Archive for September, 2013

Aggressive begging and rough sleeping

There was some improvement over the summer, when a number of the Marble Arch rough sleepers returned to their countries of origin and three were stopped by UKBA at the border when they attempted to come back here (thanks to a useful re-interpretation of the EU rules on re-admitting petty criminals).

However, things have worsened since, as I discovered at first hand today when taking a photograph of some of the familiar faces to send to our neighbourhood police, and was spat at.

This is not a state of affairs that residents should have to tolerate. I shall be giving my statement to police tomorrow, and with fellow councillors sending as strong a message as possible to the Met and the Home Office that the co-ordinated efforts to tackle this problem must go on.

Tackling nuisance pedicabs

Pedicabs have become popular with tourists in our area but their booming music and a relaxed attitude to road safety have annoyed many residents. On September 4, officers from the Proactive Noise Team and Street Management Team, West End Neighbourhood Police Team and Home Office Immigration Enforcement carried out an operation targeting noise and traffic offences committed by pedicabs on Oxford Street and Edgware Road.

Four operators will be reported for noise offences and two pedicab riders were
arrested for obstruction offences and their pedicabs seized. One operator was
reported for immigration offences and another for dangerous driving. I hope that sends a message to the worst offenders. In the meantime, the Mayor wants all of them to be licensed.


Planning grief

This morning I had a call from an elderly cousin of mine, who lives in another part of Westminster, about the letter he has had from an council officer about his problem with out-of-hours building work in the flat below. Seems as though officers are taking action promptly with a site visit tomorrow, but it’s certainly a reminder of how much disruption people suffer from inconsiderate builders and developers.

This month we have a number of appeals under way about new developments locally that may be good for business, but are affecting quality of life for residents. I’m going to be taking a very close interest in how they go.


Antonia Cox

Westminster City Hall,
64 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QP

0207 641 3411

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