The Executive Committee
Introducing the Executive Committee
I have been a member of the executive committee since designation as I have worked for the University of Westminster for many years in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. The University has been established in the area for over a century and plays an important role in the life of the local community. The Vice-Chancellor has asked me to represent the University on the Forum. I have also lived in Goodge Street for 30 years and continue to be an active member of local organizations such as the Fitzrovia Trust.
I am strongly in favor of the Forum as the legitimate and representative voice of local residents and businesses. I can bring enthusiasm, a good knowledge of housing, planning, and transport, all of which will assist in the preparation of a neighbourhood plan.
The priorities of the Forum should be to ensure as far as possible that Fitzrovia remains a mixed community providing a safe and affordable place to live and work for all with an environment and facilities to meet all needs
I’ve lived and worked in Fitzrovia for more than 30 years – moving from East to West. I worked at the BBC in Broadcasting House until 2014, and know many of the local residents and businesses well. I can’t imagine leaving this area with its perfect location and a history to be proud of. The lovely small streets, squares and buildings – along with our homes and businesses – need to be treasured and protected. New developments should enhance rather than destroy the ambiance and appearance of Fitzrovia West. Fitzwest Neighbourhood Forum is working to preserve our area, and I’m very pleased to be part of it.
Yoram Blumann Finance
Fitzrovia is undergoing a major change, due to the property boom and the expected arrival of Crossrail. Those who care about Fitzrovia – those who live and work here – can play a role in this process through the FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum. FitzWest aims to preserve & enhance the special character of the Fitzrovia, working with residents, developers, businesses, and Westminster City Council.
Formally, this would be done by developing a Neighbourhood Plan, and at the same time, the forum should also take active part in the planning process ensuring that the principles guiding the NP are implemented in practice. The Neighbourhood Forum should also be commenting on various policy proposals that might affect Fitzrovia.
I have been living in Fitzrovia for over 20 years. In the past 15 years, as a volunteer, I was dealing with Westminster’s planning and licensing matters, not just individual applications, but also commenting on Westminster’s, Mayoral and government policy consultations.
Working closely with our colleagues in neighbouring Soho, Marylebone, St James, Covent Gardens; reflecting the special character of the West End, we campaigned successfully for stronger protection for residents, and pressed for better enforcement. I also served as a member of various liaison committees over the years. I have some solid experience in running the finances of a small charitable company.
Why am I standing for elections for the Executive Committee? FitzWest is a new organisation; I believe that I can make valuable contribution thanks to my experience, and my familiarity with the planning process, the councils and their officials, and of course, knowledge of Fitzrovia and the issues we face.
Gwilym Harbottle Membership
I have lived in Fitzwest for over 20 years. I believe it has a unique character and atmosphere which results from a combination of architecture on a human scale, a good proportion of high quality independent shops and businesses, a relatively broad and diverse social mix and a very friendly atmosphere. I believe that character is under threat.
I am a barrister. I now work mainly in Intellectual Property but trained in planning and local government law and used to work in property law. Over the years I have gained a good deal of experience in running small organisations and believe I can contribute legal and organisational skills.
I think the main priority of the Forum should be to develop the Fitzwest area in such a way as to maintain its character. That does not mean preserving it in aspic but does mean so far as possible providing an environment where future development occurs on a human scale, good independent businesses can continue to flourish and social diversity is maintained.
Director of Placemaking, New West End Company
Resident and Business
I have been active in the FitzWest Forum from its foundation, helping to write our applications, liaising with Westminster City Council and acting as an ambassador for our cause with other community groups. I set up the website, the email and the membership system.
I am an architect and town planner, living and working in Great Titchfield Street. I am also a trustee of the Fitzrovia Chapel Foundation and a Director of Set in Modern the social enterprise set up to support writers and writing.
*If you are not yet a member of The Forum, but would like to join, you may do so by filling in your details at http://fitzwest.org/wordpress/become-a-member/