The Council is developing a strategy for shisha and the draft was consulted on last year.
Last month, your Councillors organised a symposium to debate how the Council can spread the message about how damaging shisha smoking is for health and how to enable shisha premises to operate safely in appropriate areas, without contributing to social, environmental and health issues for neighbours and passers-by.
We would like to hear your views about shisha - please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
East West Cycle Superhighway at Lancaster Gate
Works are almost complete at Lancaster Gate - the cycle route opened at the end of January.
Carriage-way re-surfacing is yet to be completed and TfL are consulting with residents' associations about the temporary traffic diversions that will be needed. The scheme includes a new pedestrian crossing to enable easy access to the triangle garden at the end of Sussex Gardens, which will help increase use of this green space.
Works yet to be completed include zebra crossings in Stanhope Terrace and Brook Street. These will be of major benefit to residents and will also help slow traffic speeds. With completion of the works, traffic disruption in the area will ease, but your Councillors are working to ensure that traffic displacement on residential roads is minimised and any "rat-running" prevented. We have meetings scheduled with Transport for London to examine further potential traffic calming measures for residential roads.
Improving the Crossing over Edgware Road
After many years of negotiating with Transport for London (which is the responsible agency for Edgware Road) TfL has proposed a scheme over Edgware Road helping cyclists cross from Burwood Place to Harrowby Street, which would also incorporate two pedestrian green man crossings north and south of this junction.
The straight-over crossings would mean no waiting in the middle of Edgware Road. Crossing Burwood Place would also be safer, as its width at Edgware Road would be narrowed and the level raised. There would also be increased green planting in Burwood Place. The Council has also programmed new tree planting in Park West Place this spring.
There have been a few accidents with traffic moving south in Connaught Square coming out into Seymour Street without stopping and looking sufficiently carefully. Vehicles have hit westbound traffic (coming along Seymour Street) and a cycle coming out of Stanhope Place into Seymour Street (a right turn is permitted for cyclists only here).
Your councillors have asked for the "Give Way" sign to be converted to a "Stop" sign to emphasise the need to stop and look.
Furthermore, one of the 20mph pilot schemes planned for safety reasons around schools is proposed for Connaught Square and Seymour Street, so this will help improve safety in this area. Gloucester Terrace is also a candidate for a 20 mph pilot scheme. These schemes will be consulted on before implementation, but we would welcome your early views.
Experiment to Improve Air Quality
You may have seen press coverage of the Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone, in which a number of pilot schemes are to be trialled to try to address the poor air quality in the area. One of these is to charge extra for visitor parking of diesel vehicles within F zone, which includes an area in Hyde Park ward (borders are Edgware Road, Sussex Gardens and Bayswater Road) .
The proposal is to charge a 50% increase to diesel vehicles in paid-for parking in order to encourage the use of lower emission vehicles. The impact will be measured before any decision is taken on progressing the trial to other areas of Westminster.
Westminster Conservatives act to prevent rogue landlord from ruining tenants' lives
A rogue landlord has been banned from managing property in Westminster after being convicted of breaching the Housing Act at a rental flat in Bayswater.
The flat, in Gloucester Terrace, was found by Westminster Council inspectors to have flaws including no mains-connected fire alarm, a lack of fire-proofing in the lobby, an outdated fuse box and no fixed heating. Under the new Criminal Behavior Order the landlord is prohibited from managing any property in Westminster or Haringery – where she also owns property – for a decade.
Councillor Antonia Cox, one of your Hyde Park councillors and Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing, explains: “This sends a clear message to all landlords that they have responsibilities to their tenants and that bad practice will not be tolerated in Westminster.”
The restrictions imposed on Ms Goremsandu are the first time a Criminal Behaviour Order has been issued against a housing offender in London, and only the second such case in Britain, since legislation allowing their use was passed in 2014. She was also fined £3,500 and told to pay £7,645 costs after her conviction.
Westminster's secondary schools in the top 50 for GCSE grade progress
Three Westminster secondary schools are among the top 50 schools for improved GCSE grades according to a new measure of progress used by the Department for Education.
Westminster’s Ark King Solomon Academy Paddington Academy and Westminster Academy all rank within the top 50 for Progress 8, which captures the GCSE grade progress of the pupil from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school compared to other students with similar prior achievements.
Councillor Richard Holloway, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People explains: "It is encouraging to see our schools playing such a leading role and helping young people in Westminster to reach their potential.
"I want to especially congratulate the pupils and teachers at King Solomon on ranking 5th nationwide. Our GCSE results are among the best in inner-London and we are very proud of all the young people, teachers, parents and countless others who combine to make our schools so successful."
Among local authorities in inner London, Westminster is ranked 3rd for Progress 8, while placing 2nd for average student grades (also known as Attainment 8). Nationwide, Westminster ranks 5th and 10th in the same respective categories.