From the West End to Harrow Road, Westminster plays a key role in London’s nightlife, supporting good jobs and a world leading array of cultural, entertainment, and culinary attractions. However, as a council, we recognise the challenges that come with so much night-time activity, including crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour, and noise disturbances, which often adversely impact our residents. We must strike the right balance between the interests of residents, visitors, and businesses, so that night-time in the city is managed well and serves the needs and interests of all those who have stake in the evening environment.
That is why we are launching Westminster After Dark, a six-month engagement with the city’s residents, businesses, visitors, and communities, will take place from today, 3 October, to inform the council’s first ever Evening and Night-time Plan. Once in place, the plan will outline an approach which has been designed with residents, visitors and businesses that sets a vision for the future of our evening and night-time environment that truly reflects the diverse needs, aspirations, and desires of everyone who lives, works in, visits, or runs a business in the city.
Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development said:
The problem we have when managing the night-time environment of Westminster is in balancing the needs of residents, businesses and visitors who often fall on opposing sides on decisions about how to manage the city. We understand that as a council, we haven’t always got this balance right in the past. We are launching Westminster After Dark to find the best solution that works for everyone who shares the city after hours, whether for its nightlife, a wonderful place to live or to run your business.
The Westminster After Dark plan will be published in June 2024 and will provide clearer guidance on noise management, street-lighting, planning, and licensing policies and antisocial behaviour which is fairer to all sides of the multifaceted evening population of the city. The plan will serve as the foundation for future policies ensuring areas like Licensing and Planning are more consistent with one another and address the issues that are most important to those who contributed views in the Westminster After Dark engagements.
Cllr Aicha Less, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Protection said:
I am excited to hear from everyone about what is important to them about Westminster’s night-time environment. Our engagement activities will invite people to share their views on a range of issues such as how noise should be managed in busy areas of the city, what kind of premises should be open through the night and how licensed venues can be supported to respect those who live in the area while running profitable businesses.
The first step in understanding where the problems and solutions are, to guide our Westminster After Dark plan, will be in publishing and consulting on the Cumulative Impact Assessment for alcohol and entertainment licensed premises. This assessment will be published on Monday 9 October and will support the council to shape licensing policy and decision making, particularly in areas with a high concentration of licensed premises, such as the West End.
Share your views by visiting the Westminster After Dark webpage and completing our online survey or registering for a stakeholder assembly.
Published: 3 October 2023