Archive for March 2016

Supporting St Anne's Church & Grosvenor Chapel, Berwick Street Market- Potential Changes, Welcoming Affordable Housing in the West End

Please find below my most recent newsletter:

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Supporting St Anne's Church, Soho, and Grosvenor Chapel

I am pleased to support funding for projects at St Anne’s Church and Grosvenor Chapel from the ward budget.

St Anne’s Church is seeking funding to improve the building’s entrance. The new design, which has been produced by architecture students from Central St Martin’s: the University of the Arts London, will include neon signage and clear glass doors.

An artist’s impression of the proposed design can be seen on the left. If you would like to donate to the fundraising pot please fill in the form attached here.

The Grosvenor Chapel, in Mayfair, is seeking funding for a community art project.

The project will include local art workshops across the area, to take place until the end of April.

An exhibition will then be held in the Grosvenor Chapel from the end of April until July.

Berwick Street Market- Potential Changes

As a West End Ward Councillor, and a proud supporter of our local businesses and independent traders, I, like many, am concerned by the proposal to contract Berwick Street Market out to a private management company. 

Council officers have reviewed the market, and have decided that the responsibility of running it will be transferred to a private operator from June this year, and there may be long term benefits for the Market in doing so.

I believe that wherever possible we should promote our small businesses or risk the character of the West End changing forever.

A consultation is due to take place which will include existing traders and local residents, and I will report back when the results of this are announced. Please make your views count in this process.

Ensuring that Parking Restrictions are Enforced

A number of residents have contacted me over recent weeks about the removal of yellow lines in Bourdon Street, and elsewhere in Mayfair.

I believe that parking restrictions should be fairly enforced in the street, and across Westminster, and have been working with council officers and colleagues to address the issue.

If you notice any issues relating to this please report them to Westminster City Council using the 'report it' function here:

Dealing with Rough Sleeping in Cavendish Square & Portland Place and Beyond

Rough sleeping has become an issue across certain parts of the ward, particularly in Cavendish Square and Portland Place.

A number of tents are being put up by rough sleepers across the ward, and I have been working alongside officers to tackle these issues.

As a result, a series of operations are taking place across the area to remove the tents, and an enforcement strategy has been agreed for all similar issues in future.

All new tents emerging are being tackled using the agreed strategy as well, but it may take some time for them all to be removed.

Working on Busking-Related Anti-Social Behaviour

Many residents and businesses have contacted me because of anti-social behaviour related to busking in the Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street (ORB) area. 

I have been working alongside council officers and the police to ensure that residents and shoppers have the best possible experience whilst in the ORB area, and to ensure that the local tube stations are not obstructed.

Officers have been liaising with local residents and businesses, and this is helping the enforcement teams to identify hotspot areas.

As a result of our action six penalty warnings have been issued, with the vast majority of issues being resolved fairly quickly.

If you have any information relating to anti-social behaviour in the ORB area do not hesitate to contact the local police team. Their details can be found here.

The Greater London Authority are currently in the process of setting up a licensed busking system, and I will be working alongside officers, residents and businesses to ensure this does not negatively affect our area.

Welcoming Affordable Housing in the West End

I am pleased to inform residents that four new affordable housing units are available in the Ward.

The units will cost less than £230,000 per unit, and will be adjoining Kemp House, in Berwick Street.

This initiative, negotiated by CityWest Homes on behalf of the council, will be a welcome addition to our area. 

In addition, the Council has agreed to fund an extension of short leases on part of Soho Housing Association's portfolio to ensure that the homes will continue to be available for Affordable Housing use for a further 90 years.

Too many of the next generation of homeowners are being priced out of the market, especially here in London, and I believe that anything we can do to reduce the cost of housing in London is to be welcomed.

A Gold Star for the MOPAC Team

It has been an honour to serve as the Advisor for Property at the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and as a Member of the MOPAC Challenge, under Stephen Greenhalgh over the past four years. Stephen has been the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime since 2012, and has done an amazing job, working under the Mayor’s remit, helping to set priorities and achieve significant cost reductions whilst maintaining the Mayor’s commitment to 32,000 police officers.

This week saw our last MOPAC Advisors’ meeting before the elections in May, and Stephen presented me and the rest of the team with a MOPAC Gold Star to acknowledge our contribution.

It has been fascinating and rewarding to work with my advisor colleagues, Cllr Keith Prince, Cllr Steve O’Connell, and Faith Boardman as well as Jeremy Mayhew in the early days and the wider MOPAC team including Helen Bailey, Rebecca Lawrence, Marie Snelling and many more who have helped create and establish MOPAC and achieve its successes.

Over the last four years, since MOPAC was set up to replace the old Metropolitan Police Authority, its focus has been on MOPAC 7 priority crimes, and working to achieve the 20:20:20 challenge set out by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the strategy and goal of the Policing Plan published in 2013.

The 7 Priority Crimes, outlined below, were set out at the beginning of the Mayor’s second term, in 2012, and are as follows:

1)      Violence with injury
2)      Robbery
3)      Burglary
4)      Theft from a person
5)      Theft of a motor vehicle
6)      Theft from a motor vehicle
7)      Vandalism and Criminal Damage

The 20:20:20 challenge involved cutting neighbourhood crime by 20%, increasing confidence in the police by 20%, and cutting costs by 20%. In an area where there are challenges over funding, the results we have achieved in London are testament to the hard work carried out by Stephen and his team.

