The Licensing Sub-committee continues to monitor all applications submitted to Westminster City Council for both permanent and temporary licenses....
Once again we have reached that time of year when we look back over the six months since our AGM, review matters of current concern to members and look at progress to date on some of the issues raised previously....
Over the past few months a lot has happened at Marylebone Boys’ School. Most importantly we opened as planned on the 3rd September, albeit in a temporary yet modern purpose-built education site in Priory Park Road, Kilburn. We continue to work with both the Education Funding Agency and Westminster City Council on a permanent Marylebone site and we hope to make an announcement about this early in 2015.
The school was officially opened on 17th September by Mark Field MP, with the Mayors of Brent and Westminster, and Philippa Roe, the Leader of Westminster Council, also in attendance. We shared our launch day with the new educational charity 'Never Such Innocence' (NSI). The charity is dedicated to educating young people about the First World War, its impact and legacy. The charity takes its name from a line in Philip Larkin’s famous poem MCMXIV, which reflects on the changes caused by the First World War. A national poetry and art competition for secondary schools was launched and forms part of NSI’s wider initiative to educate children nationally about the terrific magnitude of the Great War which has either directly or indirectly impacted the lives of almost every person in UK’s multicultural society.
Richard Ardron the Headteacher has brilliantly begun implementing the Marylebone Boys’ School vision and making it a reality. The school’s motto is 'studio et industria', which can be translated as 'through application and hard work'. This is certainly what both the boys and the teachers are currently doing. The school is growing from strength to strength.
Three well attended Open Days were held at the school in October. With the admission deadline now passed we are expecting to be three times oversubscribed again. But remember the over-subscription 'seed' point for school like last year remains the old Marylebone Town Hall. We look forward to the day that our school uniforms become a familiar part of the local community.
If you want to find out more about the Free School please visit www.maryleboneschool.org.
Despite the repeated warnings of potential terrorist activity in Westminster and the recent appearance of five individuals at Westminster Magistrates Court on terrorist charges, it is pleasing to be able to report that reported crime in Westminster overall is down by 14.2% over the past 12 months. Even better statistics are shown for theft against the person (down by 32.7% over the past 12 months) and mobile phone thefts (down by 42%).
However, there are still too many reported crimes in our areas and mostly these are opportunistic crimes arising, dare I say it, from carelessness of the owners for their properties.
In our 3 areas there were 420 reported crimes in August 2014 (448 in 2013) shared between Bryanston & Dorset Square, Cavendish Square & Oxford Market and Marylebone High Street. Theft from vehicles halved between August 2013 and August 2014 with Marylebone High Street’s reducing from 20 to 7 crimes. Drivers parking their cars in Manchester Square seemingly no longer advertise their shopping in distinctive yellow bags on the rear seats.
Residential burglary actually increased, particularly in Bryanston & Dorset Square and Cavendish Square & Oxford Market, during August 2014. Was the cause the hot summery weather with windows and doors left open? Who was it who said, ‘Keep a look out, there is a thief about?’
Non residential burglary in August 2013 and August 2014 was constant in Bryanston & Dorset Square; fairly constant in Marylebone High Street but reduced in Cavendish Square & Oxford Market. This group includes theft in bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and the like. When will lessons be learnt that we, and we alone, are responsible for our property at all times?
Every now and again, in our work for the Association, the Planning Sub-committee receives a demoralising blow which leads to a fair amount of soul-searching and contemplation among those of us who put in the effort to comment on the many applications we receive, meet with developers, liaise with the Council etc....