and change the nature of Riding House Street from a road to a functional pedestrian space.
  • Removal of the existing zebra crossing as it is no longer required. An informal pedestrian route between All Souls School sites is highlighted in the proposed paving pattern.
  • Cycle parking facilities.
  • Two-way operation to the east of Nassau Street to maintain access to motorcycle parking and for servicing vehicles.

Westminster Council welcome your views on the proposals.  Any comments on the proposals should be returned no later than the closing date of 10/03/20 to rhs@fmconway.co.uk.

 

Redesignation of FitzWest as a Neighbourhood Forum

We are delighted to report that FitzWest was successfully redesignated on 20 February 2020 as a Neighbourhood Forum. Thanks to everyone for  for contacting Westminster Council to support us.

Have your say on important issues in the area: Fly Tipping/Anti-social behaviour ~ Possible Closure of Soho Square NHS Walk-In Centre ~ Air Quality ~ Busking

Reporting Fly Tipping and Anti-Social Behaviour

 Did you know that Westminster City Council has introduced a new and improved “Report It” service?  The mobile friendly tool, powered by FixMyStreet, uses location-based technology or a postcode to show an interactive map of that area with all current reported issues.  Residents can then report their own issue, such as dumped rubbish or faulty street lighting.  The report is then sent to the relevant Council team to investigate and respond.  You can find out more using the following link:

https://report.westminster.gov.uk/

You can continue to report missed refuse or recycling collections, as well as things like anti-social behaviour, here:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it

Have your say on the plans to close the Soho Square NHS Walk-In Centre

There is a consultation taking place about the future of this popular service. See below to give your views in a survey and there are also public meetings that you can attend.

https://www.centrallondonccg.nhs.uk/news-publications/news/2020/01/have-your-say-the-future-of-soho-walk-in-centre.aspx

Have your say on Air Quality

This is a topic that is often raised by local residents and continues to be an important concern for residents and businesses.  Westminster City Council want your opinion on their new Air Quality Action Plan.

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/air-pollution

Have your say on Busking and Street Music

Concerns have been raised by residents and businesses about the location (impeding pedestrians near Oxford Street tube station) and the use of loud amplified music.

There is a consultation running until 24th February 2020. Have your say here:
https://www.westminster.gov.uk/busking

REMINDER – IMPORTANT- please support the re-designation of the Forum – deadline 13th January 2020

Just a quick reminder of this important request! If you have not had the chance to do so already, could you please give us your support.

Please allow the Forum to continue to work towards developing the Neighbourhood Plan and support the re-designation before the 13 January 2020 deadline – the current designation expires on 05 February 2020.

We would ask you all to support the re-designation and to  encourage all local residents and businesses to do so which they can do by sending an email to neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk or in writing to:

Neighbourhood Planning, Policy and ProjectWestminster City Council City Hall,

17th Floor 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

Here is an extract of the email from the Neighbourhood Planning Team at Westminster Council:

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum designation expires on 5 February 2020. The forum has applied to the council to formally renew its designation in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the Localism Act 2011 and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum is required to demonstrate that their written constitution describes the purpose, membership rules and how officers are elected. The legislation states that Forums should have at least 21 members who either live or work in the in the neighbourhood area. No change to the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Area boundary is proposed and remains identical to the boundary that was designated in March 2014.

Copies of the application documents can be viewed on the Council’s website at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/neighbourhood-forums. Hard copies will also be made available for inspection during normal opening hours at the Council’s offices at City Hall 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP.

Representations on this application should be received by no later than 5pm on Monday 13 January 2020. They can be made by email to neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk or in writing to:

Neighbourhood Planning, Policy and Projects

Westminster City Council City Hall,

17th Floor 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6Q

Refuse and Recycling Update

Representatives of the FitzWest Forum met with  Francis Keegan from Westminster Council before Christmas to discuss the ever problematic issue of refuse collection and dumping in Fitzrovia. He is the person now dealing with refuse collection and streetscape in the FitzWest area. We shared our observations and those of FitzWest Forum members who have been in touch, as to what works and what doesn’t,  and to continue to press for improvements.

We made the following points:

  • There are some constant street dumping hotspots and we sent a map of ones we have identified. Please let us know if you think we have missed any. Map of dumping hotspots.
  • There continue to be issues with Veolia not collecting recycling with this often being left for whole days and entire weekends.
  • The Ward Councillors have been very supportive in pressing the refuse agenda and street collection arrangements have as a result improved.
  • We continue to encourage both businesses and residents to use the Council’s online service to report missed collections and street dumping. Click below to do this:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it

  • Compared to neighbouring boroughs, Westminster has many more collections with some streets daily and some twice a day. However the transient nature of the community and the lack of rubbish storage areas within some blocks of flats means that there are still problems with on-street dumping.

Important – please support the re-designation of the Forum – deadline 13th January 2020

Please allow the Forum to continue to work towards developing the Neighbourhood Plan and support the re-designation before the 13 January 2020 deadline – the current designation expires on 05 February 2020.