Since joining the MOPAC team in late 2012 I have been working on the properties owned by MOPAC and used by the Met, looking to improve the efficiency of location and space utilisation. Working with Jane Bond form the Met Property Team MOPAC has successfully disposed of more than 200 properties which were either no longer required, or were not fit for purpose. As a result of those sales of the police estate an extra 4,600 homes, 12,000 jobs and 12 schools have been created, and the total amount paid for policing as part of a Band D homeowners council tax has reduced by more than 11% since 2012/13.  

By 2016/17, a total of almost £1bn will be released from the sale of under-utilised police buildings, including New Scotland Yard and the Hendon Training Facility as well as redundant Police Stations and offices from which the proceeds can be reinvested in frontline policing. The improvements have meant that money can be reinvested to help make the police service fit for 21st century policing needs. We have also identified further disposals and cost reductions to increase the future efficiency of property utilisation across MOPAC’s portfolio.

MOPAC has also produced its report for 2016, summarising its achievements to date and its performance against London’s Police and Crime Plan. You can view the report by clicking this link:

For more information on the work MOPAC does and its role in our area take a look at this link:

Stephen has done an excellent job as the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and I wish him well for the future. He is the one who truly deserves a Gold Star.

No Surgery on Good Friday - 25 March

Please note that this month’s Surgery will not be taking place on Good Friday due to St. Anne’s Church closing for Holy Services.

In the meantime, if you have any urgent queries please do not hesitate to contact me via

I look forward to seeing you at the next Surgery on 29 April.

Working To Improve Broadband Access Across Westminster, Crossrail 1 To Be Named The Elizabeth Line, Working To Reduce Begging Across Mayfair

Please find below my most recent newsletter:

To sign up for regular updates please click here

Working to Improve Broadband Access Across Westminster

I recently gave evidence to Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee to highlight issues with broadband provision across Westminster.

As the Lead Member for Broadband on Westminster City Council I highlighted the sometimes inadequate service that residents and businesses receive across many parts of Westminster.

I also made the point that whilst larger companies in the area are able to organise their internet service, it is the smaller businesses which need the support, along with residents unable to get a good enough service to watch iPlayer or Netflix.

The aim of the session, which can be viewed using this link:, was to take evidence from local authorities and delivery companies, as part of its inquiry into establishing world-class connectivity throughout the UK.

Although the issue in our area is different to that of rural areas, I believe that residents and businesses everywhere should be able to access cost-effective high speed broadband, and in my role in Westminster I will continue to lobby to that end.

Working to Reduce Begging Across Mayfair

I have become increasingly concerned over recent months with begging in and around the Mayfair area of the Ward.

A number of residents have contacted me, and I have been working with the Council, as well as with the local Police, to deal with the issue.

I can now report that over recent weeks and months there have been 32 warnings issued to beggars, and 7 penalty notices issued.

As a result of our work, begging has been reduced by 17% compared with the same period last year.

I will continue to work with local residents, the Police and the Council to ensure this issue is dealt with.

Crossrail 1 to be Named the Elizabeth Line

Crossrail 1 will be named the Elizabeth Line in honour of the Queen.

As Chair of the Bond Street Station Community Liaison Panel I was delighted that Bond Street Station played host to the Queen last week, accompanied by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, to officially announce the name.

The East-West route will officially become the Elizabeth line when trains begin running through Central London, and the first section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, is due to open next May.

Works are continuing on both the Bond Street site and the Tottenham Court Road site, and I will continue to update residents on the progress of these sites as the developments take place above them.

Funding FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum's Green Oases

I am delighted that the FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum has been selected to receive funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The scheme, which provides grants of up to £12,000 to community groups, sees the 5p bag charge distributed to local projects.

All the money raised is split into three amounts, £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000, and the public had the chance to vote in store between 27th February and 6th March to determine who receives each of the above awards.

The FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum intends to spend the money on new green oases across the area, after it polled top of their recent surveys on community infrastructure.

Visit the Fitzrovia Chapel This Month

The Fitzrovia Chapel, which has undergone a £2 million refurbishment, has released some dates that it will be open during this month.

The chapel will be open, free of charge, for quiet contemplation from 11.00am - 4.00pm on 16th, 19th, 23rd and 30th March. 
The chapel opened it doors for the first time since restoration in September of last year.

Pursuant to their Planning obligations for the old Middlesex Hospital site, the developers have paid for the setting up of The Fitzrovia Chapel Trust, who hope that the Chapel will soon be open on a more formal basis, once a process of staff recruitment has taken place.

For more information visit their website:

Help Save The Yard

Please share your experiences and knowledge of The Yard, and help get The Yard listed as a building of historic, architectural and LGBTQ cultural significance.

Help Make a Difference in Our Area

You could help improve the air quality of our local area.

Between 7th and 21st March a number of Action Days will take place across inner-London, aiming to reduce air pollution, and the New West End Company are looking for volunteers to become ‘Change Makers’ from across the area.
All volunteers will be given full training.

To sign up, email Steven Medway on, and for more information visit