First Public CIL meeting – Fitzrovia West

First Public CIL meeting – Fitzrovia West

Meeting photograph

Thanks to everyone who attended the public meeting on 15th February 2022 at the Fitzrovia Community Centre.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear ideas and to inform residents and local organisations about the Community Infrastructure Levy and how it works.

We were delighted to see lots of people there and to hear many ideas of how to improve the infrastructure of Fitzrovia West using the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Amit Mistry, Principal Policy Officer from Westminster Council addressed the meeting and took questions about CIL, the kind of projects it funds and how it works.

There were lots of suggestions for projects from people at the meeting and via email beforehand. A summary of the subjects is here:

  • Cycle racks modelled on Banja Luka
  • Planters with cycle racks attached
  • Planting around the tree on Carburton Street
  • Replacing the planters near Holcroft court.
  • Upgrading the cycle racks near the Almost Saturday cafe.
  • A children’s playground (if a location could be found)
  • Green walls
  • Benches with green walls built into them (solar powered)
  • Small on-street waste bins
  • Rain gardens
  • Trees on build outs
  • Cultivation of tree pits
  • Opening up the school for the benefit of the community
  • A corridor through the Fitzrovia Centre to the garden behind
  • Refurbish the old swimming pool behind the Fitzrovia Centre (expensive)
  • Notices on bollards giving the times of collection of rubbish
  • A study for a low traffic neighbourhood
  • An air quality survey
  • Refurbishing local benches
  • Road bollards.
  • Pop ups of various kinds

The full minutes of the meeting are available here – CIL Public Meeting 15.2.22

The time scale to come up with a project and apply for CIL funding is ongoing. The Westminster Council CIL committee meets every 3 months to assess the applications, so there are plenty of opportunities for people to create an application. All details are here:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/planning-building-and-environmental-regulations/neighbourhood-community-infrastructure-fund/applying-neighbourhood-cil

Any comments or suggestions then please email us on info@fitzwest.org  or leave a comment here.

Greening Project for Fitzwest – Please complete consultation survey

Greening Project for Fitzwest – Please complete consultation survey

After consulting previously with residents and businesses, we identified various locations which either have a lot of pavement space or are prone to rubbish dumping – or both!  The idea is to position planters in these locations to brighten up and green our streets – but also we hope to deter dumping.  We have funding that we successfully applied for from Tesco.  The disruption of Covid has meant all plans were put on hold, but now we are keen to use the money to improve the area. Please let us know your thoughts.

 

 

Westminster Council have agreed in principle to the locations, so this is about making sure that residents and businesses know what is going on and have had a chance to have their say.  Can you help?  We are also looking for anyone who would be able to help maintain the planters, e.g. by watering, particularly in the summer.

We are very much hoping that this will lead to further greening projects as there have been many locations suggested by residents and businesses.

Click on this link here to fill out the survey: Fitzwest Greening Project 2021 Survey

 

Temporary public realm improvement works proposed for Oxford Street

Westminster Council are asking for your views on their plans for temporary works designed to support social distancing and enable the safe reopening of Oxford Street when restrictions are eased. You can comment directly to the Council: oxfordst@westminster.gov.uk

Letter from Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Management:

“It was agreed at the meeting on  Monday, 25th January, with Amenity Societies and Neighbourhood Forums that Westminster City Council would share further information and invite comment on our plans for temporary public realm improvement works, proposed to begin towards the end of this month.

The first phase of the overarching Oxford Street District (OSD) strategy involves our proposals for installing a temporary scheme on Oxford Street itself, to showcase innovation, sustainability, culture and diversity.

We think quick-win interventions could be delivered by late Spring 2021 and present an exciting opportunity to test and experiment, as the first potential step towards the longer-term revitalisation of the district.

The temporary scheme would be delivered via a Temporary Traffic Order (TTO) for 18 months.  We would plan to start these works at the end of this month.

These temporary proposals would see increased footway space on Oxford Street to enable safe, socially distanced access to the district, complemented by streetscape changes designed to improve the look and feel of the area. These plans are designed to enable the safe reopening of Oxford Street, when permitted, following the easing of national regulations and ensure visitors will be able to successfully socially distance. It has recently been reported that social distancing may remain in place until 2022, although there is no current guidance as to when that rule may change.

We will ensure that any works that take place are Covid secure and we think it would be beneficial to carry out these works during lockdown to ensure that any disturbance would be kept to a minimum. As with all schemes, we would keep it under constant review once established to ensure it is working effectively.

