Regent's Park Matters January 2017

Cycle Superhighway 11 update

TfL announced in late December they will be proceeding with the majority of the proposals for the CS-11 project despite the strong opposition from residents and your local Councillors. TfL have however recognised further work needs to be done around The Regent's Park section of the route with an announcement on a way forward expected by the summer 2017. Your local Councillors continue to monitor proposals and to do all we can to ensure a sensible solution is found for The Regent's Park element including the proposed gate closures with our overarching aim to protect the amenity of our residents and avoid any displacement of traffic into the side streets of St John's Wood. 

Enforcement needed on Hall Gate 

Planning of any sort especially when it comes to basement developments is controversial and causes much misery with residents. In order to help protect the amenity of neighbours Westminster Council amended its basement policy last summer including the need for contractors to have a more robust Construction Management Policy (CMP) which effectively is a means of monitoring, managing and controlling the construction works.

So when your local Conservative Councillors were contacted recently about works taking place in Hall Gate and apparent failure to follow a CMP, we moved swiftly to ensure the amenity of residents living near-by was protected. Warning letters were sent to the contractor and the applicant was reminded of their obligation and duty with further action to follow if non compliance.

As one resident said 'Your action has helped smooth things out here in Hall Gate.... thank you again for your intervention'. If you have any issues around planning enforcement then please get in contact with us or our dedicated ward based Planning Enforcement Officer Aidan Marshall Tel: 020 7641 1936.

Making parking easier and fairer on the High Street

St John's Wood High Street is an important local amenity for residents and visitors with PayByPhone bays providing much needed kerbside space. These bays have been divided into six different parking ID locations which has meant by using different ID bays every 2 hours someone can effectively park in the High Street all day. This indeed is what happened recently with workman working on the renovation of a restaurant moving between bays so by effectively limiting the choice of bays available for genuine shoppers.

Your Councillors have responded and we are simplifying the system to provide two zones - one on each side of the street. Hopefully this will lead to bays being freed up more regularly for visitors. This change took effect from Monday 28 November and is on a trial basis. We will monitor and would welcome any feedback from residents before making a decision on whether to implement this on a permanent basis.

Fly tipping fines increase as Westminster Conservatives crack down on unsightly litter

People who leave their rubbish on the street, ignore waste collection times and dump items around big black bins are now likely to receive £200 fines.

Fixed penalty notices between for household waste will include a £200 fine for a first offence, rising to £400 for a second offence. For trade and business waste a £400 fine can be levied followed by prosecution for continued dumping.
Councillor Nickie Aiken, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Leader Elect said: “We have one of the best cleansing services in the country and we hope that these new fines send a strong message to the minority who think it is acceptable to fly tip and ignore our bins and collections that this behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Westminster City Council offers various ways old items can be safely and easily disposed of, ranging from ‘Restart’ events for electronics to mobile recycling centres and big black bins. For bulkier items a bulk waste collection service is available, with the option to take large household items to the waste recycling centre at Smuggler’s Way.
During a three-day operation in the autumn of 2016 over 71 fines were issued, with offenders having to pay £80 for illegally dumping their rubbish. 
Councillor Aiken said: “Our residents regularly complain about others who choose to dump their rubbish illegally. The vast majority of our residents and businesses are determined to keep their streets and neighbourhoods clean and we are working with them to create a cleaner greener city for all.”

More charging points as Greener City Action Plan aims to improve Westminster’s air quality

This January 60 on-street electric vehicle charging points will be upgraded and 20 additional charging points will be introduced as part of Westminster Conservatives’ continuing work to improve air quality in the capital.
The move forms part of the Greener City Action Plan, a council initiative to make the city a more sustainable and liveable place to call home. Alongside the electric vehicle chargers, the plan includes encouraging car club use as an alternative to a private car use, reducing freight and waste vehicle movement, promoting more cycling and walking, eliminating vehicle engine idling and reducing emissions from buildings.
Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood has been established to trial new measures and help make real improvements to air quality in central London.

Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said: “Poor air quality is a continuing problem for us in Westminster, but we’re doing all we can to help improve our environment through our Greener City Action Plan.”

Action on Spice drug abuse

After months of lobbying from Westminster Conservatives, the Home Office has agreed to designate the psychoactive drug Spice as Class B under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Many residents, visitors and workers have noticed the consequences of the large number of rough sleepers and beggars who have been smoking Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid. Many of the users do not understand the serious and detrimental effects caused by this new drug. Hardened heroin and crack users have highlighted the suffering they have experienced after taking Spice, including severe hallucinations, seizures and violent episodes. Sadly, we have also experienced a number of deaths amongst our street population over recent months, which have been attributed to consuming this dangerous drug.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader-elect at Westminster Council, said “Conservative Councillors in Westminster launched a multi-pronged campaign highlighting the dangers of the drug amongst the street population and those living in our hostels. Concerned for the welfare of those who are considered the most vulnerable in our society, we brought together experts in homelessness, drug addiction as well as the police and National Crime Agency to find workable solutions. One strand was to lobby the Home Secretary to reclassify the drug to allow the police to seize it from those possessing it, which could lead to their harm.”
“However, it is very important to make it clear that this move is not about demonizing or arresting vulnerable people but rather to ensure the safety and well-being of them and others by seizing this extremely dangerous drug.”
Westminster Conservatives firmly believe that securing this change will make a real difference to protecting the most vulnerable not only in our city but also across the whole country.