We would ask you all to support the re-designation and to  encourage all local residents and businesses to do so which they can do by sending an email to neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk or in writing to:

Neighbourhood Planning, Policy and ProjectWestminster City Council City Hall,

17th Floor 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

Here is an extract of the email from the Neighbourhood Planning Team at Westminster Council:

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum designation expires on 5 February 2020. The forum has applied to the council to formally renew its designation in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the Localism Act 2011 and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum is required to demonstrate that their written constitution describes the purpose, membership rules and how officers are elected. The legislation states that Forums should have at least 21 members who either live or work in the in the neighbourhood area. No change to the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Area boundary is proposed and remains identical to the boundary that was designated in March 2014.

Copies of the application documents can be viewed on the Council’s website at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/neighbourhood-forums. Hard copies will also be made available for inspection during normal opening hours at the Council’s offices at City Hall 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP.

Representations on this application should be received by no later than 5pm on Monday 13 January 2020. They can be made by email to neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk or in writing to:

Neighbourhood Planning, Policy and Projects

Westminster City Council City Hall,

17th Floor 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

Recent Developments

We had a good response to the questionnaire and exhibition held on 13 May 2019 and the link below summarises all the responses to the questionnaire:

Results from FitzWest Neighbourhood Questionnaire

Other documents relating to the AGM can be viewed here:

We have also carried out a full consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Plan which you can find with supporting documents by following this link to the website:

We now intend to seek a ‘health check’ to ensure we meet all the requirements and will then formally submit the Plan and supporting documents to Westminster City Council.

Please get in touch if you have any further comments at info@fitzwest.org

Draft Neighbourhood Plan – February 2019

We are publishing our draft Neighbourhood Plan here for residents and businesses to consider it and give their views.

Please have a look and send  us your thoughts and comments.

Click here to see the draft Neighbourhood Plan

 

 

 

AGM MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018

AGM MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018

We held our AGM on Monday 25 June 2018 at 6pm at Fitzrovia Centre. For more details, see http://fitzwest.org/wordpress/meeting-notes/executive/executive-committee-agendas-and-notes/

Ultra Low Emissions Zone

New consultation has emerged from Transport for London regarding central London Ultra Low Emissions Zone:

They would like to hear your views on  proposals to:

  • Introduce ULEZ (and the residents’ sunset period) 17 months earlier in central London
  • Strengthen the emissions standard to also cover Particulate Matter (PM) emissions from diesel vehicles

Please take some time to fill in the online survey and provide your views:

The online survey, https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-2/?intcmp=47032,

It should only take 10 to 15 minutes. Please complete the survey before midnight on 25 June 2017.

Here is FitzWest Response

To Alex Williams
Director of City Planning
Transport for London

Dear Mr Williams,

Thank you for inviting the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum to provide views on the proposed changes to the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in central London (ULEZ)

We support the zone because we wish to rid ourselves of the polluted air we have to breathe every day in central London.  We, who live and/or work here, know the niggling discomfort of ‘The London Cough’ which seems to effect all of us, which is never documented in pollution statistics. We are also aware of the needless deaths that occur from air pollution and that this level of air pollution is illegal under European Legislation.  We trust that even though we may sever some ties with our European neighbours that will not mean that we relax our standards on air pollution.

Residents and businesses who own diesel vehicles:
The new proposals will have a financial impact to local residents with older diesel cars. We would be particularly concerned if central government proposals to introduce a diesel scrappage scheme do not come forward.  If that were to be the case then we feel that TFL should introduce its own scrappage system for residents and small businesses within the ULEZ zone.  We would support such a scheme even if it were means tested.  There ought to be some low cost means of supporting residents and businesses of modest means to purchase a better vehicle for their personal use.  We have a lot of elderly and disabled residents living in this area for whom a car is still important.  Our small businesses are the life blood of the area.

Increasing need for private transport in central London:
In the light of bus service reductions in central London, (which we don’t support) the we must assume that resident car use will increase.

Need for Low Emissions Public Transport:
We trust that buses and taxis will also be subject to these stringent rules in central London and that TFL will lead by example, introducing zero emissions buses before long.

Emissions are not the full story:
While we support the reduction of exhaust emissions that does not contribute to any reduction in particulate matter, which we understand is caused by tire wear on uneven roads. What is being done about this?  In addition we expect to see similar London wide planning legislation to reduce the use of carbon fuels like gas as a means of heating and air conditioning.  The urban heat island effect is well documented as an added factor in central London, yet the ULEZ policies will do nothing to alleviate these problems.  We understand that emissions from gas boilers constitutes about 35% of the NO2 in central London.

Pedestrians first:
The healthiest and lowest emission form of movement around central London is on foot, yet funding to improve pedestrian ways is very limited.  Another way to improve air quality in central London is to encourage walking and cycling.  We trust that wider TFL/GLA schemes are considering such  improvements to complement planned reduction in polluting traffic.

Wendy Shillam
Chair FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum Executive