Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Update on Oxford Street District
1. Endorsed the new approach for the Oxford Street District Project as detailed in the report;
2. Agreed the Governance outlined in the report;
3. Approved the revenue funding of £727,000, made up of a reallocation of council’s own revenue for the development of a place based solution and a set of feasibility/concept options for the district; and,
4. Noted plans to bring forward necessary safety works and governance associated with the development and implementation of the specific Oxford Street safety scheme ahead of the opening of the Elizabeth Line and during 2019, which will be subject of a separate Cabinet Member Report.
Reasons for Decision
1. The Leader of the City Council on 7th June announced that there is a need to be hugely ambitious to ensure the district’s long-term success by future proofing Oxford Street and the surrounding area so it remains the pre-eminent, retail focused, outdoor shopping destination in the UK.
2. In December 2017, the Leader and Deputy Leader issued eight pledges to residents, created to assure residents that the City Council would safeguard their amenity by insisting that no scheme would be approved that failed to meet their concerns. Feedback from residents in the consultation report (temporarily published March 2018), confirmed that 61% of Westminster residents did not support the partial pedestrianisation of Oxford Street (Orchard Street to Oxford Circus). Subsequent statements from the City Council, made clear that the scheme consulted upon had not achieved a local consensus.
3. In these circumstances, the City Council considers it necessary to devise other solutions that will transform the district and meet concerns expressed.
4. The previous project structure to devise a solution for Oxford Street was developed within a joint team with Transport for London. This produced a significant body of information about the district. Going forward, the City Council will lead the project and consequently a new governance and operational structure is needed as outlined. We will continue to liaise and work closely with residents, stakeholders and partners (Mayor/Greater London Authority, TfL and New West End Company) to develop new solutions.
5. Resources are needed to provide staffing and commissions to facilitate work to devise a new solution(s).
6. Work on the options to ensure a safe street and district prior to the opening of Elizabeth Line is currently being progressed and will be presented for decision to the Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management in July 2018.
Publication date: 25/09/2018
Date of decision: 10/07/2018