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.



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