Our proposals for temporary improvements include:

  • footway enhancements: extended pedestrian space and footways
  • ‘street dressing’: a significant increase in plants and green areas, new contemporary seating, particularly in ‘pocket’ spaces along the street, colourful, themed banners which will be designed to create a sense of place and continuity
  • ‘urban theatre’: spaces for outdoor performance, features that create a sense of enlivenment, with ‘smart’ technology-based installations, and concept lighting

Initial locations for the temporary scheme including footway widening have been identified for the following locations:

  • West Oxford Street: Marble Arch islands, Bird Street junction, Davies Street junction, outside Selfridges
  • Oxford Circus: Hills Place junction, Great Titchfield Street/ Market Place, Winsley Street junction, Old Cavendish Street junction, Holles Street junction
  • East Oxford Street: Newman Street junction, Rathbone Place junction and Soho Square (north).

You can see further details of the proposed works at www.westminster.gov.uk/osd and we would be grateful if you could share your views on our plans or ask us any questions via our dedicated e-mail

oxfordst@westminster.gov.uk

We will also be launching our full vision and framework document later this month that will set out all of the ambitious and complementary improvements we wish to deliver with our partners for the benefit of residential communities, businesses, workers and visitors.”

More greening and less rubbish dumping?

More greening and less rubbish dumping?

We want your ideas

The problem of on-street rubbish dumping and the need for more greenery are frequently mentioned by our members as important issues for all of us living and working in Fitzrovia.

The FitzWest Forum has supported various schemes to improve waste collection and deal with fly tipping. There is still a lot of progress to be made in this area and discussions are on going with Westminster Council on ways to deal with this.

One way to combat dumping is by improving the street scape – and a relatively quick way to do this is by planting and greening. The hope is that this will both deter dumping and also bring some much needed greenery into the area.  We are planning to apply for funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)  which is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The money is used to support development by funding infrastructure that the council, local community and neighbourhoods want.

We are very keen to for our members to suggest where potential planting could take place. With the help of the wider membership last year, we had previously identified various ‘dumping hot spots’ which you can see on the map. We have two questions for you.

  1. Which of these do you think would be best suited for adding planters and greening?
  2. Are there any other places you would suggest? Several sites have been identified in the central area of FitzWest – but what about the North and South?

Please comment on this page or email your ideas to us at info@fitzwest.org. We will collect all the suggestions together and select the most popular locations for our application.

Fitzwest Street Dumping Hot Spots

 

Have your say on important issues in the area: Fly Tipping/Anti-social behaviour ~ Possible Closure of Soho Square NHS Walk-In Centre ~ Air Quality ~ Busking

Reporting Fly Tipping and Anti-Social Behaviour

 Did you know that Westminster City Council has introduced a new and improved “Report It” service?  The mobile friendly tool, powered by FixMyStreet, uses location-based technology or a postcode to show an interactive map of that area with all current reported issues.  Residents can then report their own issue, such as dumped rubbish or faulty street lighting.  The report is then sent to the relevant Council team to investigate and respond.  You can find out more using the following link:

https://report.westminster.gov.uk/

You can continue to report missed refuse or recycling collections, as well as things like anti-social behaviour, here:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it

Have your say on the plans to close the Soho Square NHS Walk-In Centre

There is a consultation taking place about the future of this popular service. See below to give your views in a survey and there are also public meetings that you can attend.

https://www.centrallondonccg.nhs.uk/news-publications/news/2020/01/have-your-say-the-future-of-soho-walk-in-centre.aspx

Have your say on Air Quality

This is a topic that is often raised by local residents and continues to be an important concern for residents and businesses.  Westminster City Council want your opinion on their new Air Quality Action Plan.

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/air-pollution

Have your say on Busking and Street Music

Concerns have been raised by residents and businesses about the location (impeding pedestrians near Oxford Street tube station) and the use of loud amplified music.

There is a consultation running until 24th February 2020. Have your say here:
https://www.westminster.gov.uk/busking

Refuse and Recycling Update

Representatives of the FitzWest Forum met with  Francis Keegan from Westminster Council before Christmas to discuss the ever problematic issue of refuse collection and dumping in Fitzrovia. He is the person now dealing with refuse collection and streetscape in the FitzWest area. We shared our observations and those of FitzWest Forum members who have been in touch, as to what works and what doesn’t,  and to continue to press for improvements.

We made the following points:

  • There are some constant street dumping hotspots and we sent a map of ones we have identified. Please let us know if you think we have missed any. Map of dumping hotspots.
  • There continue to be issues with Veolia not collecting recycling with this often being left for whole days and entire weekends.
  • The Ward Councillors have been very supportive in pressing the refuse agenda and street collection arrangements have as a result improved.
  • We continue to encourage both businesses and residents to use the Council’s online service to report missed collections and street dumping. Click below to do this:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it

  • Compared to neighbouring boroughs, Westminster has many more collections with some streets daily and some twice a day. However the transient nature of the community and the lack of rubbish storage areas within some blocks of flats means that there are still problems with on-street dumping.