Archive for November 2012

Oxford Street and Regent Street - Traffic Free Weekend

The American Express Shop West End VIP Weekend will be taking place on Saturday 24 November, creating a traffic free environment on Oxford Street and Regent Street.

Oxford Street (eastbound from Portman Street to Tottenham Court Road) and (westbound from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch) will be closed to traffic from 8am to 8pm on Saturday 24 November 2012. Regent Street (from Mortimer Street to Piccadilly Circus) will be closed for the same period. Bond Street will remain open to traffic.

Please see the attached document below for information regarding re-routing local buses. Please also click on this link for a road closures map and list of affected streets.

NWEC_VIP_Resident_leaflet_2012 -

West End Commission - Evening Standard Report

In a report in the Evening Standard on 19th November, I was misquoted and my view of the work of Residents’’ Associations and Amenity Societies was inaccurately portrayed.

Yesterday I wrote to the Chairmen of all the West End Residents’ Associations and copy that letter below.

Dear Chairman,

Further to yesterday’s coverage in the Evening Standard, I wanted to clarify reports of comments I made ahead of the hearing by the West End Commission.

The Standard misquotes me and inaccurately portrays my view of Residents’ Associations, who are a vital part of the community and do huge amounts of work to bring people together and celebrate the areas in which we live.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who freely give their time to serve their community through their local residents association. As a former Chairman of the Marylebone Association, I know the time, energy and commitment this takes and thank you for that.

In my evidence submission to the West End Commission I specifically highlight the important role of Residents Associations, saying: “These volunteer groups play a vital role in feeding in to my work and the work of Westminster City Council and bring the community together.”

However, we cannot escape the fact that in order to ensure a vibrant and lively West End, it is important for the Commission balance the interest of all residents and all businesses who make up the West End in its recommendations.

In my evidence I stressed the importance of listening carefully to the view of Residents’ Associations as part of the consultation process. I also stressed the need, as I am sure you would agree, to reach out to those residents who are not members of, or do not live in areas covered by, a Residents’ Association.

I want the Commission to listen to all views submitted as part of the consultation, but especially those of residents. What I have continually stressed, and is reflected in the report in last night’s Evening Standard, is that the unique character and nature of this part of London would not be what we know and love without the complex mix of residents, businesses, theatres, restaurants, hotels, shops, and entertainment. Striking the right balance between those groups will be key to the continued success of the West End we all know and love.

I hope this clarifies the report.

Thank you again for the important work you do in our communities. As always, if there is anything you wish to discuss I can be reached on the contact details below.



Fitzroy Place

Please see attached the November newsletter for Fitzroy Place which details recent and forthcoming site activities.

Fitzroy Place November Newsletter -

Crossrail - Moving Ahead

Please see below the Crossrail Bulletin below for all the latest information on the project. 

Please also take the opportunity to visit the Tottenham Court Road Visitors’ Centre to view an exciting new display which has a strong tunnelling focus. The display also contains general information about the Crossrail project.

The Tottenham Court Road Visitors’ Centre is located at 16-18, St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LN and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 11.00 - 19.00.

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Equal Marriage

At the recent Conservative Party Conference the LGBT Tory stand promoting equal marriage, as supported by the Prime Minister, had a prominent location opposite the main party stand.

Support for equal marriage and the statement that the Prime Minister made that ‘I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.’ meant that there was a stream of visitors expressing their support.

The photographs show me with Maria Miller, the Equalities Minister, and also Colm Howard Lloyd, who campaigns on this issue.

Fitzroy Place

I met with the developers of Fitzroy Place to review progress on the site and to discuss concerns of neighbours. From the attached photographs taken from the top of the adjoining building it is possible to see how large and complex the site is.

The removal of spoil from the site which requires up to 100 lorries per day is nearing completion and the raft of the basement should be completed by Christmas. There is one more tower crane to be erected to allow the surface cores to rise and in the New Year the steel work will start to be erected to show the full extent of the development.

The Chapel which is to be preserved as part of the development is now standing proud having been underpinned and its future secured through monies allocated as part of the planning permission so that it will be a place available to the Committee for generations to come.

The specific concerns about Cleveland Street and the damage to the roadway were addressed and the developers have assured the Council that the road will be completely made good following the development works and in the meantime will be maintained in a workable and safe condition.

Changes at the Churches.

Grosvenor Chapel
On Tuesday the Bishop of London (Richard Chartres) licenced the Reverend Doctor Richard Fermer to be Priest-in-charge of the Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair.

The chapel is part of the parish of St. George’s in Hanover Square and is very much a part of the Mayfair community.

Richard speaks fluent German and Portuguese which will no doubt help with the international element to the local congregation. He will start to take services immediately and will officiate at the Remembrance Service on 11th November.

In the meantime St. Anne’s Church in Dean Street has announced that it has now found a new Priest in the form of Simon Buckley who will be formally appointed in February.

He will fill the role which has been vacant for some time and his background in film and the entertainment industry should stand them in good stead with the challenges ahead in Soho to rebuild the trust of the local community with the church.

A link to an article from the West End Extra setting out some of the details to his background is attached.

MOPAC Challenge

This week I took part in the latest MOPAC Challenge following my appointment as an advisor on property to the Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh.

The MOPAC Challenge is an opportunity for the Mayor's Office publicly to hold the Metropolitan Police to account and scrutinise their plans for keeping London safe.

MOPAC have challenged to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to drive down crime in key categories by at least 20%; cut costs by 20%; and improve public confidence in policing by 20% over the next 4 years. To meet that challenge MOPAC and the MPS will seek to cut estate costs in order to support investment in front line policing and to get more 'bobbies on the beat'.

At this month's Challenge the Deputy Commissioner announced plans to review the MPS's currently 900,000sqM of estate across London to both save money and improve the quality of the police estate. Significant savings will come from the release of Head Office buildings, such as New Scotland Yard, which no longer meet the needs of 21st century policing.

Here you can watch a video of the Challenge meeting from October 30th: