An application by the Marylebone Forum for designation as a neighbourhood forum has now been submitted to Westminster City Council. The application will be available for viewing shortly both on our website here and the Marylebone Forum website (www.maryleboneforum.org)
The Forum now has now attracted almost 200 members, with more new members joining on a daily basis. This figure does not include significant numbers that are automatically included through membership of participating organisations, through the various amenity societies, the Howard de Walden and Portman Estates, as well as the Baker Street Bid. The constitution has now been placed on the Marylebone Forum website, it goes into some detail on the governance arrangements, the purpose and the perceived role of the Forum.
The primary purpose of the Forum is however as stated in the application under Section 5: "upon designation the Forum will seek.... to promote and to develop a shared vision for the neighbourhood through a neighbourhood plan, in order to bring locally managed change that... can take advantage of the funding opportunities that the legislation offers to make this aspiration a reality."
But first we need to achieve designation. We would therefore be grateful if those members of the Marylebone Association who have not already done so, could take the time to read about the Forum and if after this feel they are happy to support its objectives, to fill out the membership form that was recently posted and return it to the address given, or, if it is more convenient, visit the website and fill out the online form. The Association as a founding member endorses the Forum as we feel that it will offer the opportunity to influence future planning related policies to allow those that live and work on Marylebone to have a more direct and proactive say on matters that affect our neighbourhood.
The Forum is to operate entirely separately from the Marylebone Association and the St Marylebone Society(www.stmarylebonesociety.org). Although it covers the same area as these two organisations it has been formed to implement neighbourhood planning, not to undertake any of the functions at present undertaken by the two amenity societies. Neither does it to seek to join them together in any way other than on work within the context of the Forum. To quote again from the Forum application :
"The Forum intends to conduct studies and surveys into the community requirements for the area and to identify the emerging priorities, concerning but not limited to shaping and directing sustainable development, housing, transport, pollution and public realm, while maintaining the particular identity that gives Marylebone its cohesive character. It then intends to move towards the construction of a neighbourhood plan for the whole community, seeking community input at the various stages and seeking to formulate the plan from that input which will be aligned to the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area and in conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan."
Membership is free and by becoming a Forum member you will automatically be amongst those consulted as the project moves forward. We therefore very much hope that you can join us in this endeavour to give Marylebone an effective say in the way that it is run.