Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions and comments on the location of planting and greening as a means to improve the streetscape and to deter rubbish dumping. There are plenty of locations – we had 15 on the long list – so now we have a great resource to refer to and also to share with other organisations as we work on greening the area. Where we are at the moment:
- 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 have many suitable suggestions for locations, all over the FitzWest area.
- It is suggested the greening will have more impact – both visually and practically as a dumping deterrent if the greening areas are clustered together.
- We will keep all suggestions for a long term greening plan, but in the short term, for this initial CIL project we suggest the following which has the benefit of being relatively close together and therefore visible:
1. Langham Street/Gosfield St – 2 locations/ 4 or 5 planters A real and visible hot spot with lots of commercial and residential dumping.These three locations would create a real impact and are close enough together to be a noticeable improvement to the greening in the area.
2 & 3 Hanson Street /Foley Street – 2 locations /2 planters Two planters on Hanson Street/Foley Street corners. One of the corners by the bin is very prone to dumping, and there is plenty of space.
4 & 5 Candover Street – 4 locations/ 4 planters Four planters, one on each corner with Riding House Street and Foley Street. Prone to persistent dumping, would link to and echo existing planting outside local businesses on Foley Street.
These locations would create a real impact and are close enough together to be a noticeable improvement to the greening in the area and will be easy to monitor for rubbish dumping. Let us know your thoughts – by email email@example.com or by commenting on this post
Local business involvement We also plan to approach local businesses to see if they would like to be part of the application – we can apply for additional planters for businesses to display and care for on their forecourts (as some do already). If you are a local business with a forecourt or pavement space that is yours and would like to register an interest in acquiring planters then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your chance to be involved
We want an opportunity for the wider membership of the FitzWest Forum to have an input into the Council decisions around planning and licensing and we are aware it is difficult for residents and businesses to keep track of the many applications that affect Fitzrovia.
So we are creating a small committee of local residents to keep an eye on applications and draw attention to ones that are important. The committee will meet every 4-6 weeks, currently by Zoom, and discusses the implications of various applications. It’s an opportunity to have a real input and affect on Council decisions, and great for people who don’t have a lot of time but want to be involved. This committee will then influence and shape the response of the Forum to the applications.
If you would like to be on this committee please contact email@example.com
As part of our aim to include more members in important decisions, we have added a new page to our website
Planning and Licensing
Here you will find links to Westminster Council Planning and Licensing applications, a list of applications curated by Fitzrovia News and information about particular applications that affect the area and that you may want to comment on directly to the Council.
From FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum
FAO Emily Starkie (Review Officer)
Thank you for consulting us regarding the review of Westminster warding arrangments.
We do have some observations regarding our own area that we would like to put forward. This revolves around the area known as Fitzrovia, which is now commonly marked on maps, such as google maps, but has no continuity in the ward boundaries.
I am a representeantive of The FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum, an active neighbourhood group that has been set up since 2013. On 10th April 2018 our executive group agreed that we should write to you and this letter representes the views we consider our members to hold and those of the executive meeting last night.
I enclose a link to a map which outlines where the area is located. Our area has been designated a business forum, becasue of the number of businesses in the area.
We would like to see the whole of FItzrovia within Westminster being within the West End Ward.
Historic parish boundary now irrelevant:
Currently most of our area is located in the West End Ward, while a small amount – North of New Cavendish Street – is located in Marylebone High Street Ward. This is an anomaly reaching back to the days when ward boundaries were linked to parish boundaries. However today the reality is that the West End with its vibrancy of mixed uses – as opposed to simply residential – extend from Oxford Strreet in the south of our area, right up to Euston Road which forms our northern boundary.
Electorate numbers in FItzrovia:
We note the electorate is expected to rise in West End Ward and Marylebone Ward – much of this expansion is due to large multi-storey blocks of luxury flats which have recently been given permission in Fitzrovia. This can be confirmed by reference to CIL forecasts.
Different nature of West End and Marylebone:
Fitzrovia is currently split between Marylebone High Street and West End Ward. We do not feel an affinity with the rest of Marylebone High Street Ward, which is a different area, having an older, more stable population and less commerce. Marylebone High Street is focused around the local shopping High Street called Marylebone High Street. While Fitzrovians look towards Great Titchfield Street and Great Portland Street as twin local shopping streets.
It should also be noted that over the years the West End has migrated east. Current regeneration projects always link Camden’s areas of Bloomsbury and Tottenham Court Road in with the rest of the wider Westminster West End, which includes Covent Garden. No longer does Oxford Street have the prevelance it once enjoyed. Bond Street and Totternham Court Road are also now equally, if not more thriving shopping streets. This reflects a national move away from shopping in department stores, to smaller nich stores and shopping neighbourhoods, which also offer office accommodation, cultural facilties, cafes and restaurants. This mix of use defines FItzrovia.
Strong community views:
When we set up Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum there was some controvery between our area and Marylebone regarding boundaries. At a public meeting in 2013 there was unanimous support for keeping FItzrovia as a separate entity to Marylebone and this has been a continuing theme throught our work:
“A show of hands revealed that there was a considerable majority in favour of pursuing a FitzWest application, though some people regretted that a Camden/Westminster joint neighbourhood forum seemed unlikely. There was no support for merging Fitzrovia with the Marylebone proposal.” Report of a meeting 8th October 2013,
“At this meeting, just like at the first meeting, a show of hands was taken. Only one person, who lived or worked in the area, out of over eighty people present, expressed the view that they would like to consider the Marylebone proposal, while the rest wanted to pursue the Fitzrovia West proposal.” Report of a public meeting, 13 November 2013
Better representation from West End Councillors:
Throughout our work we have received far more support and engagement from the West End councillors than from Marylebone High Street councillors.
