The Executive Committee
Introducing the new Executive Committee Elected 14th April 2015
This shadow committee will work up until Westminster City Council have approved our application and a formal committee can be elected:
Resident Holcroft Court
I would like to stand for the shadow executive committee as I have worked for the University of Westminster for many years in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. I am Professor of Urban Regeneration and I both teach and carry out research in town planning and urban regeneration. 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. As chair of the trustees of a small charity over the last 18 months I have gained a good deal of experience in running small organisations. I have been a member of the Fitzwest Steering Group since April. So I believe I can contribute legal and organisational skills.
I think the main priority of the Forum should be to develop the Fitzwest are 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.
Edwina Lonsdale Comms
Although I have been based in the West End all my working life, it wasn’t until I moved my company to Fitzrovia in 2009 that I understood how special this area is. Close to the heart of things, but with a village character all its own that is very special, I believe the atmosphere of this area brings great benefits to my business – my staff are happy here, and my clients love to visit.
Even in the short six years we have been here, I have seen some unattractive changes take place in terms of new building and traffic. I am a big believer in residents and businesses working together for the common good, and that to justify a voice, you have to make a contribution. This is the reason why I want to be a part of the Fitzwest initiative.
My professional skills (I run a successful cruise specialist agency and tour operation) are not directly beneficial to the association, but I am a good communicator, and quite organised, so I am confident that I can make a worthwhile contribution.
MD, Trading Environment, 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/