Archive for January 2013

Neighbourhood Forum Update

As a result of the Localism Act communities can now put forward proposals to establish a Neighbourhood Forum. These Forums can then develop a local plan and shape decisions about planning in local community.

Groups in Soho, Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Mayfair have all submitted proposals to Westminster Council which cover parts of West End ward to establish a local Neighbourhood Forum covering these areas.

Some of those proposals have already been subject to public consultation and Westminster City Council is currently reviewing the responses to those consultations. Westminster has seen an unprecedented level of interest in neighbourhood planning compared to any other London Borough.

In the West End a number of the  applications received have overlapping boundaries  with the boundary of Soho and Mayfair applications. Also the Marylebone Central application which covers Fitzrovia conflicts with a new cross-Borough application submitted last week by the Fitzrovia Forum which would see both Westminster and Camden Borough areas of Fitzrovia covered by a single Neighbourhood Forum. This was subject to a public meeting last week.

Westminster City Council anticipates that decisions will be made in relation to neighbourhood area designations before the end of the financial year, although the submission of overlapping neighbourhood area applications - like Fitzrovia - may delay this in some instances.

I would encourage all residents and businesses with a view to contact the Council (the council officer leading is Thomas Kimber -

Details of all the plans submitted can be found on the council’s website along with maps and the bid documents at .

MOPAC Challenge Webcast

The webcast of this week's MOPAC Challenge meeting is now live on the MOPAC website at 

You can watch it here.

W4 Development Newsletter

Please find attached the newsletter for the W4 development, with details of progress over the Christmas period, and planned work over the coming weeks.

January 2013 W4 newsletter -

Bond Street Station Upgrade

Please see below an activity notification, detailing the forthcoming utility works for the Bond Street Station Upgrade.

Activity Notification Sewer Works Jan 2013 -

MOPAC Challenge - 22nd January

On Tuesday 22nd January at 2pm, the Mayor of London will be chairing the second quarterly MOPAC Performance Challenge.

These MOPAC Challenge meetings are the main way in which MOPAC holds the Met police to account in public. The Challenge is chaired by Boris Johnson alongside Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh and the 4 non-executive advisors Faith Boardman, Jeremy Mayhew, Steve O’Connell and myself. 
The meeting will be held in the Chamber at City Hall and will also be webcast live here
The Challenge will be assessing performance against the '20:20 Challenge' which aims to reduce crime by 20% in 7 neighbourhood crimes and boost confidence by 20% by 2016.
A PowerPoint presentation will be used during the meeting and will be made available on the website.

Installation of testing and monitoring equipment in Wardour Street and Noel Street

The Crossrail tunnels are now progressing from Royal Oak to Farringdon and the tunnel boring machines are due to pass under Noel Street and Wardour Street in Spring 2013. Please see the Information Sheet below for further details:

monitoring_equipment_in_noel_wardour_streets -

Oxford Street - Oxford House Newsletter

 A public exhibition is taking place tomorrow (Saturday 12th January) from 10:00am to 1:00pm at 7 Soho Square, W1.

It is a good chance to see Land Securities proposals for the redevelopment of the Oxford House building on Oxford Street and for any questions you may have to be answered by some of their development team.

Please see below a copy of a Newsletter which has been sent out to local residents.

A4 Newsletter_ƒJAN _2_ -

Police and Crime Plan is right for London

This week MOPAC published its draft Police and Crime plan for public consultation. A series of public meetings will be held in every London Borough during the consultation (which ends on 6th March 2013) where you can have your say on the Mayor’s proposals. You can also respond in writing via the online survey at

We all know that budgets are tight and as Labour’s former Economic Secretary to the Treasury said “there’s no money left” so we have to make budgets work harder to continue to deliver improvements to policing. This draft plan sets out how the Mayor and the Met will deliver for Londoners and cut crime, boost confidence in the police and reduce costs. The Mayor’s plan focuses resources on frontline police and cutting crime. Notably it restates the Mayor’s commitment to maintain police numbers at or around 32,000.  

I am proud that in this plan MOPAC propose to direct resources away from uneconomical buildings to enable the deployment of officers through a new local policing model which will see an additional 2,600 officers in Safer Neighbourhood Teams.  More officers out in the community and available to the public delivering a more visible police service.

When I joined MOPAC as an adviser on property, I was amazed just how much space the Met currently owns or occupies, a total 729 buildings across London, costing £203m a year to run. The draft Estates Strategy in the Police and Crime Plan, proposes a reduction in the size of the estate from 900,000 sq metres to 600,000 sq metres in line with operational need. There is a meaningful commitment to frontline policing by proposing the sale of the New Scotland Yard HQ and ensuring the budget strain falls on buildings and HQ not officer numbers. Alongside other savings outlined, the estate plans are projected to save taxpayers £60m in running costs.

Unsurprisingly people are very protective of their local services, and rightly so. However, there has been much speculation in recent months about the ‘front counter’ presence of the police and the future of local police stations. The current estate includes 136 front counters open to the public. But analysis shows that the overwhelming majority of visits take place at just half of these counters. Across the whole of London, fewer than 50 crimes a night are now reported at front counters in police stations. Staffing and running under utilised front counters is expensive and inefficient. The way the Met police the capital needs to be reflected in the buildings they own, those buildings need to meet the need of modern policing and the expectations of Londoners. As a result this plan proposes that 65 of the least utilised front counters closed to allow resources to be used on more visible policing in the community.  

Crucially, the draft plan guarantees at least one 24-hour station in each borough, whilst seeking to make it easier and more convenient for Londoners to access the police in new ways, making the most of technology, sharing space with other service providers and making police more available in your local community.

The changes to the estate proposed in these plans reflect the changing needs of policing in London and delivery of a better service to Londoners. The Met has already guaranteed that every victim of crime in London will get a personal visit from the police, should they want one. This clearly changes the demand for, and use of, the existing estate. MOPAC is determined that changes should deliver a better police service and is seeking your views on new locations for crime prevention desks and police bureaus where members of the public can meet the police face-to-face without visiting an old fashioned police station. Therefore, overall the number of contact points where Londoners can access the police will increase significantly as a result of this plan. 

This plan represents a good deal for London, delivering higher profile policing, more public contacts points, and good value for money for taxpayers.

Bond Street Western Ticket Hall - Update

As part of the work to build the new Crossrail western ticket hall at Bond Street, contractors Costain Skanska Joint Venture have been excavating under the newly laid ground floor concrete slab which will eventually become the ground floor of the ticket hall entrance. Please see the Information Sheet below for further details:

bond_street_western_ticket_hall_update-jan_2013 -

Installation of Monitoring Equipment in Hanover Square

The Crossrail tunnel boring machines, Phyllis and Ada, are advancing from Royal Oak to Farringdon and are due to pass under Hanover Square in spring 2013. Please see the Information Sheet below for further details:

Installation_of_monitoring_equipment_in_hanover_square -

Have you say on the Police and Crime Plan

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) will be holding a consultation meeting in every London Borough ahead of the publication of the Police and Crime plan in April 2013.

The plan will set out MOPAC's plan to reduce and tackle crime across the capital over the next 4 years.

As a Non-Executive Adviser to MOPAC I would encourage anyone with a view on tackling crime in London to attend their local roadshow event and have their say on the Mayor's plans and share your priorities for your area.

For Westminster residents the Roadshow will take place on Thursday 31st January at 17:00 - 18:00 at the Salvation Army, Regent Hall, 275 Oxford St, 

W1C 2DJ.

Details of other consultations in other areas across London can be found on the MOPAC website at