Archive for May 2011

Contacting the Metropolitan Police Survey 2011

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has launched a review into the different ways in which the public can contact police and access our services. These range from telephone, online and face-to-face methods, including via police stations and appointments.

To have your say and influence the future of local policing in your area please take ten minutes to complete the survey linked below. Your views are important to and will help to improve the services to better meet your needs.

Metropolitan Police Service 2011

Crossrail - Bond Street - Construction of Five Grout Shafts

Please see below the latese update from Crossrail.

construction_of_five_grout_shafts -

Westminster Cabinet Reshuffle

Following a recent reshuffle of the Cabinet at Westminster City Council I have now been appointed Cabinet Member for both Housing and Property.

I am therefore standing down from my role as Deputy Cabinet Member for Parking and Transportation to concentrate on this portfolio.

Westminster has some 22,000 new homes which are operated by City West Homes which is an arms length management organisation tasked with running the portfolio on behalf of the Council. There are extensive regeneration schemes planned for many of the estates within the City and they should provide exciting and innovative ways of bringing new houses to Westminster.

On the property side, the Council owns a significant amount of properties from which it operates its various services and also has a substantial investment portfolio. There are a number of active issues affecting the portfolio including the proposed sale, by way of a lease, of Council House on Marylebone Road, the disposal of Berwick Street Market, again by a way of a lease in West End Ward, and the sale of the Council's interest at North Wharf Gardens.

Further down the line there will be issues relating to Moxon Street in Marylebone High Street Ward and how best to deal with excess space currently surplus to the Council's operational needs at City Hall in Victoria.

Whist I am excited by the new challenge I will very much remain a Ward Councillor for West End Ward. I will continue my work with community groups, the police and amenity societies across the whole range of issues which affect the Ward.

President Barack Obama State Visit to the UK - Information for Businesses

President Barack Obama of the United States will be making a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Tuesday 24th May to Thursday 26th May 2011. The President, accompanied by his wife, will be staying at Buckingham Palace for their stay.

The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of the potential impact of this visit and there is a policing plan in place to deal with any disruptions which may occur.

During the visit, you may find an increased amount of police officers in your area which is a normal procedure for any state visit.  Please contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team if you have any questions.

Whilst a policing plan is in place, the Metropolitan Police would ask that you consider taking a few sensible precautions. The following points below are a list of considerations.

• Security officers should have a visible presence at premises.

• Ensure staff display appropriate identification at all times.

• Check that your emergency equipment / grab bags / first aid supplies and radio communication systems are stocked and fully operational.

• Ensure that all members of staff are fully aware of any emergency/evacuation procedures.

• Ensure CCTV coverage is fully operational and that your exit doors are properly secured.

• During the days leading up to the visit, make sure that your staff are fully aware of the company security policies and procedures.

• Ensure staff remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security and/or police.

• In the event of an emergency, call the emergency number 999.

For updates on travel restrictions and security issues, you can also subscribe to the police messaging system 'Community Safe' by clicking here.

Utility Diversion Works - Sheraton Street

Please see below the latest information on utility diversion works on Sheraton Street which are set to start from 23rd May 2011.

Utility Diversions - Sheraton Street -

New Bond Street - Gas Diversion Works

Please see the information sheet below for the latest works on New Bond Street.

Gas Diversion Works - New Bond Street -

The Admiral Duncan – 12th Anniversary Memorial Service

A Memorial Service attended by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Locum Tenens, took place in the gardens of St Anne’s Church recently to mark the 12th Anniversary of the bomb which exploded in the Admiral Duncan bringing death and injury to Soho.

The nail bomb was part of a campaign of hatred against minority communities undertaken by a misguided individual who was subsequently caught and convicted.

The service celebrated the lives of those who had died and been affected by the explosion and focused on the need for remembrance and forgiveness. Although Soho is generally a very tolerant place the service emphasised the need for vigilance to ensure that the hard fought rights of minority communities are not compromised by extremism or the re-emergence of intolerance.

Mayfair - Oxford Street - Park House Redevelopment

The latest progress on this important project continues which will transform this part of Oxford Street.

Park House Newsletter May 2011 -

Further Tree Planting - Fitzrovia

Recently Alan Titchmarsh celebrated the completion on the latest phase of tree planting in Great Titchfield Street (part of which is in West End Ward).

This means that yet another street has become lined with trees and a particular interest as the inclusion at the northern end of some elm trees which are the first to be planted in London for many years.

Following the ravages of Dutch elm disease many of the species were destroyed. It is possible that young people today will never ever see a mature elm tree in the way that they were common throughout the country up to some 25 years ago. However, the new species planted are resistant to Dutch elm disease and will in due course help to reintroduce the species both to London and elsewhere where they have been planted in numbers.

This Scheme has the support of the Forestry Commission as well as Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster’s own Arboricultural Department.

In addition a further £10,000 has been agreed to be paid by the developers of Clarges House on Piccadilly towards tree planting in West End Ward. Although there are difficulties in finding suitable sites, if you have any suggestions as to where trees could be usefully sited within West End Ward please let me know and I will arrange for suitability to be assessed.

Supporters of the W1W Tree Initiative

In the mean time, work for the next phases of the W1W Tree Initiative are being worked up as a joint scheme with the London Borough of Camden to create a tree lined Cleveland Street which forms the border between Camden and Westminster.

Finally, semi-mature trees have been sourced to be included within the recently consented Firmdale Hotels’ development at Ham Yard which is due for completion in late 2013. This will be a welcome addition to trees in Soho.