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  • Mon, August 06, 2018 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    Council’s consultation on Westminster’s street markets has started, and they would like your feedback.  Westminster says "This consultation is an important opportunity for you to help shape the future of the city’s markets, to make certain we can keep thriving local markets at the heart of our communities and ensure they provide a fantastic offer to residents, shoppers and visitors.

    The consultation will run until 29 October 2018 and will include a range of events including on street surveys in the markets and drop in sessions at local venues to get feedback from a wide variety of local people. 

    Key questions on the consultation
    What does the consultation cover?
    We are genuinely interested in your views on how markets in Westminster can continue to thrive. We hope residents and traders can work together to shape the future of our markets. The consultation will cover areas including how we can:

    • keep markets at the heart of their communities, providing a fantastic offer to local residents
    • encourage more non-street food traders to open market stalls, bringing more diversity to Westminster’s markets
    • attract more tourists where this would have a positive impact on the revenue of the market traders
    • recruit the next generation of traders and boost training on topics such as customer service, display, taking card payments and creating an online presence
    • provide a wider selection of goods, regular new products and events
    • become more sustainable by increasing recycling, reducing plastic, offering in-season food, and increasing biodegradable packaging and reusable energy

    How can I take part in the market strategy consultation? 
    The feedback survey is available online and accessible via all devices, including mobile phones. There will also be surveys carried out in the market so you can even take part without leaving your stall. Furthermore the council will host drop in sessions where you can discuss ideas and give feedback. Dates and locations for the events are available at https://openforum.westminster.gov.uk/street-markets
    Why is the council proposing to change the fees and charges? 
    We currently subsidise the costs of our markets by £300,000 a year, which is not sustainable. Westminster has the second lowest cost market trading pitches in London – currently £10.61 Monday to Thursday, £18.16 Friday and £24.40 Saturday. This is the first change since 2006 and covers only running costs – cleansing, waste collection and administration of licences.
    What are the proposed changes to the daily charges?
    We have designed the four suggested options below to encourage a debate around how the increased charges can be structured, ensuring that the costs are shared fairly. We aim to continue to competitive with other London markets.
    • Option 1 – a standard fee of £22 per day across all markets
    • Option 2 – a fee of £20 per day for non-food and fresh produce traders and a fee of £25 per day for hot food traders
    • Option 3 – an area based charge: £21 per day for Church Street and Maida Hill Place, £22 per day for Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street, £24 per day for Berwick Street and Rupert Street
    • Option 4 – a staggered increase across all markets: a fee of £16 per day Monday – Thursday and £22 Friday – Saturday in year one, then a fee of £22 per day in year two across all days.

    While we would like to hear your views on the four suggested options above, this is a consultation; a discussion. We therefore welcome other ideas and understand that traders across the city, from small enterprises and start-ups to more established businesses, face a diverse set of circumstances."

    Full details of the consultation, including a booklet which summarises the key proposals, events and the questionnaire can be found at https://openforum.westminster.gov.uk/street-markets  If you have any queries, please email marketsconsultation@westminster.gov.uk

  • Thu, June 07, 2018 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    Nickie Aiken has written to residents today confirming that pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is "off the table for good".  You can read a copy of the letter below:

    The Future of Oxford Street

    I am writing to update you about our plans to improve Oxford Street and the surrounding district.

    As you know, two consultations have taken place in the past twelve months and after listening carefully to what local people have told us, we can now make Westminster City Council’s position absolutely clear.

    What is very apparent is that the majority of Westminster residents who responded to the consultations did not support the proposals to pedestrianise Oxford Street. We also know that in the recent council elections, local people also essentially rejected pedestrianisation through the ballot box. Therefore, we believe there is a very strong democratic mandate that the pedestrianisation scheme that was under consideration is not what local people want. As a result, Westminster City Council has taken the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street off the table for good and we have informed the Mayor and TfL of our decision.

    However, we do think that most people, ourselves included, feel that doing nothing is also not an option. We need to make the street and surrounding roads safer for everyone to accommodate the increase in people coming into the West End via the Elizabeth Line, which opens later this year. We also need to future-proof the Oxford Street District in a rapidly changing business and retail environment. We need to make sure that the experience of visiting Oxford Street and the surrounding area is fit for the future to ensure it maintains its crown as the nation’s high street for many, many years to come. Todays news that House of Fraser will be closing their Oxford Street store only reaffirms our view that we have to help the retail industry to grow and evolve in line with changing consumer behaviour.

    In doing this, we must also ensure that residents’ quality of life is enhanced with any improvement plans, with local amenity and cleaner air the absolute priority. For example, we want to continue to work with the Mayor of London, as many of the ways air quality can be improved are within his gift, such as the reduction in buses and introducing cleaner taxis. We will also ensure that the street and surrounding district is accessible and easy to navigate for everyone.

    Moving forward, the council will now work on completely new proposals and come back to you after the summer break with some thoughts as to how we can proceed with improving the Oxford Street District. We also give you our absolute commitment that we will keep you informed at every stage and try to engage with as many people as possible throughout this process.

    Only by working together can we help to ensure that we deliver a transformation of Oxford Street and surrounding district that is as inspiring for those who live, work and visit the area now as well as for future generations.

    If you would like to be kept up to date with future Oxford Street updates could you please e- mail robincampbell@westminster.gov.uk to register your email address. If you have any questions please also direct them to Robin.

    CLLR NICKIE AIKEN Leader of the Council

  • Wed, November 01, 2017 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Reopening in January 2018, the Town Hall will offer intimate ceremonies for four people to larger weddings for up to 100 guests.

    Old Marylebone Town Hall was closed in August 2013 for a major refurbishment. The building’s interiors have been transformed with the 1920s features complemented by contemporary furnishings. The Grade II listed building will resume hosting marriages, civil partnerships and baby-naming ceremonies.

    Click here to register your interest

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