As part my commitments made in 2013 to the voters of Walbrook, I said I would focus on four key areas: Planning, Transport, Safety and Security, and Licencing and the Night Time Economy. I am achieving that that by sitting on the Planning & Transport Committee and Police Committee.
Planning & Transport Committee.
Planning. My priority is to ensure that Walbrook and the City retains its unique culture and heritage whilst allowing for sustainable growth and development of high quality office space to support the long term growth and global competitiveness of the City through appropriate planning strategies.
Significant developments in the Ward have included the Walbrook Building and the development of the old Midland Bank Building, now The Ned hotel, and I have represented the views of the Ward and the City on a number of significant planning matters.
Transport. I want to see the that congestion around Bank Junction and its vicinity are minimised, anti-social behaviour by cyclists are dealt with and pedestrian safety is given the highest priority.
Bank Station and Bank junction have the highest flows of passengers, pedestrian and vehicle traffic of any place in Central London. The traffic flows around Bank are similar to that of Oxford Circus. There needs to be a continued balanced approach to all users to take into account all their differing and sometimes conflicting needs – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – in a way that is self-enforcing and maximises the safety of all users.
The City of London is currently undertaking a trial closure of Bank Junction which started on May 22nd 2017 and is for up to 18 months. The closure will be from 7.00am to 7.00pm Monday to Friday and during those hours only buses and cyclists may cross the junction. It potentially has great impact – both beneficial and disruptive and it is important that all views are considered and taken into account. Please visit the Walbrook Ward website with further information and links.
Security and Safety. As someone who has policed the Square Mile for the past 10 years, this is of particular personal interest. I continue to support the need for an independent police force that is able to prioritise the protection of the City from terrorism and serious fraud – areas of crime that have a particular impact in the City given the number of iconic targets and the importance of the City to the national economy and vital to ensuring that trust and confidence in the City of London maintained. Liaison between the City of London Police and business should remain at the heart of this strategy.
I sit on the Police Committee for the City of London Police and I am its Deputy Chairman. Key recent initiatives of the City of London Police supported by the Police Committee include additional funding for a second armed response vehicle and armed officers to support it. Pressure on police funding continues to be one of the biggest pressures our policing capability faces. I am committed to ensuring the right level of resources are available to the police whilst recognising that funding is limited.
Licencing and the Night Time Economy. The impact caused by the night time economy and anti-social behaviour associated with it is has become an important issue for the City over the last ten years. Proactive management of licenced activities is vitally important to minimising the disturbance to residents and workers alike. The importance of working with licensed premises and responding to anti-social behaviours such as urinating in the street, public disorder and reducing the level of crime and theft is an area where I have been directly involved.
This is an area where the City of London Police work closely with the Licencing Committee and I continue to focus on this through the activities of the Police Committee.