This is demonstrated in that West End councillors regularly attend our executive meetings (all attendance is recorded in our minutes on our website)
In addition we have been far more generously funded by West End Ward Budget than by Marylebone: Between 2014 and 2019, West End Ward has funded FItzWest to the tune of £7300, while we have received only £500 from Marylebone Ward, excluding a £1742 grant for a greening project managed by FItzWest, but not part of the Neighbourhood Forum process. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/ward-budgets
FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum
Here are the results from the online survey that Westminster Council (“WCC”) instigated to obtain feedback from residents in the pilot area. (Great Titchfield Street, New Cavendish Street, Gosfield Street, Langham Street, Hanson Street, Middleton Place, Riding House Street and Ogle Street).
After examining the results the executive at FitzWest Forum have made the following comments and recommendations to WCC:
- WCC should now proceed to the next stage, which is implementing the pilot permanently with the proviso that a further consultation should take place six months after this happens.
- Many people feel the collection times are too early in the day. Can these be adjusted to, for example, 8.00 a.m. on street?
- Temporary signage could now be made permanent, with the old signs removed. The presence of both signs is still causing confusion. Add more signs where necessary.
- Foley Street was excluded from the pilot by WCC despite running directly through the middle of the pilot area. It would be helpful for consistency and clarity if Foley Street was included in the permanent changes.
- Some residents have highlighted missed or late collections so can we make sure the new collection times are clearly understood by Veolia. And we will encourage residents to report any problems.
All missed collections etc can be reported via ‘Report It’ section on the Westminster website www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it or call 0207 641 2000.
Several residents requested the reinstatement of the large black bins. This has also been raised with the Forum directly by some residents and is the subject of a petition. We have passed on these views to WCC. The background to this is that late in 2015, almost two years before the pilot began, WCC removed almost all the black bins in the pilot area (and beyond) on the grounds that they encouraged dumping around them. WCC told us at that time that the very limited number of bins that remained would only be left if there was a proven need for them. This has remained WCC’s position.
Within this context, the aim of the pilot was to increase frequency and efficiency of collection of rubbish and recycling. Whatever decision WCC reaches with the black bins, our aim at the FitzWest Forum is to continue to support more frequent and efficient rubbish and recycling and to keep reminding WCC to be consistent and efficient with collections and street cleansing.
Everyone in Fitzrovia has noticed the rubbish and dumping that unfortunately seems to have become a daily blight on our streets.
One of the significant problems identified by residents is that there is a general confusion on collection times and days and signage is inconsistent with what happens in reality. As a result of this confusion many residents have a become accustomed to putting our rubbish out at any time which has led to the rubbish-strewn streets. Also there has been a more general call for the number of recycling collections to be increased.
The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum, in consultation with local residents, has worked with Westminster City Council over the last two years to agree simplifications and improvements to recycling and rubbish collection times. These are now being trialled in a limited area of Fitzrovia as part of the pilot. A map of the pilot area is below.
The pilot improves and simplifies the collection arrangements, including an increase in recycling for all streets and an increase in rubbish collection in some streets. Our area is fortunate, unlike our neighbours Camden and other London Boroughs where refuse and recycling is often only once a week (with reviews in hand to move this back to fortnightly) we will see an increase in general and recycling collection.
It is acknowledged that restaurants and businesses contribute to the rubbish problem and they also have been informed of new collection times in order to reduce the amount of time rubbish sacks are on the streets.
People have complained about dumping, especially by builders and house clearers. Westminster hopes to place more officers on the street during the pilot period, to enforce this and other contraventions.
As a part of the Neighbourhood Forum, we as residents and local businesses can all work together for the greater good of our environment. We do want to make sure that all residents understand the pilot arrangements and the new and improved collection times and days. The Council is contacting all households to explain the new arrangements first and providing letters to identify collection times in the particular streets in the pilot area.
We are all looking forward to seeing cleaner streets as the pilot progresses.
We would very much like to hear residents’ feedback to the pilot and the improvements to the service.
Please comment below or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is:
Details of the pilot
From Monday 4th September 2017 please put out your recycling and rubbish for collection at the following times:
Please leave your tied recycling and rubbish directly outside your property for collection. Apart from pedestrianised streets such as Middleton Place rubbish and recycling is not to be piled up at the ends of streets.
Please do not leave recycling and rubbish out on the street outside of these times or overnight. This is considered to be fly tipping and you could be fined by Westminster Council. It also encourages seagulls, pigeons, rats, mice and other vermin.
How to put out your recycling and rubbish:
For recycled waste please use the clear recycling bags provided by Westminster City Council. You can order recycling bags online via: westminster.gov.uk/recycling-bags
Please put your normal rubbish out in appropriately tied bags, such as black bin bags.
Look for the new signs on your street for exact timings.
Bulky waste collections
For items such as fridges, mattresses and tables, etc., please arrange online via:westminster.gov.uk/residential-bulky-waste Please be aware that leaving bulky waste items on street is illegal and can lead to substantial fines. Feedback from our consultation reveals that many residents consider this to be a major anti-social issue. The Council will be inspecting streets to enforce against illegal street dumping.
For further information about Westminster City Council’s waste services, please visit: www.westminster.gov.uk/recycling.
Please do let your neighbours know about these important changes and please look at your local street notices. The pilot is being arrnaged by WCC and they are responsible for the details.
Working together we can improve our streets; stop fly-tipping and street dumping and reduce the amount of rubbish left on the streets. The increase in recycling provision will also help the environment.
Please comment below or contact us by email at email@example.com. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Because of holidays please bear with us if you do not see your feedback here for a few days. Rest assured we will be monitoring daily after 5th September.